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Interview with Brett Morgen

Vintage Stones photo

HBO

What makes this film different from other documentaries on the Stones?

Brett Morgen

Though the Stones have been involved in several documentaries over the years, all but one of them were either concert films or focused on specific tours. The one exception is 25 x 5, which has been out of circulation for over 20 years. 25 x 5 covers similar ground, but in a more traditional and academic way. My goal was to create a much more immersive experience. CROSSFIRE HURRICANE is structured like a classical narrative, and is far more invested in the band's mythology than it's history. When I first spoke with Mick, it was clear that he wanted to make a "movie" and I took this to heart. While some hardcore fans may be familiar with the arc of the story, like any myth, each storyteller interprets the story in a different manner. CROSSFIRE HURRICANE is not the first Stones doc, nor will it be the last. But the way in which the story unfolds and the decisions we made our rather unique.

HBO

What was the toughest challenge you faced making it?

Brett Morgen

I was only given 16 weeks to edit the film, which is kind of a herculean task. From the first day of cutting, Connor O'Neil, Stuart Levy and I felt the heat. Normally, towards the end of production you start pulling 15 hour days. We started the first week and would work no less than 6 days a week. It was a mad dash, but also exhilarating.

"Each guy spoke to me as if the others would never hear what they were saying. That was a strange position to be in for a kid from Santa Monica who grew up listening to their music.

HBO

What was the most surprising thing that happened while making the film?

Brett Morgen

For a while there I was pretty immersed in their lives. I kind of felt like their collective therapist. Mick would cringe at that thought, but the truth of the matter is each guy spoke to me as if the others would never hear what they were saying. I felt like they never held back. That was a strange position to be in for a kid from Santa Monica who grew up listening to their music.

HBO

What do you think keeps a band like the Stones together, after all these decades?

Brett Morgen

Everyone wants to figure out what the secret sauce is. Let's just say that I don't think the band would still be together if there wasn't a demand to see them. I think they just click. Simple as that. You can't really put your finger on it. The Stones music and their success should just be enjoyed rather than deconstructed.

HBO

What do you hope audiences take away from the film?

Brett Morgen

Like a good Stones album, I just want the audience to have fun. Anything else is gravy.

Crossfire Hurricane