'Bright Lights' filmmakers on Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
When documentarians Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens started working on Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, they could not have imagined it would end up being a posthumous tribute to both women. Originally set to air in March, HBO has moved up the film’s premiere to January 7.
Directors Fisher Stevens and Alexis Bloom started filming a documentary about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds in 2014. They simply expected to make an intimate portrait of an extraordinary mother-daughter duo, never imagining that both of their subjects would pass away in December within a day of each other. Stevens and Bloom talk about the shock of those losses--and the joys and challenges of making their new documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds for HBO.
Photo: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, from a photograph included in Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Courtesy of HBO.
The loss of Carrie Fisher is a terrible tragedy. It's also a big problem for Lucasfilm and the Star Wars universe. Fisher already filmed her scenes for Star Wars VIII, but Leia was set to have a bigger part in Episode IX.
Filmmakers Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens didn't initially set out to make a film about Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, but that's what ended up happening after Fisher approached them about documenting some of her mother's final performances of her one-woman show.
With time, the project evolved, and their new film Bright Lights offers an intimate portrait of the extraordinary mother-daughter duo. Over the course of filming, Reynold's health did begin to deteriorate, but Stevens says they never could have imagined that, "what happened, happened."
With the death of Fisher at age 60 and the passing of Reynolds just one day later at 84, Bright Lights is now presented in memoriam. Originally set to air in March, HBO has moved up the film's premiere to January 7.
Still in shock from the sudden loss of both women, Bloom and Stevens join us on the show to talk about the joys and challenges of making Bright Lights, including getting Reynolds to understand the very concept of a documentary and convincing Fisher to let them film her at a Star Wars' fan convention.
Filmmakers Fisher Stevens and Alexis Bloom Courtesy of HBO
Bloom and Stevens hope their film can deliver something uplifting to fans who are in mourning and offer a message of inspiration. "Individually, they were both incredible, kick-ass women,' Bloom told us. "Together they were even more."