Film Statement

Film Statement

Heavy metal and hard rock music have been life long love of mine. From the time I bought my first Australian metal CD – Allegiance’s Destitution, I was hooked. My interests have always been varied – from punk and hardcore to metal, stoner rock and grunge. Bands like AC/DC, Toe To Toe, Testeagles, The Mark of Cain and Cog have always interested me in Australia. Internationally I’ve loved a variety of bands from Soundgarden, Helmet and Alice in Chains to Slipknot, Soulfly, Sick of it All, Tool, Refused and Fear Factory. Lately bands like Psycroptic, Black Mountain, Frankenbok and the Nomad Nipples have interested me.

My other great passion is filmmaking and I’ve had a huge interest in music in film since the beginning. Oliver Stone’s “The Doors” was the reason I went to film school. Over the years many rock documentaries have had a huge impact on me. Four films stand out; Lemmy, Malfunkshun, Anvil: The Story of Anvil and Metal: A Headbangers Journey. All great films that shed light on a person, genre, time period or chronicled the history of a scene.

Nick Calpakdjian

Nick Calpakdjian

While I wouldn’t say I’m part of the metal scene in Australia at the moment, I haven’t even lived in Australia for the last 2 years, I am a fan. And for me, being a fan is what being involved in metal is all about. You either love metal or you don’t. There’s not much room for in between. But I don’t think a filmmaker needs to be physically installed in his/her subject. Some distance is good for the process.

In July 2012, I was sitting back thinking of what my next project could be. I’d just completed editing the documentary “Trafficked – The Reckoning” and my first feature film as editor and co-producer “A Guerra da Beatriz” was drawing to a close. I’ve been involved in many important and high rating films but still yet to join my passion of film and music together. When I saw there was a film in production on a legendary Australian band – The Cosmic Psychos, I thought, there are so many great bands in Australia that have left a mark on many different people. And they deserve their time in the limelight.

When I began looking into the history of metal in Australia I uncovered some interesting characters and important moments in time that are probably largely unknown outside of the metal scene. I also noticed that there is a strong camaraderie amongst bands, fans and industry figures. And of course there is conflict and drama. Bands form, rise and break up. Others are forever changing members and/or styles. Some bands never make it but influence those around them that do, all qualities that make for a great story.

I believe a film documenting the history of heavy metal in Australia is long overdue. As Simon Lukic (Musically Incorrect – Triple R FM) told me, “Australia has one of the most devoted and exciting heavy metal scenes in the whole world. A film highlighting this fact is not just long overdue it’s a necessity.” I couldn’t agree with him more.

This film will be from eyes of the characters that make metal in Australia what it is today. From record label managers, radio hosts, magazine publishers and band members, to fans, bloggers and filmmakers, Metal Down Under will introduce you to a world you either didn’t want to know existed, or have been a part of all your life.

Nick Calpakdjian

Producer / Director

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