Review: ARTIFACT (30 Seconds To Mars Documentary, 2012/2013)

Mittwoch, 18. September 2013

Release date(s): September 14, 2012 (Toronto Film Festival)
September 14/15 2013 (Download and DVD)

Running Time: 103minutes
Starring: Jared Leto 
Shannon Leto
Tomo Milicevic

ARTIFACT is a film produced by front man of 30 Seconds to Mars and actor, Jared Leto, and Emma Ludbrook. The film shows how the music industry actually works. Never getting a penny for all the albums they've already (at the time) sold worldwide, 30 Seconds to Mars were sued for $30 million dollars by their record label out of nowhere and the band fought back. During their war with EMI, the film shows how 30 Seconds to Mars continued to work on their "new" album at the time, This is War, while basically saying "fuck you" to their record label. 

   Maybe I should start of by saying that I've known 30 Seconds To Mars since 2006/7, at first I wasn't really that big of a fan as I wasn't that much into their type of music at that time, but as the time moved on and they released their third album This Is War, I fell in love and so became a so called "Echelon" and This is War being one of my favorite albums till this day.
   While watching this documentary I tried to see it from a more "Non-Echelon" perspective, as I wanted to be able to review it for you guys without letting myself get influenced by fan-feelings.

   Anyway, at first I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch this movie as I wasn't sure if I want to spend $14.99 for it but on Sunday I finally decided that I will buy, download and watch it. I wasn't quite sure what I was expecting from this documentary. I knew that it was about the time when they got sued by EMI for $30 million dollars but that was all I knew.
   I was positively surprised that ARTIFACT is actually 103minutes long, as I somehow, at first, feared it might be much shorter and therefore not so much worth the $14.99 BUT after watching I can honestly say that it is more than just worth spending your money on it.
   This movie has a lot to offer in terms of information’s, explanations and music
(and beautiful men, hihi). The viewer gets a very simple explanation on how having a record deal with a record company works in terms of who gets the money from the albums sold and so on. I found the things one gets to know from this documentary more than just shocking. I have to honestly admit that I always lived with the thought that artist swim in money from the records they sell and so on, but it turns out the only people that swim in money are the people at the record labels who have completely nothing to do with the creative process whatsoever.
   The movie also features a lot of examples of bands that either sued their label or were sued by their label, like The Beatles, Prince, Metallica or Incubus. I found it more than just absurd that bands had to sue their labels in order to get any money from their sold albums, and also all those little extra things you agree on without even knowing they are there/still there.
As example: When vinyl records came the labels had a "breakage" clause which means that they would take money from the artists for that, which stayed over the time when CD's came and is there still now where we mostly have digital downloads which, as we know, cannot break. Just like they had a "Packaging" thing where you, as in the artist, had to pay for the nice little plastic covers in which CD are, and this packaging thing is still in the contracts even though digital downloads don't need no packaging.
   Like all the people who were interviewed during the documentary said: There is no contract in which the artist would not get screwed over by the label.
   Another thing I found interesting was simply to see how the band produced their album, seeing the process and also the possibility to listen to earlier recordings. I always wanted to know how the whole recording thing looks like and now I have my answer, more or less.
   But coming back to the problem with EMI that the band had, I found it interesting that the band let us, the viewers, listen to some of the phone calls that they had with their lawyer and manager, let us participate in the meetings with them and just have such a big look into the whole case.
   I honestly think that this documentary is one of those few documentaries that everybody should see, as it is really interesting and informative for everyone, not only the fans of the band.
   After watching this documentary I have a completely different way of looking at artists and everything they do. As an example: When 30 Seconds To Mars set up the VyRT thing which made live streams from special events with the band possible, I was very skeptical as to why one had to pay like $9.99 for it. Yep, I am the type of fan that is always skeptical but in the end my curiosity won and I watched two of the events and they were actually worth it. After watching the movie I almost feel bad for being so skeptical about the $9.99, I mean no wonder that they charge money for it as they somehow have to recompense for the money they put into setting the whole VyRT thing up and investing into the equipment and all.
   Towards the end of the documentary the viewer gets some more little info’s like that to "this day" (2012 I guess) EMI was saying that Mars owes them still $1.7 million dollars and that till "this day" they didn't see a cent from the money that was earned from the solo albums, which is just sad and makes one angry, doesn't it?

   All in all I think this documentary is very interesting for everybody who is interested in the music business, in becoming an artist themselves and, of course, for all the fans. I really enjoyed the way the documentary was made and how all the info was presented. The movie is very enlightening and shows you the true side of the music business and how greedy it really is. This documentary is definitely more than just worth the $14.99.

                      My rating: 5/5 Stars

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen