Interview: Reasoning With Ziggy Marley

Executive Producer of Marley Documentary Speaks On His Vision For The Film, And Its Biggest Surprise

The long-awaited, critically acclaimed documentary Marley had its L.A. premiere last night, with a Jamaican debut scheduled for Thursday April 19th in Kingston’s Emancipation Park. And then on April 20—which also happens to be both America’s unofficial ganja holiday and Stephen Marley’s birthday—Marley will debut at select theaters and on demand. Just hours before the premiere Boomshots caught up with the co-executive producer of the film, to reason about the challenge of choosing the right director and to share his own personal hopes for the film. Ziggy even revealed what he considers the movie’s biggest surprise.

As the executive producer, you’ve been through 2 different directors before you settled on Kevin MacDonald. How did you know he was the right man for the job?

Well I mean you never know until you see the fruits. You know what i’m saying? You never know until the tree bear the fruits if the tree is good. So once we saw the first cut… I mean, in theory when I met Kevin, he was the right guy. I met him, he was cool and everything was alright. That is one aspect of it. The next aspect is the actual product, the work that you see. So when I saw the first cut, after talking with Kevin along the way for the process, I knew he was right—the right man for the job.

Was there a similar kind of process with the other two directors?

No, no, because we were in such a situation. this process had to be much different because of what we had gone through before. So we kinda learn from what had happened both with Martin Scorsese—that didn’t work out at all, we never met him, nuttin’—and Jonathan Demme thing, that kinda went along and never work out either. So we kinda had a history to understand from and to learn from, so the process with Kevin was much different.

What was the most surprising moment in the film for you?

But just imagine coming from like… You know, you’re a country bwoy coming into the city—and you look different than everybody else. Those city boys can be rough at times, yunno?

Yeah I’ll bet. And I never heard the story about rehearsing in the graveyard before.

Yeah yeah, that was funny. I laughed. That was funny. I’m like, “Really?” [Laughs]

That would definitely cure you of stage fright, right?

Yeah. [Laughs]

Are there any misconceptions about your dad that you want this movie to clear up?

Well… I mean, I don’t think there’s anything specifically I woulda say. But what I want people is to feel an emotional connection like I do to my father. You know, as much as they can.  Everybody love Bob, you know I mean? But me wan’ people fi really feel everything that he’s been through. And that will make people be closer to him and understand his music even better. Because I think that’s the most important thing, that we don’t lose sight of the message in the music. And this gives you an idea how everything came together and why Bob is the way he is and why he sings what he sings.

That is the most important thing to me is that again, people have that emotional connection. That even when they’re listening to the music as they’re watching this, their thought process will be a little bit different because they have seen things or heard things and now know things about Bob’s life—both the highs and the lows—that they didn’t know before.

I’ve read about another Marley film in the works. Not a documentary but a dramatic bio-pic  Is there any truth to that?

Not from our side, not yet. No.

Okay so it’s really all about this documentary.

Yeah. Everybody come once in a while to try do it. Friends of ours, everybody’s trying to do something. But for us when that time comes it will be certain and everyone will know if and when that happens.

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