Billie Eilish is giving her fans a new concert special, Happier Than Ever – A Love Letter to Los Angeles, which is coming to Disney+ on Sept. 3. The project is co-directed by iconic filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, who worked with Oscar-winning animator Patrick Osborne to bring the music special to life. However, Rodriguez recently revealed to PopCulture.com exclusively that the singer was initially “going to direct it herself.”
“That was kind of the original thing, that she was just going to direct it,” the Spy Kids director told us. “And then my friend from Interscope [Eilish’s record label] brought me in to meet with her and maybe I could help her out on it, and she just let us just take it.” Rodriguez explained that after the Grammy-winning singer saw he and Osbourne “had a bunch of ideas” for how to shape the concert film she felt fully comfortable placing it in their hands. “We just took it and had to just make it all happen all at once,” he said. “And she took care of all the live performance stuff.”
Watch the official trailer for #HappierThanEver: A Love Letter To Los Angeles, directed by Robert @Rodriguez and @PatrickTOsborne featuring @GustavoDudamel and the @LAPhil at the @HollywoodBowl. The Billie Eilish concert experience premieres September 3 on @DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/YVUM92tKlb
— billie eilish (@billieeilish) August 24, 2021
Rodriguez also shared that his daughter, who’d introduced him to Eilish’s music years prior, worked with him and Osbourne on the film’s animation. “Once we talked [with Eilish] about what it was that she saw and what still needed to be put together, my daughter and I and Patrick started putting together the animation,” he said. “And then when I motion captured with her, that’s really when we were on the stage together, capturing, that we really formulated a lot of the final ideas that were going to inform the show. And so then that’s where we went from there.”
The new concert special borrows part of its title from Eilish’s sophomore album, Happier Than Ever, which was released in July. A Love Letter to Los Angeles blends animation and live concert footage, which was filmed on the stage of the legendary Hollywood Bowl. In addition to Eilish, the special also features her producer/performer brother FINNEAS, as well as the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, and world-renowned Brazilian guitarist, Romero Lubambo, with Orchestra Arrangements by David Campbell.
“I think it’s very complementary to what’s going on,” Rodriguez said of A Love Letter to Los Angeles. “I don’t think it’s jarring [or] pulls you out of it. It’s still a concert film, but it’s got these elements that just make it extra special and really makes it feel like a tour through L.A.” Happier Than Ever – A Love Letter to Los Angeles debuts on Disney+ this Friday.