Guy Clark documentary opens in Charlottesville
Documentary directors Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield on the making of Without Getting Killed Or Caught
Guy Clark was a larger-than-life character, independent, idiosyncratic, eventually making his own way in the music business.
“He wanted his songs to be hits and he wanted that success. He went down the path and he realized it was the wrong path and he just went back to his folk singer path and that worked for him,” says Tamara Saviano.
Saviano produced, and, along with her husband Paul Whitfield, directed Without Getting Killed or Caught, a line taken from Guy Clark’s song L.A. Freeway.
Saviano first wrote a book about Guy Clark and used that as source material in film making, she says she discovered something she wanted to highlight in the documentary.
“In the book I tell the story of the relationship of Guy and Townes and Susanna and I found that part of the story so compelling and I also thought that Susanna’s voice got lost a lot. So, when we were working on the film I wanted that relationship to be kind of the crux of the whole thing.”
The voice of Susanna Clark in the film comes from two sources; cassette tapes, an audio journal she left, and a written diary. For the diary they needed a narrator. Paul Whitfield explains how they chose Sissy Spacek. “It was a lightning strike sent from Susanna Clark herself into Tamara’s consciousness one morning at breakfast. We were talking about Stephen King and his writing and film making and then Tamara just shouted out ‘Sissy is Susanna!’”
“After five albums at two major labels he just realized that there was no way that the square peg of Guy Clark was going to fit in the round hole of country music. But what Guy and his friends do and what a lot Americana people do is that write songs more as poetry. I always think they’re like poets with guitars. There’s a place for that but it’s not on mainstream country radio,” Tamara Saviano says.
The Guy Clark documentary Without Getting Killed or Caught plays in Charlottesville Friday night.
From Roots Down Radio:
For more on the film: Without Getting Killed Or Caught