Shangri-La Dee Da was originally planned to be a double album dedicated to the memory of Andrew Wood, but the concept was vetoed by Atlantic Records. While recording the album, the band also worked on a documentary and coffee table book. Neither was released, however, and limited footage was made available through the band's official website in the form of live performance-based music videos. Despite not selling as well as the band's first four albums, Shangri-La Dee Da was certified Gold by the RIAA and the CRIA and was a commercial success for the band.
Planned double album
In late 2000, lead singer Scott Weiland said that the band planned to record a double album. Shortly after work got underway, bassist Robert DeLeo said that goal looked realistic, stating:
"Scott's in a space right now where we're not cramming to just get a single record done — he's in a space where I think a double record is possible."
The band's label, Atlantic, was hesitant about the idea and the band eventually conceded.
Documentary and coffee table book
Chapman Baehler filmed a behind-the-scenes documentary as the band recorded the LP in their beach villa-turned-recording studio. According to Baehler, the documentary set out to be like a modern-day version of the 1970 Beatles documentary Let It Be. The film follows the band through preproduction and hammering out new songs to putting the tunes down on tape. Baehler explained that the documentary included beautiful and moody shots with either Dean or Robert playing an old organ in a secluded wing of the villa, Robert and Scott playing "Wonderful" acoustically, and some "totally awesome rock-out live stuff" in the main recording space.
An established rock photographer who had shot STP for years, Baehler was already working with the band on a coffee-table book when they approached him about the documentary. The project was Baehler's first venture into film-making; all of the footage was shot by him and his sister, Rebecca Baehler. The film and the book were planned for the release in late 2001, but were never released.