“You don’t see many mums being amazing rock stars.” That was Michael Gracey’s impression of American singer-performer Pink, with whom he has frequently collaborated in the past three years since the release of his first feature film, The Greatest Showman.
The Australian director’s new documentary Pink: All I Know So Far follows the 41-year-old pop star juggling her roles as mother and performer during the Beautiful Trauma world tour in 2018 and 2019. With over 156 shows performed across 18 countries, this was the second highest-grossing tour of all time by a female solo artist after Madonna’s Sweet & Sticky tour (2008-2009).
“With all the time I spent with Pink creatively, the kids have always been around, and it was fascinating to me that she did not separate her personal and professional life,” Gracey told Scroll.in. The documentary, on Amazon Prime Video from May 21, will be released along with a new Pink album of the same name, featuring live songs and a title track.
The film features extensive footage of Pink spending time with her nine-year-old daughter Willow Sage and four-year-old son Jameson Moon during rehearsals for the tour. Her husband, motorsport professional Carey Hart, also appears in the film.
The singer (real name Alecia Beth Moore) first worked with Gracey for the soundtrack of his 2017 musical The Greatest Showman, about American impresario PT Barnum. Pink sang a version of the film’s hit song A Million Dreams. Gracey then directed the music video for Pink’s song Walk Me Home from her 2019 album, Hurts 2B Human.
Gracey was initially tasked with documenting Pink’s performance at the Wembley Stadium in London over two days and nights. The resulting footage is intercut with behind-the-scenes videos of the tour.
The director used a small crew, attempting to make the filming process as intimate as possible. “There are no formal sit-down interviews,” he said. “The conversations are off the cuff. All the shooting was done just by me and my cinematographer David Spearing, with no sound crew or lighting. We tried to be flies on the wall, filming every moment they were awake, until Pink would feel comfortable to talk to me as she would with a friend.”
The minimal crew helped the characters feel at home, Gracey felt. “The kids would perhaps feel intimidated with a big camera crew around, but since we were shooting with little Blackmagic pocket cameras, as small as still cameras, it did not take them much time to get comfortable.”
Gracey, who was initially supposed to direct the 2019 Elton John biopic Rocketman, said that he is interested in stories that “if not musicals, have a music element”. His upcoming projects include a stage musical featuring Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti and a biopic of English singer Robbie Williams.