Metallica Through the Never Debuts at TIFF

From So What! Editor Steffan Chirazi...

September 7, 2013 @ 12:00 PM ET

Good morning!

Welcome to the Toronto International Film Festival, where in 48 hours Metallica Through The Never will enjoy it's world premiere. It's early, it's raining and there's 48 hours worth of media madness to pile through as the corridor of the press hotel are jammed up with reporters of print and screen waiting to talk to Lars Ulrich and Dane DeHaan, the fine men who have agreed to kick off proceedings and get stuck in.

It promises to be a day filled with...well, a lot of the same questions frankly! But the good news is that there are a LOT of press who want to ask those same questions, and as such, everyone is grateful that people are excited to know all about it.

I will be popping my head around the door to catch snippets of the morning's work, grab some photos of Lars and Dane and generally monitor events...and in the spirit of that, here's some photos from the early kick-off!

Back atcha later!


Lars has just walked in the room and the first thing he sees is THIS loiterer of a reporter snapping his photo! NOOOOOOO!!!


Lars and Dane pre-interviews, saying 'Good morning' to each other, eating a Siggi's and discussing movies recently seen...


Moments away from the first interviewer. Lars and Dane will sit in these two chairs for the entire morning, the one in front of them rotating out person after person. It's a bit like a therapist's office except I haven't figured out who the therapist is!


The first interview! Tara from Phoenix! We're off!


September 7, 2013 @ 4:00 PM ET

Well folks, it's half-time here in Toronto at the first of Metallica's multiple media days, and the score is most definitely Metallica 25+, disbelievers (if there are any!) 0! I've been floating between the actual interview room and the corridor outside, and I have to say the overwhelming words are of pleasant surprise at how much Metallica Through The Never has hit said-journalists. One chap, I believe from CNN, was heard to say that 'if you have any struggle or anger in your life, go and see this film immediately!' while others have been effusive with regards to the sheer uniqueness of the film.

Inside the doctor's office/interview room*, the chief medical officers Messers Ulrich and DeHaan were delighted with the cut and thrust of their visiting patients, most of whom displayed keen awareness and enthusiasm. It has to be said that there is ALWAYS an appetite for the rock star, thus quite a few questions revolved around Metallica and Lars (I mean, it is their film but still, some queries were as much about 'the life' as the movie). Probably the coolest guy I personally heard was Patrick Stoner from PBS, who had the most classic of broadcasting voices (Spielbergian if you know what I mean) and mused on the following point which was directed at DeHaan..."So much noise all around you, yet you remain silent throughout..." A fine observation delivered with panache!

Anyway, more as it happens...we're currently engaged in afternoon press, some of print and some of it split up as solos between Lars and Dane, who briefly reconnect in the corridor before being ferreted off to continue engagements. "I just had to do an interview alone without YOU!" sighs Lars at Dane, "I nearly didn't know what to do, I mean, I had to do all the talking..."

*this metaphor is subject to common and frequent change.


PBS guy!!!!!!


September 7, 2013 @ 6:15 PM ET

Well, the second-half went smoothly and seamlessly, save for the traffic jam caused by a Gospel Church flotilla on wheels/parade of folks singing, dancing, giving away religious bookmarks and pushing a few interviews further back in the schedule. Both Dane and Lars went head down into a series of individual interviews for print (as earlier noted) and it seemed like only an hour had passed when Dane was done! Off he went to do whatever DeHaan's with THREE MOVIES AT FILM FESTIVALS do (take a nap I'd hope) and it was only 25 minutes later when Lars strode out from an interview room into a much quieter media corridor and thanked Jeanne Berney from Picturehouse before exiting stage left. The Master & Commander had navigated the good ship Metallica Through The Never through a deluge of excitable yet happy seas, leaving both our Captains to reflect on job well done!* Of course, it's all to do again tomorrow AM, so see you then, as it's now time for me to take in a couple of movies myself!

* See, i told you those metaphors would mutate!


September 8, 2013 @ 11:45 AM ET

EARLY to bed, early to rise... well, part of that rings true in 'Tallica land and I can tell you it isn't the first bit.

Kirk and Rob have rolled into town, with James due in later today, and it's all about TV press... Lars is back in the office with Nimród Antal, and the duo are discussing and debating and conversing with a variety of outlets. Dane was done yesterday, and now it's getting 'Tallica heavy.

Of course, before anything you HAVE to have your make-up done, thus the chaps each came in for the Max Factor touch, and Kirk even found time to pose with a stunning flock of wild Canadian geese, brought specially in to the hotel. More later as things slowly ramp up to the red carpet...


September 8, 2013 @ 12:30 PM ET


Day Two - Half Time
L to R Tony DiCioccio, Nimród Antal, Rob, Kirk, Marc Reiter


September 8, 2013 @ 5:45 PM ET

Well well well, Nimród and Lars certainly have it down...if ever they wanna do a double-act instead of their day jobs, I'd say there's an audience! A combination of biting humor, self-deprecation and sharp commentary ensures that no two reporters get exactly the same interview. A look, a wink, a nod and some facts...plus everyone seems to get their own personal joke to take home! Plus there seems to be a genuine affection between the pair of them, a true understanding...meanwhile, management has entered the building in the shape of executive producers Tony DiCioccio and Marc Reiter and schedules are getting tighter and tighter as Jeanne Berney, Brie Greenberg and Drew from Q Prime maintain the shape of what is a packed schedule where a lunch hour means a lunch HOUR! Oh and probably the biggest thing of the day? Lars has REVEALED THE SECRET OF WHAT IS IN THE BAG!!!!! Drum roll PLEASE.........

"...the Dead Sea scrolls, Steffan's lunch..."

In other words he, like me, like YOU soon enough, doesn't have a Scooby Doo. "I think Dane DeHaan is the only person who knows, and he might take that to his grave..."Lars ponders before pointing at Nimród and exclaiming, "well, I'm sure HE knows but I haven't asked him and he isn't telling."

Nimród continues not to tell, the reporter asks if there might be a sequel and the collective heart rates of DiCioccio and Reiter shoot through the roof as the echo of said-question filter through the wall....

One interesting thing raised today by some foreign press was whether Lars sees a future of occasional in front of camera, or behind camera work? He voted for some sort of work behind the camera in the future...again, and be VERY forewarned, that was LU pontificating on what might happen down the road not what will happen for sure. Oh and yes, Metallica will be getting on with some new music next year. But as he quite rightly points out to one of the last reporters of the day, there's still a ton of work to be done on getting the word out for Metallica Through The Never... and that's a WRAP for today. Tomorrow? Yeah you know it...the heat dials UP as the movie premiere is suddenly upon us. See you in the AM, got to go, we've all got movies to see... BTW, Lars highly recommends Dallas Buyer's Club starring Matthew McConaughy, and was even heard describing it as one of the best films he's seen this year, he also gave a thumbs up to Steve McQueen's 12 Year's A Slave, starring Michael Fassbender...as you'd expect, he's been cramming them in here. The words 'kid-in-a-candy-shop' capture it best.


Rob T aka The Shadow!


"Jeff Bass thinks I don't know he's texting behind my back, but I see all!"


"...seriously, I have no clue what's in the bag!"
P.S. - Before anyone asks, that is a travel mug of hot tea and not a large pint of Guinness


September 9, 2013 @ 11:45 AM ET

Good late-morning folks, and it's been a brief but flurrious (is that a word? yes it is now!) morning of activities revolving around two photo shoots for upcoming national publications (one of which was The Hollywood Reporter). James rolled in last night, so the four horsemen, Dane and Nimrod were all present for their piccies... and according to the band PA Brie, the room was small and the numbers of people copious. It's interesting how frenetic these situations can get, but one thing everyone has had to remember is that this is the FILM WORLD proper, and our boys are all used to the MUSIC WORLD. They are actually pretty different beasts; on the surface the requirements are the same, but deep down they are decidedly not, as film PR requires a different type of press wrangling. Anyway, back to the shoot room which, if it were an elevator on the 10th floor would've plummeted to the basement due to severe overload... let's just give you a brief taste of things right here!

Lunchtime began at 11.30, and if ever there was a day for the chaps to make sure their fortitude is 'up' this is it. Because in a matter of hours... we will be... on the red carpet... and then in the theatre... seeing... Metallica Through The Never... the world premiere... and if you check back in, we will do our best to bring you there too.


September 9, 2013 @ 1:45 PM ET

The afternoon shift is in full swing...media obligations continue but there is certainly an edge in the air, because as I sit right now the premiere of Metallica Through The Never is 4 hours away. The moment is near. Nerves are evident and for good reason amongst many except I mean, without wishing to sound TOO dramatic, this IS the first time the public gets to see the baby, and as any parent knows, that's a moment! In 20 minutes, everyone leaves for the hotel to hunker down, find some quiet time, and prepare for the red carpet.... you know where I'll be...


More prep for more interviews!


IMAX ID...


James: And yeah, so about what's in the bag, it's THIS big and I can tell you it's ________________...
Rob: Oh no, he's only gone and told the guy what 'it' is.
Kirk: Oh bro! You're TELLING him?!!! Hahahahahaha...


September 9, 2013 @ 7:45 PM ET


Leaving... guess the finger!


"...I'm excited to see the movie...I'm excited to see people like the movie. This is the moment...this is the first time I'll be seeing it with people other than folks who work with us...cool..." - James en route to premiere..


Whut? A premiere? Mine? Really?


Marc Reiter and Charlotte Huggins


That elevator... photo by David Bailey!!!!


...and...the carpet was BLACK! NOT RED! BLAAACCKKKKK!...and it wasn't soft! But it WAS metal! So we walked from the elevator...the band stopped for a whole slew of shots with various people...and then BOOSH! Here we are. I'm in my seat. Last on the reserved line, fans next to me...Eve says, "It's like going into a haunted house...you don't know what to expect!" And here we go...

September 9, 2013 @ 9:45 PM ET

It's finished! Eve sitting beside me said she loved it, the audience loved it, VERY enthusiastic!

September 10, 2013 @ 12:45 AM ET

...dinner is being enjoyed and as hard as it might seem to believe, the band is happy and perhaps a touch relieved! Relief you ask? Well, none of us can really know what they went through and what it took to get this film made. And none of us had to raid our piggy banks either. But more than that, they care. Like they do about their albums. Because you always hope people like what you're doing. THAT'S a simple human instinct...and the Scotiabank IMAX roared its approval loud and proud...


September 10, 2013 @ 1:00 PM ET

The morning after the night before...the baby has been born and seen by the first few hundred members of the public, with last night's Toronto International Film Festival screening of Metallica Through The Never having not just happened but happened to some pretty thunderous responses. It did, as you'd expect of a premiere, host Messers Lars, James, Kirk and Rob along with director Nimród Antal, producer Charlotte Huggins and Dane DeHaan. And the overriding feeling, it's fair to say, is probably one of relief, simply because now it's 'out' and rolling. Personally I find it tough to relate to the relative anxiety management and even production had shown and felt, but that's probably because I was not invested up to the eyeballs in it...so to see those folks relaxing and agreeing that it is a movie to be proud of was quite something.

The audience loved it. Before the movie started, a lady called Eve sat next to me and declared that she had 'no idea' what to expect, that she would treat the experience like 'going into a Haunted House' in terms of not knowing what to expect. Afterwards, she was delighted, blown-away and 'loved it'...people stood up and rocked out sometimes, people cheered, people gasped at some of the more gruesome narrative, and after the standing ovation, some of the questions were really funny. Such as 'what's in the bag, a new Metallica album?' and the audience suggestion that the guys should consider touring the 'Full Arsenal' show around the place once the movie has settled (let's just say there's been a back burner on low heat for a while in that regard).

Most of the guys had not seen the full version in it's IMAX entirety, and suffice to say, they were delighted with the end result. And as I watched, my consistent feeling of it's absolute uniqueness was under-scored tenfold. You will not have seen anything like this. Ever. And though I am not a twitter kinda guy, let me try and give this to you in 140 characters or less:

A vehemently voluminous, visceral, venomous and volcanic eruption of molten Metallica married to marvelous malevolent murderous mayhem...IT'S EXPLOSIVE!

It's all that and more...look, just do yourself a favor and make sure you see it in IMAX. And make sure you support this unique creative adventure by signing up early and buying advance tickets online. Yeah yeah yeah, I know 'he works for them what else is he going to say!', well trust me, if it wasn't worth every penny of the ticket price I wouldn't set myself up for the potential ridicule by telling you to buy a ticket now. So TRUST ME when I tell you to buy a ticket now. I'm not bullshitting. It's that good. Yeah...that good...but enough editorializing and back to last night, which wound up with a private dinner back at the hotel before some snuck off to a party thrown by E1 Entertainment.

...but don't be fooled! Nothing schedule-wise has abated. Everyone's been up and rolling, doing more national mag photos, more press and answering more questions about the movie...it continues from here to Berlin,to Moscow, back to San Francisco, to New York, to Austin, to Montreal, and so it will go on, turning, twisting, through the NEVER!

To be continued...

Steffan Chirazi
SW! Editor


Go on...there's room for one more...honest!!!!


THE GANG ON THE RED (errrr) BLACK CARPET!!!!!!!!


The battery of photogs right outside the theater entrance just off the red, err, BLACK, carpet!


PRE-FILM INTRODUCTION WITH ROB IN THE LIGHT!


...AND BLACKENED IS ON-SCREEN AS THE VERY FIRST PUBLIC SHOWING COMMENCES IN TORONTO...


NO, THIS IS NEITHER MY SHAKEY HAND OR A SPECIAL EFFECT...IT IS WHAT ONE OF THE OPENING SCENES LOOKS LIKE WITHOUT 3D GLASSES!!!!!!


...just in case you wondered who did the score...


Rob (in the shadows) speaking post-screening...


SHARING A LAUGH WITH THE AUDIENCE AT THE POST-FILM Q&A...


A happy, shirt-wearing fan leaving post-premiere...there were plenty of smiles, some dazed and confused expressions PLUS some ears with licks of smoke curling out (that last bit might not be strictly, strictly true!)...