Filmmakers Partner With Maynard James Keenan For Wine Doc
Directors Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke knew they wanted to make a documentary involving enigmatic Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer frontman Maynard James Keenan, and his vineyards and winemaking endeavors, after they encountered the singer via ‘The Heart is a Drum Machine,’ the documentary they made that featured interviews with Keenan and other hard rock/metal luminaries like Enslaved’s Ivar Bjornnsen and Gene Hoglan! Their dream came true, and the result is ‘Blood Into Wine’ documentary.
“We’re both from Arizona and ten years ago, we heard that Maynard had moved to Arizona and to a ghost town called Jerome,” Page recalled to Noisecreep. “I was working with Crispin Glover, David Lynch and Christopher was in a band, and we had been friends for a year and we knew we’d end up working with Maynard. We never told him this, either! The film about his vineyard grew organically. We interviewed him at his vineyard. We thought, ‘This is a good story, that he is making this wine in this hot area.’ They make great wines. We wouldn’t have made this if Maynard wasn’t actively involved in winemaking. He’s not a celebrity who would lend his name to wine if his hands wasn’t in the dirt. Naturally, nothing has been ever done with him like this.”
But getting the elusive Keenan to commit to the project and the process was naturally not simple! Page said, “First he didn’t respond. He did a cover of ‘Rocket Man’ for the movie we had done and we were dealing with him on that and kept pestering him, ending every email with, ‘Let’s get together and talk,’ but he would answer about everything but that. At a dinner, we told him we needed to do this and he agreed.”
The prospect of making wine in a hot region like Arizona makes an interesting topic. “We went to Napa to interview winemakers about making wine in Arizona and none of the wine writers or makers consider Arizona on the map. It’s like making wine on the moon. This is the perception of the region. There is no one who has done it, so he must be a pioneer.”
Working this closely to Keenan had its interesting moments, as well. “I asked him the other day,” Page said. “We shot for a year and we were wrapping up. I asked him if there were any aspect he likes, and of course, he said ‘No.’ He’s so passionate about wine and we see winemaking as part of his creative trajectory, but Puscifer is a big part of the film, too. We have the music stuff, too. Our last shoot was Puscifer in Las Vegas. That’s the last thing in film.”
The film is on track for an early 2010 release.