Shawn Corey Carter, better known at Jay-Z has been on top of his game for a-decade-and-a-half. One of his most amazing claims to fame is the fact that he has remained relevant since he broke into the music business in 1997.
The 42-year-old music mogul and rap titan preps his upcoming Made In America festival. He’s given Hollywood director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer access to the creation of the two-day show he’s launching Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia, the New York Post reports.
The Oscar-winning duo behind “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code” told the Post that the documentary is “going to be born through Jay-Z’s perspective.”
“The festival showcases 20 preeminent artists that speak to the new generation,” Grazer told the Post. “I am producing the film with Steve Stoute and Jay. Ron is directing. It is going to be born through Jay-Z’s perspective. Jay stayed the king for a very long time …. I can’t even begin to explain how he is capable of remaining relevant. He is a phenom, like a musical Michael Jordan.”
The as-yet-untitled film is expected to be a combination of footage shot before, during and after the two-day concert.
Jay announced the festival, which he curated, in May. The genre-crossing lineup includes Jay-Z, Pearl Jam, D’Angelo,Skrillex, Rick Ross, Drake, Jill Scott, Gary Clark Jr., Passion Pit, Santigold, Odd Future, Janelle Monáe and Dirty Projectors.
The Carter household is a busy one. Jay’s wife, Beyoncé, is working on a documentary of her own — news broken by The Times’ Movie Now blog. The singer plans to star in, produce and direct a film that will blend concert footage with confessional interviews.
Keeping up with Jay-Z, is his talented wife, Beyonce. The Grammy Award winner has conquered almost every job the music industry has to offer. At 30, she has choreographed dance steps, sang background and leads, written hit songs for herself and other artists, recorded songs in Spanish and English, worn the cap of music producer, actress, dancer, model, and fashion designer, so just as you thought she had run out of new horizons to explore she turns her unbelievably broad and creative talents to the director’s chair.
Knowles will adorn herself with the mantel of: documentary director. Knowles and her reps have been shopping a nonfiction film to Hollywood studios about the celebrity’s life and career. According to a person familiar with the package but not authorized to talk publicly about it, the movie is as a mix of music and personal study, blending concert footage with confessional interview.
Knowles will not only stars in the project, she will direct it, and will also serve as a producer. To date, roughly 20 minutes of footage has been shown to distributors.
During the last 18 months, Beyonce has released a top-selling album separated from from her father, who has managed her career from her start, and given birth a baby girl, Blue Ivy Carter.
Although she’s attached to star in a potential remake of “A Star Is Born,” Knowles also has had a taste of the nonfiction film life. In June 2011, MTV aired “Beyoncé: Year of 4,” a “mini-documentary” that showed the artist taking time off and then returning to the recording studio.
Feature documentaries about musical superstars have come into vogue of late with movies from Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. Though not always blockbusters (Perry’s “Part of Me” has grossed just $24 million since coming out last month), they continue to be appealing to the entertainment industry: The stars like the exposure in a new medium, while studios appreciate the movies’ built-in appeal and comparatively low cost.
Beyonce has shown she is interested in all aspects of the entertainment industry. So the next logical step would be to turn the camera the other way around.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Beyonce Knowles and her agency have been shopping around a documentary about the singer’s life.
Beyonce also plans to team up with the United Nations this year for World Humanitarian Day, which takes place Aug. 19.
“We all see the headlines and we think what I can really do to help,” Beyoncé told BET. “World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity for all of us to work together to make a difference. This is our time to leave our mark on the world and show that we were here and we care.”
The effort is not completely without self-promotion though. The singer will be shooting her video for I Was Here at the United Nations and premiering it on Aug. 19 in front of a crowd at the UN.
No release date has been announced for either film.
Jay was last on the big screen when he documented what was supposed to be his final performance after he announced intentions to retire from music. Thankfully, he rescinded his word.
And as if Jay-Z or Beyonce needed any more accolades, People magazine named the entertainer its world’s most beautiful woman for 2012.