A Word from the director


Since 2009, I have been dedicated to getting at the heart of this music. I’ve scoured archives and studied moments captured on film negatives through a loupe, hoping to find the clues to stitch it all together. To celebrate these archival elements in the film, I highlighted quality imagery and went further to be the first to digitize many negatives from storage. Many of the images and songs I’ve unearthed offer a rare look into the past.

Creatively, we styled the film with a fresh yet nostalgic look and shot on a mix of Super 8mm and digital media. By using many visual conventions – rounding edges, film roll-outs, hand-drawn graphics – we attempted to play on past ways of consuming media. For example, our opening sequence is an homage to credit sequences of the 70’s and particularly to the early B&W film about Bluegrass, High Lonesome. The effect feels homespun yet contemporary.

…cont’d.

© Jim McGuire

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The scene with The Porchlight Sessions band (pictured at right), is a depiction of childhood memories of sitting on a Tennessee porch in the company of good friends, playing music late into the night. Sharing a common musical language, this highly-talented group performs serendipitously on the front porch of Bluegrass music’s father figure, Bill Monroe.

Growing up, Bluegrass music served as the cultural backdrop to my many outdoor adventures, particularly while kayaking the rivers of Appalachia. However, it wasn’t until I befriended banjo player Philip Daniel while studying Photomedia at the Australian National University that I began to understand the wide-ranging appeal of Bluegrass. His love for Nashville and the surrounding Bluegrass music scene surprised me because he came from the opposite corner of the globe. It was through his interest in the music of my childhood that my own interest was rekindled.

The Porchlight Sessions has been a labor of love and we’ve spent countless days perfecting this cinematic expression of Bluegrass music as a genre, a lifestyle, and a belief system. We look forward to sharing this body of work for generations to come. – Anna

L to R: Sierra Hull, Alison Brown, Todd Phillips, Anna Schwaber, Brittany Haas, Andy Hall, Matt Wingate.

L to R: Sierra Hull, Alison Brown, Todd Phillips, Anna Schwaber, Brittany Haas, Andy Hall, Matt Wingate.

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