''Iron Maiden: Flight 666'' is a concert documentary film featuring the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The film follows the band on the first leg of their Somewhere Back in Time World Tour between February and March 2008, during which they travelled on their own customised Boeing 757, Ed Force One, which used the call-sign "666". ''Flight 666'' is co-produced by Toronto-based Banger Films, known for their documentaries ''Metal: A Headbanger's Journey'', ''Global Metal'' and ''Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage''. The film was shot in high-definition video with accompanying 5.1 surround sound produced by Kevin Shirley (who has worked with the band since their 2000 album ''Brave New World''). It was distributed by Arts Alliance Media and EMI (except in the US, where it was sub-distributed by D&E Entertainment) in select digital theatres on 21 April 2009.

Synopsis and background

''Iron Maiden: Flight 666'' documents the opening leg of the band's Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, which took place between February and March 2008. During this leg of the tour, the group travelled 50,000 miles (encompassing India, Australia and North and South America) in just 45 days, performing 23 shows in 13 countries to half a million fans. To achieve this, the band travelled in their own Boeing 757, nicknamed "Ed Force One" after the band's mascot, Eddie, which was specially converted to carry the band, their crew and twelve tonnes of equipment. The aeroplane was largely piloted by the band's lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, who was then employed by Astraeus Airlines. According to Dickinson, who came up with the idea, Ed Force One meant they could visit countries where "The bean counters said it's just not worth going" and allowed them to "do an almost European-type itinerary, but an on inter-continental basis". As a result, the band were able to perform in Costa Rica and Colombia for the first time. The aircraft was flown under the call-sign "666", a reference to their 1982 single "The Number of the Beast", which provided the film's title. Despite the technical aspects behind the tour, the documentary is predominantly about the group's fans, with Dickinson commenting that "Two-thirds of the film is not about us". Scenes shot in South America are particularly focused on the audiences, where Reuters report that they are "venerated like football stars", while ''The Daily Telegraph'' state that the film makers "elicit tearful eulogies" from those in Costa Rica and Colombia, then seeing the band for the first time. Dickinson asserts that the band's relationship with their fans is "the real story of Maiden", and the fact that this is the film's primary theme "is the way it should be". The documentary was written, directed and produced by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn, using their production company, Banger Films. McFadyen and Dunn requested permission to shoot the film as soon as the tour was announced, which they received with just two months left to prepare. Despite the fact that the film makers had been acquainted with Iron Maiden while working on their first two documentaries, 2005's ''Metal: A Headbanger's Journey'' and 2007's ''Global Metal'', some band members were initially mistrustful of the venture and were wary of having their privacy invaded. Although Dickinson and drummer Nicko McBrain were the most comfortable with the filming, bassist Steve Harris and guitarist Adrian Smith took longer to adapt, while guitarist Janick Gers largely ignored the crew until the final week. Following ''Iron Maiden: Flight 666'', the band worked with Banger Films once again on their 2012 live video, ''En Vivo!''.

Theatrical showings

The film's world première took place at the Cine Odeon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 14 March 2009, during the final leg of the band's Somewhere Back in Time World Tour. The UK première took place on 20 April 2009 at the Kensington Odeon in London. The following night, the film was screened simultaneously on over 450 screens in 41 countries globally. Distributed by Arts Alliance Media and EMI, with D&E Entertainment sub-distributing in the US, ''Flight 666'' was shown in a 2K digital format, with 5.1 surround sound mixed by the band's producer, Kevin Shirley. The screenings on 21 April were very successful, with Arts Alliance Media reporting that it was the largest simultaneous worldwide release of a documentary film. This led to additional showings in some territories, such as in India, where it was released on 8 May by PVR Pictures, and Australia, where it was screened from 30 April to 6 May. At the UK box office, the film grossed £84,276 (US$123,886), while making $74,134 in Australia and $35,173 in Russia CIS, totalling $233,193 from the three territories tallied.


''Flight 666'' was welcomed by overwhelmingly positive reviews from the music press and general media. Rock and metal magazines ''Kerrang!'' and ''Metal Hammer'' each gave the movie full marks, with ''Kerrang!'' referring to it as a "unique peek behind the Iron Curtain" that was "not to be missed" and ''Metal Hammer'' calling it a "continent-jumping, fire-breathing monster of a film". Outside the music media, ''The Sun'' gave it 4.5 out of 5, calling it an "outstanding Access All Areas documentary" and going on to say that "if you're not a fan, you will be after this". ''Empire'' gave it 4 stars and felt that the behind the scenes antics were interesting, despite lacking in drama when compared to Metallica's ''Metallica: Some Kind of Monster'' and ''Anvil! The Story of Anvil'', and that the concert footage is "magnificent". ''Flight 666'' won the "24 Beats Per Second" award for best music documentary at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, Music DVD of the Year at 2010's Juno Awards, and Best DVD at the 2009 Metal Storm awards.

Home media

''Iron Maiden: Flight 666'' was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 25 May 2009 by EMI. In North America, it was issued on 9 June and by Universal Music Enterprises in the US. In addition to the documentary film, the video contains the full sixteen song setlist from the Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, with each track recorded at a different venue. Alongside the DVD and Blu-ray, a double CD soundtrack album was released simultaneously, featuring the same track listing as the video concert footage. The DVD and Blu-ray release was particularly successful, peaking at No. 1 in 22 countries including the UK and US.

Soundtrack and concert footage track listing





;Album ;Video


Production and performance credits are adapted from the Blu-ray, DVD and soundtrack album liner notes. ;Iron Maiden *Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals *Dave Murray – guitars *Adrian Smith – guitars, backing vocals *Janick Gers – guitars *Steve Harris – bass, backing vocals, co-producer (concert audio) *Nicko McBrain – drums ;Additional musicians *Michael Kenney – keyboards ;Film production *Scot McFadyen – producer, writer, director *Sam Dunn – producer, writer, director, narrator *Rod Smallwood – executive producer, band manager *Stefan Demetriou – executive producer *Andy Taylor – executive producer, band manager *Victoria Hirst – co-producer *Martin Hawkes – director of photography *Lisa Grooten Boer – editor *Wendy Hallum Martin – editor *Mike Munn – editor ;Concert audio production *Kevin Shirley – producer, mixing *Jared Kvitka – assistant *Ryan Smith – mastering *Dave Pattenden – live audio recording *Ian Walsh – assistant *Johnny Burke – assistant *Tony Newton – assistant ;Additional personnel *Peacock – art direction, design *John McMurtrie – photography *Hangman – stage design


External links

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''Iron Maiden: Flight 666''
at BBC Online {{Iron Maiden Category:2009 films Category:British films Category:Canadian films Category:English-language films Category:Concert films Category:Iron Maiden video albums Category:Documentary films about heavy metal music and musicians Category:Documentary films about aviation Category:Films shot in Chile Category:Live heavy metal albums