From the makers of such heavy metal documentary films as Heavy Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, and Global Metal comes Iron Maiden: Flight 666, a film following the latest tour of the acclaimed metal band. The film, as described by co-director Scot McFadyen, is both a behind-the-scenes expose of the band on tour and a medley of live performance clips from the tour.
‘We love rock documentaries,’ McFadyen said. ‘We just wanted this one to be more of an experience of what it’s like to be with the band on tour. It was a worldwide tour that went to 11 countries in 45 days and travelled 75,000 kilometres – all on this refurbished 757 plane, which was the first time a band [did that]. On top of that, lead singer Bruce Dickenson was one of the pilots.’
McFadyen admits that he and co-director Sam Dunn are big Iron Maiden fans, and as such, he calls the experience of documenting the tour a daunting one, citing the logistical challenges of filming a band on and off the stage compared with the relative ease of compiling interviews that was part of his previous documentary work. Another aspect that McFadyen says he found daunting was the added pressure he felt that came with being a fan of the band he was filming, but it also may have motivated him to create a better film.
‘We are fans, so it’s not that different than Martin Scorsese doing a movie about the Rolling Stones,’ he said. ‘We came at it with an approach as fans, so in some ways it’s a celebration of Iron Maiden.’
Although McFadyen describes Flight 666 as having no direct threads of continuity with his previous documentaries, calling the film a ‘stand-alone,’ he credits the popularity of A Headbanger’s Journey and Global Metal with giving himself and Dunn the ability to win over the trust of members of Iron Maiden for the film.
In terms of any implied progression, McFadyen describes his previous films as general explorations of the heavy metal genre and, along with his upcoming efforts – including a doc on the Canadian rock band Rush and a proposed doc series for VH1 similar to A Headbanger’s Journey – Flight 666 delves into the microcosmic aspect of metal by examining one band.
The worldwide, single-day theatrical release for the film (just before it comes out on DVD on May 26) is set for April 21 – dubbed ‘Maiden Day’ by the film’s promoters – and McFadyen is confident about how Iron Maiden fans will receive the film.
‘I think they’re going to orgasm, really,’ he said. ‘Honestly, I’ve seen everything that Iron Maiden has put out and this [film] is leaps and bounds beyond anything that they’ve done visually.’