Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You will stream on Apple TV+ on October 23rd, the same day as the Letter to You album’s release. The documentary chronicles the five days Springsteen and the E Street Band spent in his Colts Neck, New Jersey, studio to record his new album late last year.
The atmospheric, black-and-white documentary, directed by Thom Zimny, shows the band learning, arranging, and recording the songs on the album and captures the members’ decades-long friendships — including a now-poignant toast to a tour that’s nowhere in sight. There were cameras everywhere in the studio, drummer Max Weinberg explained in interviews for Rolling Stone‘s recent Springsteen cover story. “You’re not aware of it, really,” he says. “Because you’re so focused.”
“We were doing a song every three hours,” guitarist Steve Van Zandt says. “We basically cut the album in four days. We booked five days and on the fifth day we had nothin’ to do, so we just listened to it.”
The recording sequences are punctuated by meditative spoken-word passages from Springsteen, not unlike the ones from last year’s Western Stars concert film, set this time to snowy Jersey landscapes rather than shots of the desert out West.
Zimny began working with the Springsteen camp in 2000 when he directed the HBO concert film Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live in New York City, and went to work on many other Springsteen-related projects, most recently the film version of Springsteen on Broadway and Western Stars, which he co-directed with Springsteen.