AustralianDirector Liam Firmager was introduced to SuziQuatro by a mutual connectionwhile she was touring Australia in 2015. They quickly established a rapport and Suzi agreed with the proposal to make a film based around her life and career, Soon after Liam asked Producer Tait Brady to be involved –both are drawn to music oriented material and leapt at the opportunity to work on a project like this, which they immediately imagined as much wider than just a biography or the conventional ‘rock-doc’.It should come as no surprise that the film be produced out of Australia. Suzi has been hugely popular DownUnderever since her breakthrough in 1973and continues to be, touring regularly. In developing the project, the filmmakers were astounded by the number of people –especially women –who responded so immediately and enthusiastically the instant Suzi’s name was mentioned. Her mainstream successin the 70s had a profound impact on young women then, as they had never seen a woman in rock music like this.
“We already knew that Suzi was huge in the UK, several other European countries and Japan; but we were surprised to discover that Americans however were strangely unaware of Suzi and her pioneering role as a woman in rock...often confusing her with Joan Jett, and other performers who followed in Suzi’s path years later; or even weirder, not realising sheis a musician -instead thinking she was just an actor from Happy Days.This was a common response,despite years of touring and several US hit records, and it impactedon the way we ultimately shaped the film-in North America we expect it to play very differently –almost like a re-discovery story–the story ofan exiled American, forgotten by her own country. In the rest of the world it’s a celebration –of an incredibly resilient, driven character who paved a path for hundreds of women who followed her in subsequent years.
“-Tait Brady, ProducerIn making the film, it was important to us that we could get to the essence of who Suzi is -we weren’t there to make a promo piece for her.Getting the distance and objectivity that we required took time, and developing trust was paramount. After all we were asking Suzi to emotionally expose herself to usand that’s enough to make anyone guarded. And like any seasoned entertainer it was a challenge to dig deep into Suzi’s psyche and peel back the layers of 50 years of professional stock answers. Getting to know her over several years certainly helped in gaining her trust, and proving to her that we had done our homework and knew our stuff. In the end we filmed with Suzimaybe 7 different times over 4 years –in the US, the UK and Australia –in arange of different environments -and we kept digging away to go deeper and deeper.The filmmakers also spent years working through a string of archive sources.
There are more than 375 individual pieces of Archive in the final film -stills, video, artefactsand ephemera. In the end material came from broadcasters and archives in the UK, US, Czech, Germany, France, Japanand Australia –plus Suzi and her sister Patti’s personal archives. In a way, these personal photos are the most valueable -certainly the most evocative.