BMG, Fremantle Documentaries, and Warner Music Entertainment announce ‘DEVO,’ the first full-length feature film about the band, to be produced by Vice Studios and Library Films.
BMG, Fremantle Documentaries, and Warner Music Entertainment (WME) proudly announce the upcoming full-length documentary DEVO, the first fully authorized film on the New Wave group. All three companies serve as executive producers and financiers of the film, with all rights available worldwide.
DEVO chronicles the band’s story from their formation in the aftermath of the Kent State massacre, through their years as politically-driven outsiders, to their jump to the top of the charts with their hit, “Whip It.” Currently in production, the film is produced by VICE Studios and Library Films, in association with Mutato Entertainment, and directed by Chris Smith.
Devo formed in 1973, initially as a group of performance artists, disillusioned and radicalized by the shooting at Kent State, where they were students. Their artistry served as a commentary on corruption in the United States, the perceived “dumbing down” of an entire generation through mass media, and the commodification of a poisoned society.
With a mixture of archival footage, interviews from other prevalent characters in their orbit, and a range of storytelling techniques, the film’s inventive narrative aims to parallel the revolutionary creativity for which the band is known. DEVO explores Devo’s evolution from “hippie artistes” to art-rockers with a message, to their surprising mainstream success as pioneers of the MTV age.
“Devo was a huge influence on me,” says director Chris Smith (Tiger King, Fyre, 100 Foot Wave). “Their approach to music, film, video, and art was something I had never seen before and was one of the truly formative artistic influences that showed me there were entirely new ways to look at things.”
The film’s executive producers include William Kennedy, Stuart Souter, and Kathy Rivkin Duam for BMG, Mandy Chang for Fremantle Documentaries, Charlie Cohen for WME, and Mark Pinkus for Rhino Entertainment at Warner Music Group.
Among BMG’s recent films is the highest-grossing documentary film of 2022, Moonage Daydream, chronicling the life and art of David Bowie. Fremantle Documentaries is behind such documentaries as Mrs. America, Kim’s Video, and the fashion history series “Kingdom of Dreams.” WME’s latest projects include Love, Lizzo, American Masters: Roberta Flack, and Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers.