About the Film

USA / 89minutes / Color / HD / English / 2011

In HOW TO GROW A BAND, 26-year-old Chris Thile is at a crossroads. His marriage has ended, and his platinum-selling band, Nickel Creek, has gone on “indefinite hiatus.” But Thile, a perfectionist prodigy who’s defied expectations since he learned the mandolin at age five, has a plan. Step 1: Write a 45-minute, four-movement elegy to your failed marriage to be played by a bluegrass quintet. Step 2: Recruit the only musicians around talented enough to play it and crazy enough to sign on. Step 3: Make a record, launch an international tour and brace yourself.

Filmed with uncommon access, HOW TO GROW A BAND provides a rare look at the start of one of America’s most promising young bands and explores the tensions that test young artists.


Directed & Photographed by

Mark Meatto


Produced by

Michael Bohlmann

& Mark Meatto


Edited by

Mark Meatto

& Purcell Carson


Executive Producers

Dan Algrant

Bert Keely


Associate Producers

Ruth Oxenberg

Tim Farrel


Production Sound

Mark Meatto

& David Sinko


Additional Camera, The Living Room

Hope Hall

Ben Niles


Additional Camera, Lincoln Center

Ben Wolf, DP

Ben Niles

Nara Garber

Ian Dudley

George Lyon


Sound Editing

Gordon Brislawn, Bad Habit Recordings

David Sinko


Sound Mix

Richard Bock


Color Correct

Tim Maffia, Modern Digital