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by Karen Pecota

Filmmaker Murray Cummings directs and produces a love letter to the art of songwriting in his latest documentary featuring cousin and famed musician, Ed Sheeran in SONGWRITER. Cummings says of his project, "It is about the craft, the dedication and the inspiration behind Ed's music." He continues, "It's about friendship and family and that precious time between tours before he has to go back out into the world and be Ed Sheeran again."

Cummings, a fan of the music scene, watched several friends become noticed in the industry as songwriters. Cousin Ed was following in familiar footsteps as a young teen. He dropped out of school to dedicate his life to music and was actually good. At the age of fifteen he had already written albums.

Cummings started inviting Ed to come to music gigs with him and afterward meet some of the musicians. Cummings saw in Ed a desire to learn and that he did. He recalls that Ed in his eagerness to glean from the professionals he asked lots and lots of questions. In Cummings words, "Too many questions at times."...It makes me chuckle to imagine that scene and how family would interpret the scenario. It makes sense that if given the chance as a young enthusiast to talk with as many professionals as possible it would be worth their while to ask as many questions possible. Cummings noted, "Ed soaked up any info he picked up like a sponge." To observe Ed in this arena showed Cummings that his cousin would be a star and he needed to film Ed's rise to fame--without acknowledging that fact initially.

Cummings' opportunity to shadow Ed professionally didn't happen as he planned. Instead Cummings takes a different approach to showcase the process of the songwriting for Ed's Third Studio album called "Divide". He reveals to the film audience what it is like for a true songwriter to make way for creativity to develop and to allow the project to become personal and musically pristine.

Cummings says, "It's an intimate look of Ed's life through never before seen home videos." The combination Cumming used with the family home video style and his professional filming tells a very unique story of how quality music is made. Everything that is important to Ed is included in this album through song. He values relationships and family. Cummings captures Sheeran's gentle, kind-hearted, fun-loving appeal that's endearing. He captivates a transparency unique to the quality of storytelling using music.