Jared Leto is a man of many talents; he is an actor, having starred in both big-budget productions and small indie projects alike, as well as a musician, song writer, and singer, perhaps best well known in this aspect for fronting his band, Thirty Second To Mars. The band made it big with their album and single, “This Is War.” The album, while a huge success, was also a source of strife and trouble for the band, as their record label, Virgin/EMI, sued the artists for $30 million on the grounds of a “breach on contract” having to do with the album. The bandmates turned this crisis on its head, however, by retaliating in a unique way; they made a documentary.
Jared Leto, along with his bandmates Shannon Leto and Tomo Miličević, are out to reveal to the world just how barbed and thorny the music industry can be for musicians. Leto took it upon himself to create, record, and direct the documentary, titled “Artifact,” which recorded all the intimate details of the battle with EMI for the band’s custody over their creative and financial freedom.
On the topic of the film, Leto had this to say; ”I’m excited to share our insight on how this business really works. We get down to the nitty-gritty. We talk about this business inside and out and reveal quite a few things I think people will be shocked to realize. I think we made the right decision. Sometimes you have to fight in order to be free, and we did exactly that. We fought for what we knew was right, what we knew was fair. We were sued by EMI, but we didn’t let that intimidate us.”
Leto does not, however, consider himself a crusader in the fight against the music industry at large. In fact, he was quoted as saying, “I’m not anti-record company, I’m just anti-greed. I think that record companies and corporations in general can treat audiences and artists fairly and still make a ton of money, which is what they’re designed to do, make money — that’s what corporations are built for — and to service shareholders and stockholders.”
The film was released on iTunes, and has been a huge success. The piece won the 2012 Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice documentary award, and has soared to a strong #2 place on iTune’s list of most popular documentaries.[Image courtesy of Jared Leto’s official Twitter.]