“Mission To Lars”, the film about a learning disabled man, Tom Spicer, and his transatlantic quest to find his hero, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, will hit North American theatres, and will be available via VOD (Video On Demand), starting September 25.
Lars Ulrich is a heavy metal god with his own jumbo jet. Tom Spicer lives in a care home in Devon and has Fragile X Syndrome. Tom has a dream, to meet his hero, to meet Lars. His siblings promise to make it happen, with hopes of good times and bonding. But what starts out a dream soon becomes a nightmare as Tom’s disabilities, a dysfunctional family, and heavy metal’s labyrinthine backstage world thwart the mission at every turn. But as they get closer to Lars, Tom the man starts to shine.
After 20 years and 10,000 times of asking his journalist sister, Kate, when he was going to meet Lars, she finally cracked. This moving documentary film that looks beyond disability, and uncovers the soul of a very cool guy. Kate and filmmaker brother, William, break Tom out of his care home in Exmouth, and hit the road, from Bristol, to Heathrow, to Los Angeles, to Las Vegas and beyond.
Mission To Lars was made by William Spicer and James Moore. Both were veterans of music and brand promos, but complete movie novices.
"We had this fantasy of hitting the road with Tom and recreating some of the magic of our teenage years cruising around in £100 cars, eating Burger King and listening to heavy metal on the tape deck," says Kate. "We thought it would be fun, bonding. We wanted to do something good for our brother. We were also sick of him endlessly asking."
The film has three goals: entertainment, awareness raising and fund raising. All profits go to Mencap, and the film has charity status. In raising money for the film, the producers also raised over £25,000 for Mencap. The film's initial cinema release was used as an outreach opportunity with talks and events following every screening. Many people, from color graders, sound mixers, Bob Dylan, screening rooms and the production assistant have given their talent and/or time for free.
"Mission To Lars"'s profits will continue to be paid to Mencap for as long as the film has a life, DVD, international sales, etc.
Mencap have been closely involved in the making of the film. Their belief is that the film, in an entertaining and universally understood way, tells the story of the confusing family dynamics around learning disability, and portrays Tom as a complex and likeable character, and not as someone one sees first as learning disabled and everything else second.
Metallica will start a short series of European shows in Bergen, Norway on August 20, following which they’ll play two special concerts in Quebec City next month before headlining Rock In Rio on September 19.
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