A Minute With: the director of a documentary about Journey singer

Wed Mar 6, 2013 1:43pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When veteran rock band Journey chose unknown Filipino singer Arnel Pineda to become their new frontman it inspired a filmmaker to capture his rise from obscurity in the streets of Manila to performing on arena stages.

"Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey," directed by Filipino-American filmmaker Ramona Diaz, picks up Pineda's story soon after he was chosen to join Journey in 2007 after the group saw him on YouTube.

Diaz's documentary film opens in theaters on Friday. She spoke to Reuters about Pineda's story and working with the band.

Q: Were you worried about dealing with all the different personalities of a famous band?

A: My very first film was about the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos. She was very powerful and she was difficult. I hung out with her for two months. She ended up suing me because she didn't like the film. After that experience, I thought, I can handle anything now. I can handle rock bands!

Q: What surprised you most about Journey?

A: It was a surprise to me that for such a veteran rock band, they were not used to having cameras ... backstage or in their dressing rooms. I thought rock bands were used to it because of MTV, where backstage and tour buses are open to cameras. But at the height of Journey's fame, MTV was just forming as well. They didn't understand the reality of what full access meant. But at the end of the day, we got it.

Q: Do you consider this a music documentary or more of a documentary about Filipino heritage?   Continued...

Neal Schon (L) and Jonathan Cain of the band Journey arrive with director Ramona Diaz for the premiere of "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival in New York, April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson