Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster:Metallica: Some Kind of Monster has been acquired by IFC Films for U.S. theatrical distribution as part of a unique partnership with the hard rock band Metallica. This new distribution strategy could expand the audience for specialized films, further integrating art-house audiences with mainstream fans.
The film, which is owned by Metallica, was directed and produced by acclaimed documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky and Executive Produced by Berlinger, Jon Kamen and Frank Scherma of @radical.media. Jonathan Sehring (President of IFC Entertainment), Sarah Lash (Director of Acquisitions) and filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky made the announcement from New York this morning.
The distribution agreement is a strategic venture between Metallica, IFC, Paramount Home Video, and filmmakers Berlinger and Sinofsky, in which the filmmakers’ Third Eye Motion Picture Company will take on a significant role in the worldwide distribution effort, in consultation with the band and their management, Q Prime. The filmmakers and the band agreed to pursue an unusual way of managing the release of Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, opting for a more unconventional approach in which Metallica will oversee and pay for all of the marketing costs. As part of the deal, IFC plans to match Metallica’s P & A funds and partner in the endeavor.
IFC will work closely with the band and the filmmakers on the US theatrical release, and Paramount will distribute the film on video in a deal that was struck directly between Berlinger and Paramount Home Entertainment. Berlinger also negotiated the deal with IFC’s Sarah Lash. International deals are currently being negotiated with over a dozen foreign markets planning theatrical releases in close proximity to the U.S. Those territories include Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Brazil, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Japan, among others.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster played to sold-out enthusiastic crowds at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and met with high critical acclaim for noted documentary filmmakers Berlinger and Sinofsky. The pair are Sundance alums, having scored the Audience Award in ‘92 for Brother’s Keeper and premiered the acclaimed Paradise Lost in ‘96. A highlight of this recent festival was a satellite appearance and Q&A session by Metallica (from Australia, where the band was touring) where members of the press addressed questions to the band.
"Berlinger and Sinofsky are no strangers to distributing their own work," said Cliff Burnstein, Metallica’s co-manager. "Since they had marketing savvy from self-distributing their previous films, we felt that the band could have a higher level of input into how the film is marketed if we created this partnership. We have a terrific opportunity to bring this incredibly personal film to a rock audience as well as the art-house crowd, working with great minds from both worlds."
Jonathan Sehring stated, "It’s not just distribution-by-numbers any more. There are ways in which to work with filmmakers and films that are unique and interesting to us. This is an exciting opportunity to embark upon a true partnership: a business and creative endeavor where success is in the best interest of all parties. We are all striving for the same goal and each have an investment in it being realized."
"It’s an almost unprecedented opportunity to bring together the resources of the world’s most successful hard rock band with savvy distribution partners such as IFC and Paramount," said Berlinger. Added Sinofsky: "It’s very exciting to know that we will have a direct impact on the success or failure of this movie."
"Metallica has always defied the rules in just about everything it does. Why should it be any different with this film?" said Metallica’s drummer Lars Ulrich.
The filmmakers followed Metallica's every personal and professional move as they embarked on the tumultuous creation of their Grammy-winning album St. Anger. Berlinger and Sinofsky were allowed near-limitless access to the band's creative process, business maneuvers and heated debates. Most astonishing is the presence of group therapist Phil Towle, who is brought on to help the band communicate more openly and productively.
In life and in their intense group therapy sessions, subjects are raw, unpredictable, sometimes salacious, and run the gamut from substance abuse to their controversial crusade against Napster. James Hetfield (lead singer/guitarist), Lars Ulrich (drummer) and Kirk Hammett (lead guitarist) are ever present and offer a warts-and-all view of their process and relationships. Also key in the doc are veteran producer Bob Rock, and Robert Trujillo who replaces longtime bassist Jason Newsted. Berlinger and Sinofsky shot 1,600 hours of footage and were present for some of the most turbulent times of the band's history - intense clashes between Hetfield and Ulrich, Hetfield's five-month leave for rehab, which left the band's future in doubt for nearly a year, and the complicated, bittersweet process of replacing Newsted.
"This is one of the rawest films I’ve ever seen," stated Sehring. "It’s not just about Metallica as a band, but really how these men relate to each other. That’s what makes it so interesting. The moments captured are utterly real. We have such respect for Joe and Bruce as filmmakers and specifically what they’ve accomplished in this film.
"We feel that directorial and creative freedom are essential," Sehring added, "We have always believed this at IFC and we’re a perfect home for Joe and Bruce. The fact that they are also going to be directly involved in the marketing of the film further embodies that mandate."
"We are excited to have secured home entertainment rights for Some Kind of Monster," said Thomas Lesinski, President, Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Home Entertainment. "The filmmakers and the band have created a terrific behind the scenes view of what it takes to make a hit record."
The theatrical release is planned to coincide with Metallica's upcoming North American tour, creating synergy between the rock and art-house communities as the film arrives in many U.S. cities where theatrical docs are a rarity.
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster marks the fourth feature-documentary collaboration between Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. Their previous films, the self-distributed Brother's Keeper and Paradise Lost, as well as their Revelations: Paradise Lost 2 have won critical acclaim around the world.