by Paloma Giustizieri
Travis Scott’s Look Mom I Can Fly is a window into the rapper’s world and his rise to super-stardom. The documentary is based on the creation of his album and theme park, Astroworld.
Look Mom I Can Fly was released in 2019 in collaboration with Netflix. The documentary takes us through the rollercoaster (pun intended) of Travis Scott’s life – footage from live performances, to family time, to nostalgic home-videos from his childhood all the way to the production of his album Grammy-nominated album Astroworld.
Travis Scott allows us to peep into his life on a more personal level. His concerts are known to be large ragers that sometimes attract more ambulance attendance than one might expect from a concert. In, Look Mom I Can Fly, viewers are shown a different, emotional side to Travis and see his concerns for the injuries occurring at his concerts. The use of sound here is fascinating as the producers have used audio such as screams, ambulance sirens and real-time audio from the performances where injuries have occurred. The visuals synchronize too.
An interesting story-telling technique is used whereby the audience becomes emotionally connected to Travis while watching it. A perfect combination of adrenaline, nostalgia and emotion are combined in the shooting of the documentary.
The beginning of the film has a shot where Travis is being interviewed as he and the interviewer are riding a rollercoaster. He says, “I feel like at some points in life, you just have to be extreme.” He then dives into the concept of Astroworld and tells the audience that it has been a work-in-progress since he was 6 years old. There is a harmony in the ups and downs of the tone of the documentary – just like his theme park, Astroworld.
The editing of the up-beat moments such as his incredibly large and energetic concerts, have very fast pace transitions and keep the energy of the content itself. Then, as we peer into the more personal moments of his life, such as the house he grew up in, the editing becomes smoother which changes the pace and consequently, the tone of the scene.
What I especially enjoyed about this documentary was the almost amateur mood to it. Self-captured visuals are used from fans that are recording the concert. This to me felt very personal. As someone who has been to a Travis Scott concert, I felt the same energy watching it on screen as I felt standing in the stadium in Johannesburg. The use of camera angles, amateur footage and interviews of fans during the concert gave me this indescribable feeling.
There is a tone to the documentary that makes audiences feel like we are a part of his life – we see Travis freestyle rap over one of his most famous songs Butterfly Effect, we see him celebrate the release of the album Astroworld and see the birth of his child Stormi. This technique makes viewers feel closer to the subject.
Look Mom I Can Fly is created for Travis Scott’s fans. If you listen to trap music and hip-hop, this documentary will send chills down your spine as you witness Travis jump into the crowd. It will give you butterflies as you find yourself dancing in your room with the concert-goers of his many performances. Should you not enjoy this genre of music, the documentary has an incredibly uplifting and feel-good energy to it.
It is a story of a kid who loved music, growing up in Houston, Texas and rose to unimaginable levels of fame in the space of a few years. This documentary is compelling, stimulating and inspirational.