Charles Todd Directs Documentary About Legendary Blues Musician Buddy Guy
SCHEME ENGINE has announced the release of Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away, a production of RCA Records and Scheme Engine in association with American Masters Pictures, a documentary feature chronicling the life of legendary blues musician George “Buddy” Guy. Charles Todd, creative director of SCHEME ENGINE, is one of the directors of the film, along with Devin Amar and Matt Mitchener. John Beug and Sheira Rees-Davies are the producers. Michael Kantor, Camille Yorrick, Devin Amar and Sheira Rees-Davies are Executive Producers. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 13th, 2021 and is scheduled to air on PBS on Tuesday, July 27.
After spending his early years as a sharecropper in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy became one of the most influential guitarists of all time. A pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, he is a living link to the city’s halcyon days of electric blues. Over the course of his career, Guy has garnered eight GRAMMY Awards and was honored with induction into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The documentary features intimate, original interviews with Guy as well as archival and never-before-seen performances, including footage of the blues legend onstage with the likes of President Obama and The Rolling Stones. Interweaving archival interviews of Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Willie Dixon with original interviews of musicians that Guy influenced, including John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Gary Clark, Jr., Kingfish and more, the film traces Guy’s rich career and lasting impact as one of the final surviving connections to a historic era in the country’s musical evolution.
Charles Todd explores storytelling through experimental mixed-media, cinematic narrative, and live concert direction for clients and artists, such as Nike, the NBA, Nikon, HBO, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Travis Scott. His original shorts for Apple Music have evolved the music documentary genre into wholly innovative films for artists like Lil Baby, The 1975, H.E.R. Marc Anthony, and Christine and the Queens.
“This film crystallises Buddy’s vital contribution to the history of popular music, drawing a clear line from the delta blues through to the likes of The Rolling Stones and the blues of today: hip-hop,” says director Charles Todd. “It was an honor to pay homage to this giant of music, framing his incredible life story in the wider context of the Great Migration and the African-American experience in the 20th century.”
SCHEME ENGINE is a BIPOC-owned creative studio and production/post-production company. With a strong focus on women and minority representation, their roster of directors and in-house creatives – including producers, editors, and composers – are committed to magnifying essential and overlooked perspectives. Collectively, they share a desire to tell stories with integrity and purpose, with context both local and global.