The creative process – with its joy and disappointments, its triumphs and tragedies – is for many artists an intensely private experience. The writer in front of a computer or the artist alone in a studio has the privilege of privacy. This is not the case for those who express their art in song, but the struggles are often the same.
Grammy nominated filmmaker Victor Mignatti, both in what he has created and how he created it, distills priceless lessons for those who dare to place their work in the public spotlight and try to get it right This Time. In so doing he illuminates why some artists succeed, others only struggle, and why some are their own worst enemy.
The idea for the film began with a phone call from Mignatti’s friend, record producer Peitor Angell who told him he was producing the first album in 23 years for the legendary Sweet Inspirations, and for Pat Hodges, his first album in 25 years.
The Sweet Inspirations, or as they were known in the industry “The Sweets,” were perhaps the most successful backup singers in recording history. You’ve heard them on “Spanish Harlem,” “Moondance,” “Do You Know The Way To San Jose,” ”Son of a Preacher Man,” and many others. They provided backup sound for Elvis during the last seven years of his life and recorded albums on their own from 1967 to 1979.
Pat Hodges, in Hodges, James and Smith, had known a moment of fame in the 1970s, but was homeless in south Los Angeles.
Bobby Belfry, a hit in the New York cabaret world, was struggling to find wider recognition.