Independent Film Producer Ray Robinson understood those at-risk kids in Buzzy Martin’s book Don’t Shoot, I’m the Guitar Man. Ray had been like one of those kids himself and believed that the Guitar Man’s story should be told in film. Ray states that “If watching the movie empowers even one person a moment of pause before making a bad choice which could send him or her to prison and end their freedom, our movie will already be a huge success.” Ray Robinson’s heartfelt belief in one man’s ability to inspire hope in a prison population through the power of song has resulted in this award winning film.
Working as a 2nd unit action director and stunt coordinator over the years, I knew I never wanted to be known as someone who can only direct a “stunt action movie.” I was looking for that “passion project,” and producer Ray Robinson brought that to me.
Guitar Man not only was that passion project I hoped, it became an obsession for myself, cast and crew to make sure we got it right. We stressed keeping the look of the film real and gritty, but more importantly staying true to the core narrative theme – Education, Not Incarceration! It is by far the most rewarding and humbling adventure I have ever experienced.
Guitar Man: The Movie
Buzzy Martin, a veteran musician, first instructed at-risk children in the true account of Guitar Man in order to help them cope with the challenges of daily life. He was offered an opportunity to teach music to inmates at San Quentin State Prison as a result of this experience. He was at first intimidated by the severe surroundings, however he soon found a language he could speak with the convicts: his music. In an effort to convince the younger, at-risk kids that prison was not some kind of “badge of honor,” he went back to them with accounts of the harsh realities of prison life. Real dreams, genuine hope, and the redemptive impact of music could take the place of the perilous roads in which they were heading. Along the way, they learn the true meaning of freedom and experience gift of music.