Andrew Marcus, the director of the long awaited Andrew Brietbart documentary 'Hating Breitbart,' believes he has captured something amazing on film.
“It was an absolute blast,” Marcus explained. “It was also the most exhausting thing I had ever been a part of. The guy had boundless energy.”
The long awaited documentary of Breitbart will premiere tonight in Washington D.C. and opens in theaters on October 19.
When Marcus speaks about the film, he takes the tone of a storm-chaser, who couldn’t stop filming Andrew Breitbart sweeping the country and sweeping up everything in his path. That experience lasted two years, which Marcus still marvels about today.
“I was always very shocked at the things that would unfold in front of our cameras, but you know reliably every time we turned them on and he was around crazy stuff would happen,” Marcus said.
Marcus stumbled into Breitbart’s path as he began following the Tea Party, filming footage that he knew had the capacity to be a great documentary some day.
At the time, Breitbart was already famous for exposing the ACORN stories, and had been vilified by the left as a ‘racist bigot.’ Naturally, Breitbart was drawn to defend the Tea Party, which at the time was being smeared with the same attacks.
During a Tea Party convention in Nashville, Marcus recalls that he witnessed Breitbart deliver a speech that roused and inspired the crowd more than any other political figures he had seen in the nascent movement up to this point.
“The crowd loved him. He connected with that crowd in a meaningful visceral way,” Marcus remembers, calling it “tantamount to a declaration of war.”
“I’d never seen anything like this before,” he adds. “Suddenly I knew that this guy was our story.”
Marcus pitched the idea of a documentary to Breitbart as cross between the famous documentaries of U2 and Spinal Tap, and the project quickly went underway.
Breitbart was already on a high, traveling the country for different political events. As the controversy that surrounded him increased, he began calling the film crew his “bodyguards. The film focuses on that journey, as Breitbart began to go national and continued to confront the angry left whose goal it was to vilify and hate everything he stood for.
“He knew two speeds: he knew outrage and fun,” Marcus says. “The journey he ended up on – he soon began to realize that the tactic that was used against him could be defeated, and by defeating it, by confronting that, it made him stronger.”
Breitbart’s consistent victories over the left spun into an incredible narrative, which Marcus admits, kept the project moving forward every time they thought it was finished.
“We thought we were done before Weinergate,” Marcus said, marveling at Brietbart’s takedown of Rep. Anthony Weiner, after the New York Democrat accidentally publicly sent out an obscene photo on Twitter. “It was the kind of thing that just kept unfolding … events conspired to keep pushing us back.”
On March 1, 2012, the story reached its conclusion when Brietbart died suddenly of a heart attack, after an evening of political conversation at a bar in Los Angeles.
As Breitbart’s friends and followers grieved, Marcus knew that it was time to complete the project. But, he insists, he chose not to change the nature of the film in the light of his subject’s unexpected death.
Marcus admits he was “devastated” by Breitbart’s death and realized he was suddenly tasked with the responsibility of one of Breitbart’s definitive stories. His group spent a great deal of time struggling with the proper way to address Breitbart’s death, but decided against editing the film to make it retrospective.
Breitbart had seen a rough cut of the film before his death and had been “blown away,” Marcus said, adding that he wanted to preserve that experience for the audience.
“I felt a pretty strong obligation to make sure that was the story that came out,” he said. “My goal became to keep the story what he saw, what he understood, and what he was really jazzed about.
The film will address Breitbart’s death in a “very specific and unique way,” Marcus hinted.
“Absolutely, love him or hate him, you are going to be absolutely surprised by this film,” Marcus said. “As you get to know him on a human level, as opposed to the one-dimensional caricature of what he was portrayed as by the mainstream media. Breitbart, he said, was a “one of a kind” figure in his perfect mixture of passion, jovial behavior and righteous indignation.
“I don’t think there is a next Andrew Breitbart, he was such a perfect storm,” Marcus admits. “I just don’t see it happening again, maybe not for another generation, frankly.”