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Iron Maiden: Flight 666

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 is a concert documentary film featuring the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The film follows the band on the first leg of their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour between February and March 2008, during which they travelled on their own customised Boeing 757, Ed Force One, which used the call-sign "666".

Iron Maiden: Flight 666
666poster 800.jpg
Directed byScot McFadyen
Sam Dunn
Produced byScot McFadyen
Sam Dunn
Written byScot McFadyen
Sam Dunn
StarringIron Maiden
Music byIron Maiden
CinematographyMartin Hawkes
Edited byLisa Grootenboer
Wendy Hallam Martin
Mike Munn
Production
company
Banger Films[1]
Phantom Music Management[1]
EMI[1]
Distributed byArts Alliance Media
EMI
D&E Entertainment (US)
Release date
  • 21 April 2009 (2009-04-21)
Running time
113 minutes[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Canada
LanguageEnglish
Box office£84,276 (UK)[3]
US$74,134 (Australia)[4]
US$35,173 (Russia CIS)[4]

Flight 666 is co-produced by Toronto-based Banger Films, known for their documentaries Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Global Metal and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. The film was shot in high-definition video with accompanying 5.1 surround sound produced by Kevin Shirley (who has worked with the band since their 2000 album Brave New World). It was distributed by Arts Alliance Media and EMI (except in the US, where it was sub-distributed by D&E Entertainment) in select digital theatres on 21 April 2009.

Synopsis and backgroundEdit

 
Ed Force One, Iron Maiden's personalised Boeing 757, was used as transport for their tour and features prominently in the film

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 documents the opening leg of the band's Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, which took place between February and March 2008.[5] During this leg of the tour, the group travelled 50,000 miles (encompassing India, Australia and North and South America) in just 45 days, performing 23 shows in 13 countries to half a million fans.[5][6] To achieve this, the band travelled in their own Boeing 757, nicknamed "Ed Force One" after the band's mascot, Eddie, which was specially converted to carry the band, their crew and twelve tonnes of equipment.[6]

The aeroplane was largely piloted by the band's lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, who was then employed by Astraeus Airlines.[7][8] According to Dickinson, who came up with the idea, Ed Force One meant they could visit countries where "The bean counters said it's just not worth going" and allowed them to "do an almost European-type itinerary, but an on inter-continental basis".[8] As a result, the band were able to perform in Costa Rica and Colombia for the first time.[9] The aircraft was flown under the call-sign "666", a reference to their 1982 single "The Number of the Beast", which provided the film's title.[5]

Despite the technical aspects behind the tour, the documentary is predominantly about the group's fans, with Dickinson commenting that "Two-thirds of the film is not about us".[8] Scenes shot in South America are particularly focused on the audiences, where Reuters report that they are "venerated like football stars",[9] while The Daily Telegraph state that the film makers "elicit tearful eulogies" from those in Costa Rica and Colombia, then seeing the band for the first time.[5] Dickinson asserts that the band's relationship with their fans is "the real story of Maiden",[10] and the fact that this is the film's primary theme "is the way it should be".[8]

The documentary was written, directed and produced by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn, using their production company, Banger Films.[2][1][9] McFadyen and Dunn requested permission to shoot the film as soon as the tour was announced, which they received with just two months left to prepare.[5] Despite the fact that the film makers had been acquainted with Iron Maiden while working on their first two documentaries, 2005's Metal: A Headbanger's Journey and 2007's Global Metal, some band members were initially mistrustful of the venture and were wary of having their privacy invaded.[5] Although Dickinson and drummer Nicko McBrain were the most comfortable with the filming, bassist Steve Harris and guitarist Adrian Smith took longer to adapt, while guitarist Janick Gers largely ignored the crew until the final week.[9] Following Iron Maiden: Flight 666, the band worked with Banger Films once again on their 2012 live video, En Vivo!.[11]

Theatrical showingsEdit

The film's world première took place at the Cine Odeon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 14 March 2009, during the final leg of the band's Somewhere Back in Time World Tour.[12] The UK première took place on 20 April 2009 at the Kensington Odeon in London.[13] The following night, the film was screened simultaneously on over 450 screens in 41 countries globally.[14] Distributed by Arts Alliance Media and EMI, with D&E Entertainment sub-distributing in the US,[15] Flight 666 was shown in a 2K digital format, with 5.1 surround sound mixed by the band's producer, Kevin Shirley.[16]

The screenings on 21 April were very successful, with Arts Alliance Media reporting that it was the largest simultaneous worldwide release of a documentary film.[15] This led to additional showings in some territories,[15] such as in India, where it was released on 8 May by PVR Pictures,[17] and Australia, where it was screened from 30 April to 6 May.[18][19] At the UK box office, the film grossed £84,276 (US$123,886),[3] while making $74,134 in Australia and $35,173 in Russia CIS, totalling $233,193 from the three territories tallied.[4]

ReceptionEdit

Flight 666 was welcomed by overwhelmingly positive reviews from the music press and general media. Rock and metal magazines Kerrang! and Metal Hammer each gave the movie full marks, with Kerrang! referring to it as a "unique peek behind the Iron Curtain" that was "not to be missed" and Metal Hammer calling it a "continent-jumping, fire-breathing monster of a film".[20][21] Outside the music media, The Sun gave it 4.5 out of 5, calling it an "outstanding Access All Areas documentary" and going on to say that "if you're not a fan, you will be after this".[22] Empire gave it 4 stars and felt that the behind the scenes antics were interesting, despite lacking in drama when compared to Metallica's Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and Anvil! The Story of Anvil, and that the concert footage is "magnificent".[23]

Flight 666 won the "24 Beats Per Second" award for best music documentary at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas,[24] Music DVD of the Year at 2010's Juno Awards,[25] and Best DVD at the 2009 Metal Storm awards.[26]

Home mediaEdit

Iron Maiden: Flight 666
Video & live album by
Released22 May 2009
9 June 2009 (North America)
Recorded1 February - 16 March 2008
VenueVarious concerts throughout the first leg of the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour
GenreHeavy metal
Length113 approx. (film)[2]
101:28 (concert)[27]
LabelEMI
UMe (United States)
ProducerKevin Shirley (audio)
Iron Maiden video chronology
Live After Death
(2008)
Iron Maiden: Flight 666
(2009)
En Vivo!
(2012)
Iron Maiden live albums chronology
Death on the Road
(2005)
Flight 666 - The Original Soundtrack
(2009)
En Vivo!
(2012)

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 25 May 2009 by EMI.[28] In North America, it was issued on 9 June and by Universal Music Enterprises in the US.[29] In addition to the documentary film, the video contains the full sixteen song setlist from the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, with each track recorded at a different venue.[30] Alongside the DVD and Blu-ray, a double CD soundtrack album was released simultaneously, featuring the same track listing as the video concert footage.[31] The DVD and Blu-ray release was particularly successful, peaking at No. 1 in 22 countries including the UK and US.[32]

Soundtrack and concert footage track listingEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [33]
Disc One
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."Churchill's Speech" (1 February 2008)  0:43
2."Aces High" (1 February 2008)Steve Harris1984 ~ Powerslave4:49
3."2 Minutes to Midnight" (7 February 2008)Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson1984 ~ Powerslave5:57
4."Revelations" (9 February 2008)Dickinson1983 ~ Piece of Mind6:28
5."The Trooper" (16 February 2008)Harris1983 ~ Piece of Mind4:01
6."Wasted Years" (22 February 2008)Smith1986 ~ Somewhere in Time5:07
7."The Number of the Beast" (19 February 2008)Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast5:07
8."Can I Play With Madness" (24 February 2008)Smith, Dickinson, Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son3:36
9."Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (14 March 2008)Harris1984 ~ Powerslave13:41
Disc Two
No.TitleWriter(s)Original AlbumLength
1."Powerslave" (26 February 2008)Dickinson1984 ~ Powerslave7:28
2."Heaven Can Wait" (2 March 2008)Harris1986 ~ Somewhere in Time7:35
3."Run to the Hills" (28 February 2008)Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast3:59
4."Fear of the Dark" (7 March 2008)Harris1992 ~ Fear of the Dark7:32
5."Iron Maiden" (9 March 2008)Harris1980 ~ Iron Maiden5:26
6."Moonchild" (12 March 2008)Smith, Dickinson1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son7:29
7."The Clairvoyant" (4 March 2008)Harris1988 ~ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son4:38
8."Hallowed Be Thy Name" (16 March 2008)Harris1982 ~ The Number of the Beast7:52
Total length:101:28

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Album
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[66] Gold 40,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Video
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[67] Platinum 8,000^
Australia (ARIA)[68] Platinum 15,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[69] 5× Platinum 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[70] Gold 6,046[70]
France (SNEP)[71] Platinum 15,000*
Germany (BVMI)[72] Platinum 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[73] Gold 2,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[74] Gold 25,000^
United States (RIAA)[75] Platinum 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

CreditsEdit

Production and performance credits are adapted from the Blu-ray, DVD and soundtrack album liner notes.[2][27][76]

Iron Maiden
Additional musicians
Film production
Concert audio production
  • Kevin Shirley – producer, mixing
  • Jared Kvitka – assistant
  • Ryan Smith – mastering
  • Dave Pattenden – live audio recording
  • Ian Walsh – assistant
  • Johnny Burke – assistant
  • Tony Newton – assistant
Additional personnel

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit