Directed by Bernard MacMahon (American Epic) and co-written and produced by Allison McGourty, the film chronicles band members Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and the late John Bonham.
The movie will reveal the individual journeys of the four members of the band as they move through the music scene of the 1960s, playing small clubs throughout Britain and performing some of the biggest hits of the era, until their meeting in the summer of 1968 for a rehearsal that changes their lives forever. Their four journeys merge into one as they set out to conquer America on a rollercoaster ride that culminates in 1970 when they become the No. 1 band in the world.
Producers of the movie say it is the first time the surviving band members have participated in a documentary in 50 years. Altitude Film Sales and Submarine Entertainment will be co-repping sales.
MacMahon said: “With Becoming Led Zeppelin my goal was to make a documentary that looks and feels like a musical. I wanted to weave together the four diverse stories of the band members before and after they formed their group with large sections of their story advanced using only music and imagery and to contextualize the music with the locations where it was created and the world events that inspired it. I used only original prints and negatives, with over 70,000 frames of footage manually restored, and devised fantasia sequences, inspired by Singin’ In The Rain, layering unseen performance footage with montages of posters, tickets and travel to create a visual sense of the freneticism of their early career.”
MacMahon’s debut film, American Epic, won the Audience Award at the Sydney International Film Festival and his musical The American Epic Sessions won both the Audience Award and Discovery Award at the Calgary International Film Festival and a Grammy.
The Venice Film Festival runs September 1-11.