This Film Captures the Momentous Rise of Superstar DJ Martin Garrix And The Farewell Tour of Iconic DJ Carl Cox and also Features Erick Morillo, Moby, Sasha, Richie Hawtin, David Guetta, Steve Angello, Afrojack, Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold, Usher, Ed Sheeran, James Barton and Executive Produced by Pete Tong.
Bert Marcus Productions, the company known for making transformative, critically acclaimed films including “Teenage Paparazzo,” “How to Make Money Selling Drugs,” and “Champs” has announced today the completion of its latest project “What We Started”, a documentary that is the generationally defining electronic music film of the genre. “What We Started” is written, produced, and directed by award-winning filmmaker Bert Marcus, with Cyrus Saidi as co-director, and the world-renowned legendary dance music DJ, Radio 1 host, and WME executive Pete Tong as executive producer.
“What We Started” delves into the historically complex and highly popular world of electronic dance music, providing unprecedented access to a widely misunderstood industry that is dominating music around the world. Captured through the eyes of industry pioneers like Carl Cox who are juxtaposed by the young phenom of today, Martin Garrix, viewers are taken on two dichotomous journeys of past and present. Through these foils, the film uniquely illuminates the rich interwoven fabric of the fan base and stakeholders that have driven electronic dance music to current unparalleled heights, while leaving open the question of what will happen next for this fascinating segment of the music industry.
“I have passionately strived to create a thoughtful piece that transcends the stereotypes of electronic dance music by telling a story of the layered and inspiring individuals throughout the genre’s history that is all-encompassing, dynamic and unexpected. I believe that this is a misperceived part of the music industry and popular culture with a rich and robust 30-year history that needs to be shared.”
Through the retirement of pioneer and legend, Carl Cox, to the rise and proliferation of newcomer and recent number one DJ in the world, Martin Garrix, an audience will understand the full narrative of this music in a manner that has never been done before. It was important to me to choose two intriguing and talented characters that fully represent the birth of the music and the present place of the industry, respectively, and these two men are perfect examples of such. I am privileged to have been able to work with these industry iconsm and I am thrilled to share ‘What We Started’ with the world.” – Bert Marcus, writer/director/producer.
“What We Started will instantly capture an audience’s attention. This is a film that honors the spirit of and gives a discerning perspective on different generations of this movement in an unprecedented way and leads you on a globe-trotting journey that explores a dynamic and multi-layered industry. As someone who spent my whole career in electronic dance music, I’m very excited to be involved in this ambitious film that goes a long way to set the record straight on how we got here!” – Pete Tong, DJ, music supervisor, executive producer, and WME executive.
Presently, the genre of electronic dance music is booming and the film breathes life and authenticity into this incredible moment of success for the genre. Electronic dance music now permeates every facet of American culture: the Internet, television, film and Wall Street. Last year, hundreds of live events drew millions of people, clubs generated billions in revenue, and the top 12 DJs grossed over $300 million, collectively. Interestingly, though, the genre did not start out this way.
The film probes deeply into the history of this music, beginning at its inception in the late 1980s in America where the music was part of the counter-culture, it was underground and those that played it, and listened to it, were searching for their own place to fit in. The music was an escape from people’s problems, fostering the emergence of a tight-knit, zealous movement. DJs didn’t play for money, but rather for the unity and community that it gave their audiences. Mainstream media and authority figures, such as the police, worked vigorously to shut down this outlet. However, those integral to the music and committed to this counterculture fought tirelessly for its survival. Slowly, in the mid-2000s, a renaissance finally emerged.
Now, through the lens of this new documentary, viewers will for the first time be able to see the true story and journey of dance music and electronic dance music, told in partnership with some of the industry’s most legendary DJ’s through to the biggest superstars of EDM today. “What We Started” will tell a story that is all-encompassing, educational, and unexpected, weaving through these dichotomous lives of the past, like the historical legend Carl Cox, and present of electronic dance music, like newcomer and superstar Martin Garrix, to share the full narrative of this music. This is the music that doesn’t die, as it continues to push it’s own boundaries, and it will continue infinitely in forms that we cannot even imagine today.