Moonage Daydream

Director Brett Morgen discusses Moonage Daydream

September 23, 2022 Documentary Series Screenings in LA and NY

Audiences are invited on a cinematic odyssey exploring the creative and musical journey of one of the greatest artists of our time, David Bowie, in Director Brett Morgen’s documentary, Moonage Daydream.

In the first documentary ever sanctioned by the Bowie estate — with access to the artist's archives — Morgen’s film features never-before-seen footage and performances spanning Bowie's half-century career and includes 40 exclusively remastered songs. Moonage Daydream was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival as well as the "Golden Eye" and "Queer Palm" Awards at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

Following the DGA Special Projects Documentary Series screening in Los Angeles on September 21, Morgen sat down with DGA Special Projects Documentary Series Subcommittee Chair Ondi Timoner (Mapplethorpe) to discuss the making of Moonage Daydream. He also spoke about the film in a conversation moderated by Director Bennett Miller (Foxcatcherfollowing the Eastern Region Special Projects screening in New York on September 23.

During the Los Angeles conversation, Morgen spoke about mixing the sound for a film so musically intensive. "When you are mixing the film, the orientation is always to the front but then you add supplementary support to the surrounds of the Atmos. The whole purpose of this production was to bring the music and sound design elements into the room so you are constantly swirling around you. It was very adventurous for us."  He also discussed how playing the film at different film festivals affected his decisions.  "Coming back from various film festivals, I would often look at the audience and see a lot of patrons and I was trying to decide if I should play the film for them or for my own ears. And then I was like, 'I need to play this loud.'"

In addition to Moonage Daydream, Morgen’s directorial filmography includes the documentary features Ollie's Army, The Kid Stays in the Picture, Chicago 10, Cobain: Montage of Heck, Jane, Crossfire Hurricane; the pilot for the series, When the Streetlights Go On; and episodes of the documentary series, Say It Loud: A Celebration of Black Music in America. He and co-director Nanette Burstein were the winners of the 1999 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for their film, On the Ropes.

Morgen has been a DGA member since 2001.

You can listen to Morgen's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.


Q&A photos by Shane Karns (Los Angeles) & Marcie Revens (New York) - Print Courtesy of Neon

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