Director BRENDAN MALLOY Discusses The METALLICA 'St. Anger' Music Video

July 31, 2003

Brendan Malloy, who co-directed METALLICA's "St. Anger" video at San Quentin prison with his brother Emmett, recently spoke to about the experience of working with the biggest heavy metal band in the world on this highly unorthodox shoot.

"We tried to strip it down and make the video about them, really give it an organic feel," he said.

"We submitted a treatment, but the band's manager who we had worked with in the past approached us [about doing the video]. Shooting a METALLICA video in prison could easily look like an '80s rock video. We wanted to take more of a documentary approach and capture the emotion and grittiness of a prison.

"There were three different cameras going and a majority of the footage we used was shot on a bolex. Emmett and I and the camera man walked around and approached each prisoner one on one and shot them in their environment. For a lot of the prisoners in the video it was their first day there and you could really see that in their face, the fear and the anticipation of going somewhere like San Quentin. I don't think that we could have pulled off with any other band but METALLICA. There was a sense that you had to be accepted by the prisoners because we are going into their home. At first a lot of the prisoners were stand-offish to the crew almost as if we were their to exploit them, but when they heard it was a METALLICA video they were all lining up to be in it.

When asked if the band brought their own bodyguards, Malloy said, "for the entire band there was only one bodyguard. A lot of the time we were heavily outnumbered but we empowered the prisoners and a lot of them were even a part of the crew. I think because of that they were more accepting. There were situations we were in the cellblock with four hundred guys and something very easily could have happened. Make no mistake about it: everyone was scared at all times because these were guys that were life inmates who have nothing to lose. We didn't know how they were going to respond, we couldn't tell them what to do, if they wanted to be a part of it they could. We would go into the cell block and say 'If you want to be in the video stand over the edge and watch METALLICA, if you don't want to be in the video stay in your cell.' The guards were saying that we would get about fifty percent participation, but as they started playing every single person in the entire cell was watching! The inmates had so much respect for METALLICA that the band was taken by the prisoners and you could tell it was something very powerful for them. Never once throughout the entire day was there ever an incident or ever anyone saying anything derogatory. They were completely accepting and that's all due to the respect they have for METALLICA." Read more.

Find more on
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).