Singer Judy Blank caught my eye because of her modesty behind the scenes. I met her during Lowlands 2013, when she was 19 years old. I recorded her show and she invited me to go backstage and shoot some footage. Ever since I have been following her for a number of years with a camera, from very close range. Judy goes through many changes in her music, but particularly she has some personal changes. Gaining acknowledgement at a young age touches the sensitive Judy.The Film
In 2015 Judy left to America on her own with her last savings. At that time she was faced with the difficult choice of giving up or continue in the music scene. Her first album did not sell well in the Netherlands and her confidence declined. Creating her second album took such a long time that I just didn't know if it would launch at all. She was so dissatisfied with her first album that she didn't want to be reminded of it anymore. But luckily the self-critical Judy found her love for music again in Louisiana and Nashville. She managed to play in all kinds of places and took a different direction with her music. From the superficial jazz pop, her music changed to sensitive folk/americana. Recently, she flourished on open mic evenings and in the studio with American musicians. Clearly, that can be heard on the album 'Morning Sun', which was released in 2018. Now Judy seems to be more confident on stage, but often in the dressing room she is very tense. She finds it very important how the public react and a negative message can upset her quickly.
She often returned to America, where she feels most comfortable. I promised her that I would follow her with the camera if a breakthrough seems to arrive in America. Judy is currently in an upward spiral and she recently called me excitedly with the news that she will be the first Dutch person who plays at the largest Americana music festival in the world; Americanafest in Nashville in September. It will be unimaginable that this project ends differently than with a performance at Americanafest. Without doubting I said to her; "Ofcourse I'm coming with you!" Judy gets the chance of her life. But how does she keep her fears and insecurities under control, while prepare for this ultimate opportunity? I travel with her to the place where she found her own style in between her strength and vulnerability. I question her about her "road to fame". How does she deal with fame when she prefers to stay small? What is behind the urge to play her music?
Most of the film have already been shot. But the ending, the cherry on top is still missing. This includes Judy's trip to Nashville. It is an expense we cannot fully finance ourselves, unfortunately. I will be overjoyed if I can be in Nashville in September, with my sound engineer, to complete this beautiful, long, intensive project. In addition, we will use the money that we collect through Cinecrowd also for editing, sound design, color correction, promotion and distribution. We want to show the documentary to the world through film festivals. It will be an intimate experience, but also an universal story, about the path to success of a young singer with great potential, but also insecurities.