GODSMACK's SULLY ERNA To Attend Mini CineFest 2024 Screening Of Documentary About His Life

April 9, 2024

GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna will attend a special screening of "I Stand Alone: The Sully Erna Story", a film based on his life story, this Thursday, April 11 at 7 p.m. for the Mini CineFest 2024 at Look Dine-In Cinemas in Glendale, California. Tickets can be purchased now at mini.ticketbud.com.

"I Stand Alone: The Sully Erna Story" was made available in November via Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video. Based on Erna's memoir, "The Paths We Choose", which came out in 2007, the 98-minute documentary was written and produced by Sully, with additional writing, production and editing by Noah Berlow and writing, production and directing by Troy Smith.

During a recent appearance on "The Mistress Carrie Podcast", Sully stated about "I Stand Alone: The Sully Erna Story": "The feature documentary that they've been working on, it's been six years in the making. And the reason why it took so long, first of all, is because as you know, we grew up in a similar era, back then, we're talking about '70s, '80s, even some of the '90s, we didn't have cameras on our cell phones and accessibility to cameras in general; they were this big. So a lot of the stories that were told from my life growing up in the streets of Lawrence [Massachusetts] from the time I was born until I got a record deal, a lot of those years just don't have footage to support the stories. So we had to really be careful about how we re-enacted these stories and whether you just find stuff online — generic scenes that match the theory of the story — or whether we actually had to shoot that content and make it believable enough so it wasn't cheesy, 'cause a lot of those things can really come off weak. So that was what took the most time, was just trying to have visuals to support the narrative."

He continued: "[The documentary is] basically a blip of my book, and the book is really a blip of my real life. 'Cause you can only fit so much information in 90 minutes. And so the documentary is 90 minutes, but it's based on 30 years of my life pre-GODSMACK. So, [it was] hard to do. And then you kind of have to find the thread that weaves through the whole story and that kind of thing, and, like, what is this story? What are we actually putting out on this documentary? And it became about perseverance, really. I think it's a story about perseverance. It's about one boy's journey growing up in some very challenging times in a very challenging city and going off through those obstacles to try to survive and then make something of yourself, and music really became the thread that saved my life so many times and got me to where I needed to be in life and with my career. But getting there is just a real motherfucker. I think people underestimate how hard it is to make it in this industry. I probably believe maybe actors and actresses go through the same thing when you're out there and you just have to starve yourself and sacrifice everything and focus with blinders on to get there. So it's about that. It's not the GODSMACK story. It's about my years from the time I was born until I got a deal, and it ends as things are starting to go in the direction of finding my record deal and my career."

Regarding the actor who plays him in the documentary's re-enactment scenes, Erna said: "He was very timid. It was his first time ever acting, first of all. So I called up a good friend of mine, Angela, who is the owner of Boston Casting, and she helped me assemble the cast for the people that I needed to support the main stories that we were talking about in the documentary. And I liked his look a lot. His hair looked just like mine when I was younger. It was all frizzy and curly and crazy. But he had never acted. So I was, like, 'Ah, man. This is gonna be tough.' But he really stepped up and he just kind of followed great direction and he did a good job. And I was really happy. And, of course, I'm gonna be the most critical about the re-enactment stuff, because it was my life. I remember the scenes. I know what they looked like. I know how they played out. I know the emotion. But to get these kids these days, because some of those really gnarly stories in the documentary were based on the '80s, for instance, and we were teenagers, so we had to find kids in that age group. But the difference is that when we were teenagers, we were fearless and we were tough. And to get kids today who are growing up in a much different generation that are not so confrontational and things like that… They couldn't even believe some of the stories when I was directing them: 'Okay, here's the deal. I pulled out a shotgun. I pointed it to this kid's face. This dude came down with me on a knife. And the kid's going, like, 'What the fuck? That happened? Are you serious? This is ridiculous.' I'm, like, 'This is all based on true shit.' And so we're trying to recreate these fight scenes and things like that. And these kids just, they weren't angry enough to deliver it. So we had to keep shooting it until we were, like, 'You've gotta think about a knife coming at you and the fear in your eyes.' And so it was interesting to kind of direct the new generation, but I've gotta tell you, I'm real proud of all of them. And they did a phenomenal job. And for me to be convinced of the recreation footage says a lot. It's about as close as to how I remember it in real life. So people will get a good perspective on that stuff."

A trailer for "I Stand Alone: The Sully Erna Story" can be seen at this location.

For more information, visit thesullyernastory.com.

Back in May 2019, Erna confirmed to the "TODDCast Podcast" that while a documentary about GODSMACK was on the back burner, he was prepping a film based on his own life story. Erna explained: "I am fan of rock documentaries, and just recently I've been getting into 'em. I though the FOO FIGHTERS did a great job. I've watched a bunch of them. It's not even rock — sometimes it's just real documentaries on artists. The Amy Winehouse one was great; Whitney Houston's newest one was really good. I got into the story of Kurt Cobain, and then the FOO FIGHTERS was great. METALLICA's 'Some Kind Of Monster' was amazing. I like a lot of that stuff too."

Erna continued: "As far as us, we're not doing a proper GODSMACK documentary right now — we think it's just a little bit early for that — but I am releasing a documentary on my life story, from zero until we get a record deal, to show people the path that I took and the struggles I faced and things like that. So we're working on that now."

Erna previously told Tampa, Florida radio station WXTB/98 Rock that his documentary would be "kind of based on my book that has a lot of GODSMACK elements in it as it gets toward the tail end of it, because it goes from the time I was born and it's all the struggles I went through up until I got a record deal and it kind of ends there."

Erna's memoir, "The Paths We Choose", came out in 2007. At the time, he described it as "a snapshot of the first 30 years of my life." He told The Pulse Of Radio back then that it happened almost accidentally. "I never planned on writing a book," he said. "It was one of those things that just became a hobby. When I was on the road, I would be writing stories out as I talked to my friends on the phone and realized that some of these stories were so insane, I'm not sure if I would have believed some of them unless they had happened to me. And then the more I wrote out these stories, I started organizing them in the order of dates, and the more I did that, I started realizing I was writing a book."

Photo credit: Chris Bradshaw

📽️🎞️ LOS ANGELES, CA there will be a SPECIAL SCREENING of “I Stand Alone” the Sully Erna story THIS THURS, APRIL 11 at...

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