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Sacha Gervasi

GervasiSacha Gervasi is a British director, screenwriter, and journalist. His screenwriting credits include The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg. Gervasi’s directorial debut, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, a documentary about an aging Canadian metal band for whom he was a roadie in the early 1980s, is being released on DVD tomorrow.

TMN: What caused you to reunite with Anvil and decide to make a film?

Sacha Gervasi: Some of my best memories as a teenager were the time that I spent with Anvil, but as I grew up we fell out of touch. I always wondered what happened to the guys and just decided one day to do a search for them on the internet. I was amazed to see that the band was still together, still playing, and still recording albums (they had recorded 12 at that point). I was able to get in touch with Lips through their web site, and before I knew it he was on a plane to visit me in Los Angeles. When I picked him up at the airport it was as if no time had passed at all. And when I saw that Lips still had the same passion and drive for Anvil as he did 20 years ago, I knew there was a story that had to be told.

TMN: The film comes across as so much more than a music documentary. Do you flinch at people referring to it as a rockumentary, and comparing it to Spinal Tap?

SG: No, not at all. It’s a natural comparison. In fact, Spinal Tap is Anvil’s favorite movie!

TMN: What makes you irrationally angry?

SG: The first Duran Duran album.

TMN: Has the success of the documentary bought a new level of success for the band? Was this your hope when you began filming?

SG: The great thing about the film is that it has given a whole new generation of people the opportunity to discover Anvil for the first time—and now things are really taking off for the band. They recently opened three shows for AC/DC! I always hoped that the movie could bring some new success for Anvil, but I never could have anticipated that it would reach this level.

TMN: In one of the finest moments of reflection, after tour disasters in Europe, Lips remarks, “at least there was a tour for it to go wrong on.” Was this sense of optimism something you were keen to highlight?

SG: Absolutely, it’s what keeps Lips and Anvil going. They have this unbelievable ability to look at things in a positive light no matter how dire the situation, and I think that’s something we can all learn from.

Gervasi's officeTMN: What is your favorite object in your office/workplace?

SG: I think this photo speaks for itself.

TMN: I understand you’re working on a biopic of Hervé Villechaize—the French actor who played Mr. Roarke’s assistant, Tattoo, in the television series Fantasy Island. Will it have a similar feel to The Story Of Anvil in the way that you present an untold story?

SG: It is obviously a very different story, but I think there will be similarities in the raw nature of the story and because it is based on fact. It is a side of the Herve Villechaize story most people don’t know and I’m excited to start making the movie!


TMN Editor Mike Deri Smith is no gourmet, he just has an abnormally large stomach. He lives in London. More by Mike Deri Smith

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