March 1, 2002
Eagle-eyed viewers of the Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, DVD will have noticed that filmmakers, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, mentioned in their biographical section that there was a future project centered around Metallica. It's all true. At the invitation of the guys, Berlinger and Sinofsky were invited to start filming the band writing and recording, as well as gaining unprecedented access to their private worlds, starting last April. Nothing has been off-limits, meaning the duo have amassed hundreds of hours of footage embracing everything from Phil Towle sessions to 2 am riffs, and there's a lot more to be done. "We've only shot 30 or 40% of it, so Joe and I would be hard-pressed to define the project because it's constantly changing," says Sinofsky. "We told Cliff (Burnstein) when he asked what kind of film it's going to be, 'why don't you ask Lars, James and Kirk what kind if of album it's going to be?'"
Berlinger, Sinofsky and Metallica first met each other when the duo were making 'Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills' about the three West Memphis teenagers who were accused, and convicted of, a murder many feel they didn't commit. Berlinger and Sinofsky cautiously asked if they could use some Metallica music in the film (at the time the band hadn't consented to such requests before) and were warmly surprised to find that the band agreed and refused to charge a fee so supportive did they feel of the project. "It was really very, very cool of them," remembers Sinofsky, "and they supported the follow-up too. It was really the start of a deep and personal relationship which has grown between us all."
It's therefore no surprise to hear that Berlinger and Sinofsky first approached Metallica about a project centered around them five years ago. "They weren't ready to be completely open back then," explains Sinofsky. "They said when they were ready they'd come to us, and they have. And Joe and I are extremely excited. It's looking very intimate, very personal and I think it will excite the band too. Joe said early on that if we were going to make a film we wanted to know we were going to get access. If we look at one of our films and realize that other people could've got it, then we've failed."
The last few months will also be documented in the final cut, even though it was hardly expected by the filmmakers. "Joe and I have dealt with some really difficult subject matter," says Sinofsky. "You don't wish bad news on anyone, but it unquestionably makes for drama and you're there to capture it. So the band going through some flux and some growing pains is the kind of material a filmmaker prays for. Of course, on a personal level you don't want people to go through their tortures and dealing with their demons, but ultimatley for the Metallica fan, they will see things they've never seen before. And to quote Joe, 'I think right now we hit upon an amazingly important band going through some amazing changes."