"Wacken 3D", a no-holds-barred exploration of the legendary Wacken Open Air, the biggest heavy metal festival of the world, will premiere in German cinemas on July 24. Director Nobert Heitker's feature documentary, shot in July and August of 2013, by producer and director of photography Tomas Erhart in stereoscopic, "true" 3D, gives audiences a chance to experience Wacken — the fans, the music, the unique atmosphere — in the most intimate way.
Wacken is a true one-off. Beyond description. Every year, for three days in August, a sleepy farming village in the middle of the Northern German countryside becomes the epicenter of the metal universe. Almost 75,000 metal heads from around the globe invade the Wacken Open Air to pay homage to the greatest bands of the international metal scene.
The first Wacken Open Air in 1990 attracted less than 800 attendees but since then it has grown every year. Now it is the biggest open air festival of its kind. Tickets are sold out within days — long before all of the participating bands are announced.
Much has been written and documented about the festival. But what exactly makes Wacken so special? What gives it its magic — its soul? It is hard to answer these questions in mere words or anecdotes. If you want to understand Wacken you have to experience it.
"Wacken 3D" allows audiences to do precisely that, taking them right into the thick of it. Norbert Heitker, Tomas Erhart and their team covered last year's complete Wacken Open Air around the clock, using 18 state-of-the-art 3D cameras. The film goes way beyond the POV of the normal festival attendees. It takes the audience backstage to meet the bands before they perform, watching the faces of thousands of excited fans, feeling the crowd-surfing up close. The cameras cover through the metal battles and the oompah music of the "Wacken Firefighters." And, of course, an intimate portrait of the festival fans — their stories, their outifits, their tents, and how they party.
Norbert Heitker has many years of experience under his belt, directing music films and commercials. He has won numerous awards and accolades, including two Echos for films with the bands RAMMSTEIN and DIE ÄRZTE.
"Wacken 3D" is produced by Tomas Erhart of Jumpseat 3D Plus Germany, who is also the director of photography, and Stefan Schubert of Wüste Film. The production is backed by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmförderung Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein, Filmförderungsanstalt and Deutscher Filmförderfonds.
"Wacken 3D" is being distributed by NFP marketing and distribution.
The Wacken Open Air 2013 festival was held from August 1 to August 3. The team shot the footage for the film from July 22 to August 5, 2013 (production period).
Wacken Open Air was the subject of the 2006 award-winning documentary "Full Metal Village" from Korean-born, Germany-based director Sung Hyung Cho, who looked at the sharp contrasts and strange connections between sleepy village life in Wacken and the annual long weekend of heavy metal madness.