Last night, March 19th, the second LA screening of “Artifact the Film” took place at the New Beverly Cinema. It started a little late because of some projection problems, but they were sorted out eventually. I noticed many return faces in the crowd from the first screening and in fact later Jared asked how many people had been to a previous screening and a majority raised their hands. Erika, Julie and I were second row in the center again (seems to be our spot).
To reiterate for anyone reading about Artifact for the first time (although if you are on my Tumblr or Twitter I’m not sure how that could be) the film is about the struggle 30 Seconds to Mars had with their record company, EMI, after being sued for 30 million dollars. It documents and depicts that arduous battle and also the creation of the “This Is War” CD. Although the detail was with 30 Seconds to Mars it was also an eye-opening depiction of how musicians are treated as a whole by the corporate machine.
After the film concluded and a short break Jared came out onto the stage to a standing ovation that he waved off graciously (he sat in a chair this time instead of on the floor and there were two security guards, I guess things really do change when you win an Oscar). He apologized if he ended up being a bit scattered, but that he had just arrived from Russia about four hours earlier. He asked if anyone was following the uprising in the Ukraine (where the band had been previous to the shows in Russia) and Russia. He then chronicled how he had openly addressed the situation to the crowd in the Ukraine and how once they arrived in Russia they were instructed on what to not say there or they may never play in that country again. He said there for awhile he didn’t know if they were going to get to even play the scheduled shows. He wanted the people to know that they should still follow their dreams whether they were for love or freedom or peace. He did appear very tired and measured his words quite a bit, almost to the point of zoning out a few times.
At the first screening he answered many questions, but this time only about five or six, two of which were asked by a 9 year old boy named Jett. Jared enjoyed the interaction with him and called him by name several times calling Jett his new friend in the end. By the second question Jared teased him that he was being coached by his mother because the questions were very articulate for a kid.
When Jared was talking about the changes in music like going from albums to just putting out individual singles and going from buying physical CD’s to streaming music he noted that most of us wanted albums to continue because the majority were “older”, at which time he covered his eyes and said “don’t worry I won’t look right at you”. He talked about the audiences in Europe being a lot younger on average, putting himself in our category.
Someone congratulated him on winning the Oscar and he said he had already damaged it and his wall since he hit the statue on the wall going up to his bedroom and the thing put a dent in it. He said the night he got it he managed to put a long scratch down the back of it. He then kidded that the thing was so smooth at first and polished gold, but he managed to kill it. He said he meant to bring it, but being fatigued he forgot it in his kitchen.
Jett asked him if he always knew he wanted to be a musician and he said early on he wanted to be a painter because he thought it took some sort of magic to be a musician or singer. He then learned later that he could apply the same work ethic to music as he applied to the rest of his life and that’s when he pursued it. He said in order to be in the creative arts you had to really be compelled beyond a reasonable doubt because it was truly a hard life full of unbalanced situations. Then he referred to “Sisyphus” (also the name of Jared’s film company) and asked if anyone knew the story about him and proceeded to explain that in Greek mythology he was a king that was punished for his deceitfulness and compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down and to repeat this action forever. He said if you didn’t have that massive love and determination for your craft not to do it. He said everyone thinks he has such an ideal life, but it couldn’t be further from the truth, that in fact anyone who would trade lives with him would surely trade back within two weeks time.
He was asked if he ever felt like giving up and he said that if he hadn’t gone through the adversity in his life that all the great things that resulted would never have come to pass. He likened it to the film “Mr. Nobody” and how your choices mold your life and who you are. He said that most times adversity results in success like being the first to film in China’s forbidden city where they made the video for “From Yesterday” and selling millions of records and selling out arenas and touring the world and even winning an Oscar. That without each step he took none of those positive dreams would have ever become reality.
After the conclusion of the Q&A he again stood for pictures with every individual and he was as gracious, funny and kind as before.
My friend Julie said she loved any interaction with the band like the meet and greets at the shows, but this setting was by far her favorite because Jared made the whole experience seem so intimate. I must agree with her, it is an experience of a lifetime with a man you will never forget. Anyone vacillating about attending any future screenings I advise you, do not hesitate. It will be a cherished memory for the rest of your life.
Again, Jared thank you for a wonderful evening. You are truly One of a Kind.