George found happiness in love and friends and family W
HEN the late George Michael decided to make a film about his career, the idea was to focus on his infamous court case with Sony. But it soon became apparent there was a much bigger story to tell.
Here the film’s co-director and executive producer David Austin – a lifelong friend of the star – talks about the candid details George wanted to share with his fans. GEORGE would come to London and would edit the film. I mean, literally, the film more or less is George’s cut. He was editing right up until the 23rd; we had Nile Rodgers over in London filming his part and George was due to go back in on the 27th (of December 2016, George died on December 25) to continue editing, which, sadly, didn’t happen. what actually happened was I was going through a cupboard one day and I found this little Harrods cooler bag. It had all of his home footage that he’d lost, that he’d shot himself, which is all that stuff that you see in the centre of the film. I talked to him about it and he looked through it, and I thought he’d be nervous to... I’d already cut a few little tiny bits of Anselmo into the film and I thought he’d be nervous about that, but I think he wasn’t, he embraced it and he loved it. HE loved Anselmo, he was an incredibly important person in his life and it just came from George, it came from George’s heart. That’s really the heartbeat of the film in the centre, you know ... all this home footage, that’s the real heart of the film. I LOOK at kids like Justin Bieber today and think, ‘my god, look at this multi-million pound industry around them’... but I think when you’re in the eye of the storm, you don’t realise it, you’re just getting on with the job, rolling your sleeves up, and I think it just all comes naturally. He was brave to do what he did, that’s for sure; a lot of people would have stepped back and would have done as they were told. But not George, he felt slighted and he believed in what he was saying, and like Elton (John) says, George is a very stubborn person and when George puts his mind to something, he goes for it. It was a big deal, the court case; I mean, what could have come from that could have been incredible, had he won. YEAH, he did actually. He says in the film. And when we were talking about the case and how we were going to handle it – and I didn’t realise this at all – but he turned around to me and said how he regretted it. He wished he’d never taken Sony on in the first place, because it dented the armour in his career in America. I think also the fact he discovered that Anselmo wasn’t well ... all these things happened at the same time.
What’s really interesting that people don’t realise is that, while this court case was going on and he was on the stand, he was holding it (Anselmo’s illness) very close to his heart; obviously nobody knew, he hadn’t come out at the time. OH yeah, totally. He absolutely did ... with Anselmo and later on in his life.
You know, he was a very happy, contented man, he found happiness in love and he found happiness in his friends and family. We had a fantastic relationship. IT would have been about writing and giving amazing music and amazing vocal performances full of integrity. George was one of those people who had a rare gift... when you write music or you sing, making a record is one thing, but if you can resonate with the public, if you can touch people; that’s another level. George had that and I think that’s why George’s music... there are two tracks in particular we have (which haven’t been released) that are just extraordinary pieces of music.