Rock docs are a dime a dozen; sometimes it feels like every artist who’s ever picked up a guitar will eventually be lionized by a panel of their peers, sitting down for talking head interviews about what makes their second album so special. How often, though, does the camera turn to the unsung heroes of the business, the people helping your favorite axman find his ideal sound? That’s the mission of The Pedal Movie, which shines an overdue spotlight on the history of effects gear and the humble technicians who build it. At last, roadies, guitar wonks, and stompbox nerds have their own No Direction Home!
The Pedal Movie is the first feature-length documentary from Reverb, the Chicago-based online marketplace for musical instruments. The film includes interviews with everyone from Billy Corgan to Peter Frampton to Steve Albini, alongside tech-wiz trailblazers in the fine art of making a guitar do that awesome wah wah thing. That the movie might be aiming for a slightly more knowledgeable and specific demographic than your average music-doc profile is reflected in the pull quotes it’s secured. They come not from us painfully uncool and virginal film critics—who wouldn’t know a Dunlop Silicon Fuzz Face Mini from a Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-1A—but rather from the aficionados of shred at Guitar World, Guitar.com, and Fretboard Journal.
Below, check out the full trailer for The Pedal Movie, which is available to rent or purchase on Google Play, VUDU, and the iTunes store today.