VH1 will expand its documentary series VH1 Rock Docs to include eight new high-end feature-length programs. Each of the documentaries will reveal an untold story in the history of rock and hip-hop music, combining never-before-seen footage with a unique and unconventional narrative approach. The documentaries will tell some of the most unique stories of artists and music from a wide range of genres, styles, and musical perspectives.
For this new slate, which includes internally-produced and acquired projects, VH1 builds on the previously announced Rock Docs, DMC: My Adoption Journey, Heavy: The Story of Metal, The Last Days of Left Eye and The U.S. vs. John Lennon.
The Drug Years
VH1, in association with Sundance Channel, has produced the original documentary series The Drug Years, a four-part look at the rise of illicit drug use and its cultural impact in the second half of the twentieth century. Spanning the 1950's to the present, The Drug Years explores the development of a commercial drug culture in America, using archival footage, never-before-seen film and interviews to illustrate how popular culture -- including music, movies, comedy, television, and theatre -- both shaped and reflected public perceptions of illicit drugs. The Drug Years also looks at how drugs became part of the nation's political landscape, from the youth rebellions of the 1960's to the War on Drugs and beyond.
My Generation: Who's Still Who (Spitfire and VH1)
Authorized by The Who and directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Murray Lerner, My Generation: Who's Still Who is the definitive audio-visual record of the legendary British rock band, The Who. Produced by Spitfire and VH1, (Spitfire's last project was the Peabody Award winning documentary Bob Dylan: No Direction Home") and making its television premiere on VH1, My Generation: Who's Still Who moves from the group's origins as a 1960s schoolboy R&B cover band, through their meteoric rise and artistic breakthroughs. The film also documents the infighting, the breakups and reconciliations, and the untimely deaths of drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle. In addition to never-before-seen private materials released by the group and its fans worldwide, the film includes interviews with prominent witnesses and personal friends. Rare and unreleased concert footage and outtakes are also featured. After its premiere on VH1, the documentary will also air on VH1 Classic.
Making its network window premiere on VH1, Lauren Lazin's Academy-award nominated portrait of Tupac Shakur, Tupac: Resurrection explores Tupac's life viscerally and dramatically-through his own words and music, and through vivid images of the world as he experienced it. The first-ever documentary about Shakur's life created in collaboration with his mother, Afeni Shakur, and Amaru Entertainment, Tupac: Resurrection features never-before-seen concert footage, excerpts from his poetry and journals, and private home-movie material. The documentary features a soundtrack of Shakur's best-selling music, as well as the music he loved and was inspired by. Not merely a celebration of his life and artistry, Tupac: Resurrection explores honestly and openly Shakur's many complexities, examining his artistic gifts, passions and conflicts.
Metal: A Headbanger\'s Journey
Making its television premiere on VH1, Metal: A Headbanger\'s Journey follows 30-year old anthropologist Sam Dunn, who has decided to study the plight of a different culture, one he has been a part of since he was a 12-year old: the culture of heavy metal. Sam sets out on a global journey to find out why this music has been consistently stereotyped, dismissed and condemned and yet is loved so passionately by its millions of fans. Along the way, Sam explores metals' obsession with some of life's most provocative subjects -- sexuality, religion, violence and death -- and discovers some things about the culture that even he can't defend. Shot on location in the UK, Germany, Norway, Canada and the US, this documentary is the first of its kind. It is both a defense of a long-misunderstood art form and a window for the outsider into the spectacle that is heavy metal.
Awesome: I F***in' Shot That (thinkfilm)
Making its television premiere on VH1, Awesome: I F***in' Shot That is an innovative feature film experience. The Beastie Boys handed out 50 cameras to audience members at their sold-out performance in New York's famed Madison Square Garden in October 2004. These 50 different passionate perspectives shot from the point of view of the audience take the viewer deep inside the world of a live Beastie Boys show, prismatically and kinetically capturing the experience of a live musical performance like no film has ever done.
Making its network window premiere on VH1, Fade To Black offers an intimate look at hip-hop artist Jay-Z, aka Shawn Carter, that reveals the multiple Grammy Award winning artist as never before. From his background and rise to fame to the recording of his last album, the film chronicles the legendary concert of Jay-Z's performance at Madison Square Garden in November 2003. In an unprecedented event, a hip-hop artist sold out an arena in only two hours. The event was a spectacular culmination of Jay-Z's recording career prior to his self-proclaimed retirement from solo performing. Yet this one night also defined a musical generation, showcasing the evolution and reach of the world's most popular music genre. Viewers get the rare glimpse of Jay-Z's creative process as he searches for inspiration, poetry, and perfection in his songs. Narrated by Jay-Z, this documentary takes on reflections of his entire musical career and his journey that led to this one astounding, fabled evening -- rightfully called Fade To Black.
Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (Spitfire)
Martin Scorsese's Peabody Award winning, definitive documentary of the legendary singer, Bob Dylan is the first feature length film biography done on the artist. The two-part film, which focuses on the singer-songwriter's life and music from 1961-1966, includes never-seen performance footage and interviews with artists and musicians whose lives intertwined with Dylan's during that time. The film also features previously unreleased footage from Bob Dylan's groundbreaking live concerts, studio recording sessions and interviews. After its premiere on VH1, the documentary will also air on VH1 Classic.
Neil Young: Heart of Gold (Paramount Classics)
Jonathan Demme's highly-regarded documentary making its network window premiere on VH1. Legendary singer/songwriter Neil Young is filmed on the occasion of the world premiere of Young's "Prairie Wind" concert at Nashville's hallowed Ryman Auditorium. Young's music provides an emotionally rich view into this unique artist's relationship to family, friends, mortality, and the passage of time. Young is accompanied onstage by many long time musical companions, including country star Emmylou Harris, Neil's wife Pegi Young, and bandleader/steel guitarist Ben Keith. The documentary will also air on VH1 Classic.