And the Beat Goes on With 'VH1 Rock Docs'
'The U.S. vs. John Lennon,' 'The Last Days of Lisa Lopes,' 'DMC: The Real Me,'
and a Four-Hour Definitive History of Heavy Metal Lead the List of VH1's All
New Franchise of Music-Based Documentaries
NEW YORK, Oct. 3 -- VH1 will launch "VH1 Rock Docs," an all
new slate of high-end feature-length programs in 2006. Each of the docs will
reveal an untold story in the history of rock and hip-hop music, combining
never-before-seen footage with a unique and unconventional narrative approach.
The documentaries will tell some of the most unique stories of the artists and
music from a wide range of genres, styles, and musical perspectives. The "VH1
Rock Docs" slated for premiere in 2006 include "The U.S. vs. John Lennon,"
"The Last Days of Lisa Lopes," "DMC: The Real Me," and a four-hour definitive
history of heavy metal. Additional documentaries will be announced shortly.
"This new franchise is a living dynamic visual history of some of the most
important artists and movements in popular music," said Brian Graden,
President of Entertainment, VH1 and MTV. "By tapping into the sounds of each
decade and creating unique ways to tell these stories, we're confirming our
commitment to being the destination for adults who are passionate about
"John Lennon, Run DMC, and TLC were the voice of their generations. The
music that sprung from them defined whole decades," said Michael Hirschorn,
Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, VH1. "This kind of
filmmaking is important to our viewers and important to VH1."
The U.S. vs. John Lennon
"The U.S. vs. John Lennon" is set for a theatrical release in 2006 through
Lions Gate Films. The film, co-produced with Lions Gate Films
(http://www.lgf.com) and LSL Productions (http://www.lslproductions.com),
tells the story of John Lennon's transformation from beloved musical artist to
anti-war activist to iconic inspiration for peace, and recounts the story of
the U.S. Government's efforts to deport him. This feature-length documentary,
by filmmakers David Leaf and John Scheinfeld, has the support and cooperation
of Yoko Ono. The film covers the period of 1966-1976 and includes rare and
unique audio/visual archival material. "The U.S. vs. John Lennon," will also
show that this was not just an isolated episode in American history, but that
the issues and struggles of that era remain relevant today. Most recently,
Leaf wrote and directed "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of
SMiLE and Scheinfeld" wrote and directed the just-completed "Who Is Harry
Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)."
The Last Days of Lisa Lopes
Produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Lauren Lazin, this
documentary filled with exclusive and never before seen footage captures the
final month in the life of Lisa Lopes, who was killed three years ago in a
tragic car accident. Charismatic and complex, Lopes rose to fame as the
hip-hop voice of TLC, the best-selling R&B group of all time. She documented
her final days in journals and private home movies shot at her spiritual
retreat deep in the jungle of Honduras. During this month Lisa reflected on
her triumphs and mistakes with an eye towards the spiritual transformation she
so desperately sought. What emerges is an intimate and surprising journey
into the soul of a beautiful, talented and still-provocative artist.
DMC: The Real Me (title tbd)
Three years ago, hip-hop pioneer and Run-DMC co-founder Darryl McDaniels
made a startling discovery: he found out he was adopted, and that his birth
mother was of Dominican descent. Suddenly everything he thought he knew about
himself was wrong. The event triggered an existential crisis and a search for
his true identity. It also led to a spiritual awakening -- a transformation,
as he says, from 'B-Boy' to 'B-Man.' Now DMC takes the next logical step in
his journey of self-discovery: he attempts to track down the family he never
knew he had.
Heavy: The Story of Metal (title tbd)
What Ken Burns did for jazz, VH1 does for heavy metal -- only a lot
louder. This four-part documentary traces the evolution of heavy metal music
and culture from Black Sabbath to White Zombie, from Led Zep to Def Lep, from
Motorhead to Mastodon. In the same vein as VH1's critically acclaimed 2004
hip-hop chronicle, "And You Don't Stop," this documentary series will use
interviews, verite moments and vintage footage to bring metal's history to
life, told from the perspective of the musicians, promoters, writers and fans
who have kept metal's flame alive for four decades.
VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to
them most with series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and
public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 87 million households in the
U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital services including VH1 Classic, VH1
Soul, VH Uno, VH1 Mega Hits and VH1 Country. Connect with VH1 at
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International Inc. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures,
licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen
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