EXCLUSIVE: Relativity has acquired U.S. distribution rights to I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, the documentary about international superstar music producer and DJ Steve Aoki. Part punk, part electro, Aoki started a music label out of his college apartment 17 years ago and is now one of the highest-grossing DJ’s in the world. The acquisition comes as the Grammy-nominee has a new album, Neon Future II, being released tomorrow.
Neon Future is the second installment of a double album opus and features collaborations with multi-platinum artists Linkin Park, Snoop Lion and Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, as well as spoken-word pieces by J.J. Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek, Lost) and Kip Thorne (Interstellar).
The film is being produced by Matthew Weaver and David Gelb while Gelb’s business partner Justin Krook makes his directorial debut on the project. Relativity acquired the project in advance of this week’s launch of the Cannes International Film Festival.
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead follows Aoki on his journey to play the biggest show of his lifetime and will tell the story about his complex relationship with his father Rocky Aoki, the Benihana restaurant tycoon and former Olympics wrestler, who succeeded by making his business ambitions his first priority. Always trying to gain his father’s approval, Steve’s worldwide success was bittersweet because he shot to the top after his father died in 2008. However, clearly the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Aoki performs over 300 shows a year, sacrificing all else to become the best. An eclectic supporting cast of music-industry heavyweights already has been interviewed for the feature, shedding life on the hard-driving creative artist. At its core, the documentary is a father/son story about expectations, family, courage and results.
The same team of Weaver and Gelb was behind the critically-acclaimed 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (Magnolia), which follows a similar father/son relationship. In other words, these guys know how to do it, and well.
The first half of Neon Future was released in September 2014 and featured the certified-gold single Delirious (Boneless) with Kid Ink. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead was filmed during the making of the double album.
Weaver produces through his MediaWeaver Productions and Gelb through City Room Creative. Also producing are Matt Colon and Relativity Co-President Happy Walters. MediaWeaver Entertainment has a first-look deal with Relativity Studios.
Executive producers include Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and President Tucker Tooley, Michael J. Mailis of Hyperion Media Group, Hajime Inoue of Parco Co., Ltd and Joanna Shaw.
The deal was negotiated by WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers. International sales for the documentary are being handled by Gregory Chambet and Dimitri Stephanides of WTFilms who will be launching in Cannes.