Playing For Change: Peace Through Music is the DVD documentary (83 mins), as seen on PBS. The DVD includes 26 minutes more footage not seen on PBS, plus 20 minutes of bonus chapters chronicling the filmmakers' journey. This documentary is an exploration into the human spirit and the power of music to unite us as a human race Through the process of making this film we traveled around the world and discovered that music opens the door to a place where we can celebrate our differences and still connect our hearts.
The idea for this project arose from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. No matter whether people come from different geographic, political, economic, spiritual or ideological backgrounds, music had the universal power to transcend and unite us as one human race. And with this truth firmly fixed in our minds, we set out to share it with the world.
We built a mobile recording studio equipped with all the same equipment used in the best studios, and traveled to wherever the music took us. As technology changed, our power demands were downsized from golf cart batteries to car batteries, and finally to laptops. Similarly, the quality with which we were able to film and document the project was gradually upgraded from a variety of formats- each the best we could attain at the time- finally to full HD.
One thing that never changed throughout the process was our commitment to create an environment for the musicians in which they could create freely and that placed no barriers between them and those who would eventually experience their music. By leading with that energy and intent everywhere we traveled, we were given access to musicians and locations that are usually inaccessible. In this respect, the inspiration that originally set us on this path became a co-creator of the project along with us.
-Mark Johnson, Director