ANVIL Filmmaker Speaks

indieWIRE recently conducted an interview with Sacha Gervasi, who directed "Anvil! The Story of Anvil", a mockumentary-like true account of fiftysomething Canadian heavy-metal practitioners Robb Reiner and Steve "Lips" Kudlow who, after a desultory European tour with their band ANVIL, decide to record a 13th album in a final attempt to fulfill their boyhead dreams of stardom. The film will debut in the Premieres section of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, which runs January 17-27, 2008, in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.

A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

indieWIRE: What prompted the idea for "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" and how did it evolve?

Gervasi: I think the idea for this film hatched somewhere around 1982. I went to see this amazing band called ANVIL play at the Marquee club in London, and were known as the "demi-gods of Canadian metal" back then. I met them after the show and they invited me to roadie for them on a tour the following summer. It was possibly the greatest time of my life. I toured with ANVIL a few more times during the '80s but eventually we lost touch... [Then] I met them again a couple of years ago. It had been twenty years since we'd last seen each other. The band had never made it but they'd never stopped trying. I knew pretty quickly there was a film there.

indieWIRE: Elaborate on your approach to making the film...

Gervasi: My approach to making the film was to surrounded myself with the best people I could find who would work for free and just go for it. I had no idea what I was doing, only an instinct. I followed that mercilessly.

indieWIRE: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in developing the project?

Gervasi: The biggest challenge was in trying to make a compelling singular narrative out of hundreds of hours of footage. We could have made six films, but at the end of the day, there was only one story [producer] Rebecca Yeldham and I wanted to tell. The film could never have been made without her. She is a natural wonder. A director could never in a million years dream up a better person to produce their film.

indieWIRE: What are your specific goals for the Sundance Film Festival?

Gervasi: I'd like to see as many films as possible while I'm at the festival as well as to celebrate ours. ANVIL are still trying to understand why I made this film about them. I hope that at some point during the festival they will begin to!

indieWIRE: How do you define success as a filmmaker?

Gervasi: Success as a filmmaker to me is knowing inside that it's good no matter what others think or how well it does or doesn't do. At the end of the day, it's about making a film you love that you want to see and I know this is one I will look back on and be proud to have made. Moving forward, I only want to direct films I actually give a fuck about. If you're coming from the heart, you can't fail really — whatever it is that you're doing.

Read the entire interview at www.indiewire.com.

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