Dreamin’ Wild is a appropriate film name for the story of Donnie Emerson. A small-town dreamer that made dreamy music. The virtually unknown Emerson brothers get discovered years after their created music as teens.
It only happens in movies right? Well it’s a true story that’s now a film that was written and directed by Bill Pohlad, adapted from a magazine article by Steven Kurutz. I spoke to Bill about the film, as well as the subject of the film Donnie Emerson and his wife Nancy.
DONNIE & NANCY EMERSON:
I enjoyed speaking with both of them. Nancy was talkative and engaging, Donnie was very equally engaging and genuine and forthcoming. There is no doubt Donnie has an appreciation for the moment and they both, along with the family are soaking in the attention they are getting for the film and music, rightfully so. Donnie was clear that had he had fame and attention earlier in his life, it wouldn’t last and he wasn’t ready for it. He certainly seems ready for it now, especially having Nancy alongside him. Creating music is a passion for them and it’s cool they are releasing an album (out August 4, just like the film). Donnie Emerson is a heck of a talent and it’s great his story is getting the attention it deserves.
Bill shared some interesting news. First thing that caught me by surprise was his admission that he wasn’t interested in directing the film after the initial pitch. I wouldn’t expect less than for Donnie to pick up Bill from the airport, just seems like the kinda guy Donnie would be. I also was surprised to learn that the film took three years to write. My favorite part of the story was Bill saying how Casey Affleck showed up at Donnie’s doorstep almost unannounced and spend the night. Not typical to hear an A-lister do that, but I can see Casey being an egoless individual that would.
Roadside Attractions will release DREAMIN’ WILD only in theaters August 4, 2023
The soundtrack for Dreamin’ ’Wild will be available via Light in the Attic on Digital (August 4th) and vinyl (late 2023), along with a re-release of the original 1979 Dreamin’ Wild album and the collection Still Dreamin’ Wild: The Lost Recordings 1979-81. More info: www.lightintheattic.net