Having watched “Artifact” on VyRT and many times from the download I knew it was a great documentary, but the experience of seeing it on the big screen with a packed house of appreciative viewers is altogether different. For anyone living under a rock the film deals with 30 Seconds to Mars being sued by their record company for 30 million dollars before and during the making of the album “This Is War” and their battle against that corporate oppression.
The screening was first, right on time (thanks goes out to Reni for being so great) and well organized. The serious parts seemed more in-depth and the funny parts were so much more vivid. Sharing the film with so many people who felt exactly the same made the whole experience so enjoyable.
The Question and Answer segment was directly after the end of the movie. Jared was the only one in attendance from the band. He walked out and greeted everyone (putting his hat on and taking it off for everyone’s preference, it ultimately remained off.) At first he was standing and there was the “Artifact” banner in front of the stage. He asked that it be removed because he felt it was annoying. After which he sat down on the edge of the stage like he had invited everyone into his living room. Before he proceeded with talking about the film and then answering questions he talked about people coughing and who was sick. He was in good humor and really funny for the entire session what time he wasn’t being serious about the subject matter. He shared a lot of things from his vacation in Mexico, to having to work directly afterward and traveling so much for work. So personable and gracious, he was a true joy to listen too for the entire evening.
He took a lot of time with his answers and spoke back to each person asking a question. I had the privilege of being able to ask a question and he kept eye to eye contact the entire time he answered it. There was a gambit of questions from “if you knew then what you know now would you have done any specific thing differently?” to “did the stress of the fight cause changes in his inter-personal relationships, like when it showed him and Shannon getting testy at each other?” He admitted at that point that he had wanted to keep that out of the film, but was encouraged to show what kind of affect the stress was really having on him and the others. Then he joked that it was one of the nicer confrontations, that there were much worse moments with slamming doors and such. He spoke of the first time he was told that they were being sued and how it felt when the realization hit him. He said it was the first thing he thought of when he woke up, the last thing he thought of before going to bed and even when he was eating lunch. He shared a secret about a particular part of the filming and said “Shhh, now don’t tell anybody (laughing)” so I’m not. He spoke positively about what label support could do for a band if it was done properly. He also talked about filming “The Ellen Show” earlier that day and how when he was backstage he was fooling around on his guitar and ended up writing a really good song that he feels will see the light of day. There were so many questions and he responded with real forethought to each and every one.
After he begrudgingly finished, stating that the venue was probably going to kick us out if he kept going, the picture session began. Everyone filed in along the wall and up to the area in front of the stage where he posed with each individual. As far as I could tell he said “thank you” to each and every person.
I have been following 30 Second to Mars for 14 years and have had the opportunity to attend many shows and events, but last night was truly one of the most memorable. Thank you Jared for an unforgettable experience.
Jan 9, 2014 @ New Beverly Cinema