P!nk, Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, and Ozzy Osbourne might seem to have little in common especially in terms of sound, but in truth they all have at least one commonality not often considered: their use of “hired guns” or back-up musicians who often go nameless and faceless to the general public. Now, a new feature-length documentary “Hired Gun: Out of the Shadows, Into the Spotlight” featuring these elite virtuoso musicians who have helped define many artists, aims to change all that.
Much in the vein of the 2014 Academy Award-winning doc “20 Feet from Stardom,” “Hired Gun” gives a behind the scenes look at the demanding lives these often unheralded and crucially important musicians lead with grueling tours, demanding session schedules and the difficulties backing up some of the most iconic musicians on the planet can present.
Now, thanks to a partnership between Vision Films and Fathom Events, “Hired Gun” for the first time is coming to theaters across the country for one night, June 29, with a special Q&A and other added materials.
The film features a platoon of players including Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel), Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne), Phil X (Bon Jovi), Justin Derrico, Mark Shulman (P!NK), Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch), Ray Parker Jr. (Ghostbusters), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Eric Singer (KISS), John 5 (Rob Zombie), Glen Sobel, Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Steve Lukather (Michael Jackson, Toto), Steve Vai (David Lee Roth), Paul Bushnell (Katy Perry), Jay Graydon (Steely Dan), Derek St. Holmes (Ted Nugent), Chris Johnson (Rihanna), music producer David Foster, and featuring Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie among others.
The film was executive produced by one of its own in Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Jason Hook. “The most important goal in any creative project is to make sure you touch a nerve in the heart of the audience,” Hook said in a statement, “and our aim with ‘Hired Gun’ is to rip the nerve out of your chest and throw it in a blender! We are stoked about our one-day theatrical event and allowing music fans across the country to come out and experience it.”
“Hired Gun” has already screened a number of festivals, including SXSW Festival, Glastonbury Festival, MIFF, Calgary International and Noise Pop but the June 29 showing will mark its theatrical debut.
“The music fans who come out to see it should expect an immersive experience with exclusive extra content produced specially for the event,” the film’s director Fran Strine stated. “It’s a music documentary with passion and talent at its core, digging deep and ripping the curtain back to expose what it’s really like to tour and record with the legends.”
The movie was filmed in 4K, sound mixed at Skywalker Ranch by Emmy Award-winning mixer Scott R. Lewis, and contains original music and live performances by the hired guns which was recorded at the legendary East West Studios and mixed by Grammy-nominated producer Johnny K.
The film’s original score was composed by The Crystal Method.
“The soundtrack is amazing,” Lise Romanoff, the managing director/ceo of Vision Films, stated. “The audience will end up with an appreciation for how much energy and spontaneous raw talent these extraordinary musicians have.”
Fathom Events CEO John Rubey, added: “This event will allow moviegoers the rare chance to experience ‘Hired Gun’ on the big screen while surrounded by fellow passionate fans.”
Tickets are available for purchase at Fathom Events.