We’ve yet to have a chance to speak with our pal Chris Adler about the impending Lamb of God film, but we’re hoping to soon.
Chris has been so busy, he hasn’t had time to update us with some Adler Chatter, but in the meantime, an interview has surfaces with the director of “As The Palaces Burn.”
Don Argott began filming for the film in 2012 and concluded work on it in March of 2013.
“As The Palaces Burn” was conceived as a documentary about the power of music and its impact on cultures around the world and its ability to bring together people of all nationalities, regardless of religious or political differences. But then Randy Blythe went and got arrested on bogus manslaughter charges, and the direction of the film shifted.
Argott was asked by Empire how far along he was into the making of the documentary when Blythe was detained in Prague:
“We were in the phase where we were done shooting and we were putting the film together. But as soon as we got the phone call [about Randy’s arrest], I was like, ‘Well, we’ve got to get to the Czech Republic!’ In the first day or two, there was a lot of uncertainty about how this was going to shake out: the vibe was that it was a big misunderstanding and a blip on the screen, and the band might only end up canceling one festival date. Once it was clear it wasn’t going to be that easy, I really pushed Larry [Mazer, Lamb’s manager] that it should be a big part of the film.
“Everybody was very hesitant, because obviously it’s a nightmare situation and this is only a movie. When you make documentaries, so much of it has to be about walking that line between being in the right place at the right time but also respectful to the situation. That’s tricky to navigate, so a lot of it is based on trust, and the idea that your subject knows what you’re trying to achieve and you’re not trying to be exploitative. So I was respectful of that, but I was also like, ‘What are we doing here? This is a big opportunity! We should be jumping on this!’
“We had developed a really good relationship with Larry and the band up until this point, and since Larry’s office was so close, I really wanted to go and interview him and talk about what was going on. He didn’t want to agree to that, kept insisting that he wasn’t going to do it, so in the end we just fuckin’ showed up. That’s the scene that’s in the film where he’s on the phone. Two days later [producer] Sheena Joyce hired a cameraman in the Czech Republic just to cover the arraignment part. And then Randy was in jail, and at that point we had the sit-down discussion about how we were actually going to proceed with the film.
“I spoke to all the guys in the band individually, as friends first of all, just to gauge what they thought, and the feeling was that it was Randy’s call: if he was okay with us making these events part of the film, then they were okay with it. But no one could get to Randy because he was in fuckin’ prison! It wasn’t like I could shoot him an email. We had to tread very lightly.
“A week or two into Randy’s incarceration, I went over to the Czech Republic with the band’s lawyer Jeff, and Randy’s wife Cindy, and I brought the camera just to see what I could get. I didn’t film a whole lot on that trip, but Cindy and I hung out, and what came out of that trip was Randy’s agreement that this was important and we should keep documenting as part of the film. Once he was on board, everybody else was more open to talking to us. From that point on I was around as much as I could be, in Virginia with the band and in the Czech Republic. Much like every documentary, there was no blueprint: it was just organic. Life happens and you suddenly wake up and find you’re making a different film to the one you thought you were making.”
Read more of what Argott had to say about the film — which I can’t wait to see — here.
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