Without Getting Killed or Caught, a documentary about the complicated relationship among legendary songwriters Guy Clark, Susanna Clark and Townes Van Zandt and the art it inspired, will world premiere this March at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival.
The film, by author, filmmaker and producer Tamara Saviano and co-producer/co-director Paul Whitfield, features narration by Sissy Spacek (as Susanna Clark) as well as interviews with Guy Clark and his closest friends and musical allies Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Jo Harvey Allen, Terry Allen and Verlon Thompson.
The film makes use of Clark’s songs, family photographs and archives, vintage film footage and radio talk shows to tell its story as Guy struggles to establish himself, Susanna pens hit songs and paints album covers for top artists, and Townes spirals in self-destruction after writing some of Americana music’s most enduring and influential ballads. It also draws from Susanna’s pained remembrances from her private journals and secret audio diaries and taped conversations she made of the trio.
“Guy and I were friends for 18 years and spent the last eight of those years working together on his biography and then the documentary,” said Saviano. “It is bittersweet that after all of that, Guy did not survive to see this documentary come to fruition. It is an honor to continue to work on his legacy. I hope the documentary will give fans new insights into the extraordinary artistic life Guy shared with his wife Susanna and best friend Townes Van Zandt.”
In early December, Saviano and Whitfield recorded Spacek’s narration in Austin and Whitfield spent the rest of the month laying in the voice track and making tweaks to wrap the film at the end of 2019. The pair will premiere the 95-minute documentary, funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign, at SXSW, while also looking for a distributor.
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