July 8, 2010

Well, I got a crazy email this morning from one of the producers informing me When You're Strange has been nominated for an Emmy.

Whacked but Fact; this is indeed true. It seems the episode of American Masters on PBS in which When You're Strange screened was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in a Non-Fiction Series.

It's a little indirect, but hell, really great news.

Also, the film continues to perform well in Europe. France has expanded its release to 100 prints. Just to put things in perspective, in the widest point of the US release there were 8 prints.

Germany, Norway and Sweden are doing very well. Nothing definitive from the UK yet. I think Japan is on the horizon.

Ann Onimuss
Hi Tom!
My goodness, I haven’t been on your site for a bit and thought I would pop in today. Who knew I would come back to such exciting news!!! Wow!!! I’ve been following your adventure for a bit, long enough to feel how much this nomination truly means to you and to your soul! I don’t know the right words to use to express my happiness for you in achieving this nomination. Everything seems cliche when I’m typing. What I’m trying to say is that I’m smiling for you, knowing how far you have come from the past film “challenges” and I wish this helps you get stronger and stronger distribution on many projects to come! How exciting to now be “Emmy nominated, Tom DiCillo”! 🙂 What’s even nicer is how humble you are and that you were not “chasing” this nominaton. I felt you were genuinely surprised! ((A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, TOM!!!)) I’m sure Jim is smiling proudly, too!
Warmest Regards,
Ms. Ann Onimuss 🙂
Hello H.Paul,
Thanks for writing. I’m glad you responded to the film.
Yeah, critical snubbing. That’s a pretty accurate description. But, what the hell. I’m proud of the film. And I continue to be gratified by responses from people like yourself who chose to view the film with their own eyes.
You know, we tried that title at the beginning of the film. It said, “There are no actors or re-enactments in this film. Every frame of footage is of Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore.”
People still came out of the screenings going, “Yeah, but who was the guy who played Morrison?”
Ultimately, I chose a form for the film (without a technical “explanation”) that will I believe stand on it’s own in the years to come. Maybe by then people will just simply accept it.
And hey, you can help. Spread the word; enlighten people.
Congratulations on the Emmy. I’m just another person in your audience (in this case, via Blu-Ray at home) who loved the film and headed straight to the Web when the credits rolled to see what other people thought.
I was shocked by the critical snubbing. Were they all wasted (making Morrison look like a better, measured junkie)? As a frosh documentary filmmaker, I can only propose from my own limited sensibilities that there’s hardly anything you could have done differently. It’s basically a perfect film; and (based on your other blog posting) I do think that, as compromising as it would have felt for you, one of those prefatory title slates at the beginning – “there were no re-enactments/actors in this film” – would have silenced a lot of the laziest critics who might have made such an assumption. I have to admit, one of the first things I punched into Google when I got to my computer was, “when you’re strange dicillo reenactments.”
But ultimately it’s your work, and it speaks for itself. Awesome thing to behold.
Congratulations on your well-deserved Emmy nomination, Tom! I just bought my copy of the DVD and am thrilled to own it and watch it again and again!
All the best to you,
Hello Tom! Great news in your lasts posts!
I hope you get that Emmy!
Good luck!
Greetings from Spain
Congratulations Tom! I’ve known about this doc for a while but I didn’t know it was out in Canada yet. The trailer looks amazing. Again… congrats!
Hi Tom
Yesterday was a big day in my life as a Doors-aficcionado as I got to see the movie in a cinema. I had to be patient, as living in Switzerland the movie is not screened in this country. Luckely Germany, our “neighbour”, is way cooler in that matter. So yesterday I went to a town called Freiburg to watch the movie on a BIG SCREEN!!!
So much has been written about the movie, from critics and fans. But it was clear to me I had to watch this movie without any expectations. The theater was empty, probably because Germany played their last World-Cup game at the same time. But to me it was perfect, having the possibility to enjoy the movie in a very calm setting, no popcorn noises or anything.
So I watch the movie and I’m amazed at how good this footage looks. Man, what a great idea it was to use original footage! I think you did a wonderful job on telling the story of the Doors with the footage, which somehow also restricted you. You could not go back and shoot something you maybe thought was missing. You had to get along with the stuff you had. I was very delighted by the production, how you used the images to underline the story telling of Depp (which is wonderful, too!!). I think Depp was a really good choice by the way. I also liked the big amount of different songs you used, this was perfect.
Some people complained you told the “official” Doors story and think you should have done “more” with this movie. I thought about that and came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t know how to do it better than you. Especially the original footage did it for me, this is just mind-blowing. A lot of people oversee this point.
Thank you so much for this movie, Tom!! And congratulations for the Emmy-nomination!!
Congratulations, Tom. A little indirect perhaps, but no less well-deserved.
Hi Mr. DiCillo,
I just wanted to write you to tell how much I enjoyed “When You’re Strange”. I got it on netflix instant play last night and then immediately watched it again…it was INCREDIBLE!
I loved how you used the archival 35mm film from HWY, it was weaved in so perfectly that it looked as if it was shot yesterday.
I also appreciated how you did not go the traditional route of interviews, but instead let the viewers experience the Doors through their footage. I also really enjoyed Johnny Depp’s narration, his voice sounded similar to Morrison’s, which I found really cool.
In my opinion, this film will be remembered as one of the all time great documentaries on a musical subject…kudos.
I have recently directed a film as part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 project. The film series features some well known directors (I am not one of them),such as Barry Levinson, John Singleton and Spike Jonez, documenting an untold subject from sports over the past 30 years. I was hoping to send you an advance screener of the film just to get your feedback, but if this is too much of a burden I totally understand. If I am able to send you a screener, you can just provide an address to the email provided.
Thanks for making such a great film and sharing it with all of us.
All the Best,
Stuart Henderson
Congratulations from Scotland, Tom. Watching the Interview on the wys dvd with Jim’s dad and Sister was a hoot! very Moving and Enlighting.
What are your Impressions of Jim’s sister Anne ? she comes across as a very sweet woman. Is she still a school teacher??
8 prints in the whole US?? What the F…!!! Somebody really screwed up on this one. Well I guess in a world (dis)graced by BP CEOs and the like, screwups are nothing to be surprised at. Also, regarding screwups and WYS, after some consideration I came to the conclusion that here’s the important thing: Somebody had the sense and sensitivity to choose you as the director, and thanks to this essential “non-screwup”, the result is an unique, original, beautiful film worthy of The Doors and their mystique, instead of some formulaic, souless, old-fashioned rock dock. After that wise decision was made, and WYS was finalized, no screwup matters much in the great scheme of things.
There’s so seldom any direct connection between awards and the true artistic merit of anything, that I tend not to care much, but I am happy for you that WYS got nominated for the Emmys, you certainly deserve any outward recognition you get for your work. And the Emmys may make more people aware of WYS, that’s good too. But ultimately the best award I can imagine is relaxing and watching this incredibly cool movie and being able to say to yourself “hey, know what, *I* directed this!!” Now I can’t say that, but I am awarded enough just watching it, which I will do again soon, since this week I got my WYS DVD. 🙂
Have a great weekend everyone!
Janet Erwin
Woo hoo! Pretty damned neat.
And speaking strictly for myself, I think that Burns dude has enough of those Tinker Bell statues on his mantel. Time to give the singer–and his director–some. Got my fingers crossed…
ohhhh…so cool
congratulations and go aredy!!!
Hey Tom!
Wow that is brilliant man! When You’re Strange has opened in Dublin a couple of days ago and I will be heading up to see it with my friends over the weekend where I will be hoping to see a packed house 🙂 It will be my fourth time to see it on the big screen, my friends first.
Unfortunately there have been some rather sniffy reviews in the Irish press, I have seen many two star and two and a half star reviews, although myself and a couple of other critics praised it wildly and if the word I am hearing on the street (or in the pub to be more exact haha) is anything to go on, fans are absolutely loving it and they having read my magazine and newspaper pieces on yourself and the film they told me to pass on their extreme gratitude to you for making such a wonderful film. Screw the critics man (hypocritical for me to say I know) but I love the film, Doors fans love the film, DiCillo fans love the film and now the Emmy’s seem to be agreeing with us 🙂
Congrats on the Emmy nomination my friend, you deserve it!
Hi Tom….I finally saw the DVD (i´m the guy from chile that didn´t want to see it on cable)….loved it….it was a great experience. I will watch it again with my brother who likes the doors but got sick of them because of me listening to them every day…
I just had a question…maybe it´s been answered, but I think the documentary was a bit short…I felt that a lot of footage we know was left out, like The End from Toronto 67 for example. I felt it could have been 15 minutes longer at least….why was that?
Thank you very much and congratulations for the emmy nomination
Tom, if everything was right with the world you would have received at least 15 Oscar nominations by now, at the least – and 10 statues (Steve Buscemi definitely being one for “Delirious”! He was never better).
So this was nice to hear!
Happy to hear “When you´re strange is doing well in Sweden. I did my share by publicizing a positive review in Sweden´s biggest magazine for women.
Psst, don´t tell anyone in Sweden I am a big DiCillo-fan! 😉
All the best,
Congratulations on the nomination. I hope the film takes the momentum from France and Europe and spreads it throughout the world. I have a feeling the film will do outstanding in Mexico and South America too, as many Doors fans are from those areas.
The Doors’ global phenomenon continues…….
The Doors and your film have inspired me to finally pursue my own artistic ambitions in writing and music. I am an elementary school teacher, and enjoy working with kids, but I believe my true calling may be in the arts. I think in time it will come to fruition, and I am excited about the possibilities.
Your continued efforts and belief in your art and the independent artist (in this day and age of greed and large corporations) are truly inspiring. I am thankful I find your blog also.
Take care, and keep the positive news coming !
Awesome news! Congratulations on the nomination!
Lindsey Taylor
WYS is definitely an “outstanding achievement.” A nomination well deserved. Many congratulations!
Many congrats on the Emmy nomination! When I saw that on the web I smiled. I’m glad to hear the film, its reputation, its “awareness” in the hearts and minds of people is growing across the world. I had no doubt it would.
I sit back and smile, because it’s been a thrilling and wonderful ride–your blog has allowed us to take the journey with you. I still remember finding your blog for the first time, right as you wrote that post about relocating to LA to work on the Doors film.
Some of us devoted fans keep wondering if Tregor will show up in any random posts…perhaps his samurai sword could help on occasion? *grins*
Keep on plugging 🙂

Leave a replyReply to


Independent Filmmaker & Musician