INXS Open Up Archives For Documentary

Eighties hitmakers INXS will soon be the subjects of a documentary, and the film's producer promises the project will not be just another clip show.

Self-shot footage from the bandmembers' personal archives — about 50 hours' worth — has been optioned for the film by Columbia-TriStar Productions Australia, said Fran McConnell, the company's senior vice president and the project's coordinator.

"These guys have been taking video footage since they were kids," McConnell said. "I think all of them had a competition when they were growing up about who got the newest toy. If one got a Super 8 [camera], then they all got a Super 8."

McConnell said the feature-length project aims to tell the story of the six-man band's rise to international celebrity from Australian anonymity. The band started in 1977 as the Farriss Brothers, and its lineup — fraternal trio Andrew (guitar, keyboards), Tim (guitar) and Jon Farriss (drums) and friends Garry Gary

Beers (bass), Kirk Pengilly (saxophone, guitar) and Michael Hutchence (vocals) — remained unchanged until Hutchence's death in 1997 (see "INXS Frontman Michael Hutchence Found Dead").

"These are boys who knew each other as friends and as brothers," said McConnell, "and that's what you see in this footage: their journey as they move on to the international stage; the joys and heartache of having their lives publicly scrutinized. It's all about the band as people and how that brought them to the kind of music that they play. We will use the footage to help us create a story."

According to a statement posted on the band's Web site, the major concentration will be on a 15-year period of the band's career.

"This will be our story — the story of INXS — and as such, we will be actively involved in all aspects of its development," the remaining bandmembers said in the statement. "We are incredibly enthusiastic

about the project."

The film, tentatively titled "Don't Change" after a track off the band's 1982 album Shabooh Shoobah, will begin production in earnest around August of next year, McConnell said.

Columbia-TriStar Productions is the television arm of the Columbia-TriStar corporation, but the destination of the final product has not been determined, McConnell said.

The company also will be including footage of the reconfigured group, which features the original members with New Zealander Jon Stevens guesting on vocals.

Stevens has performed several concerts with the band, including the closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Sydney in September and two rehearsal shows for a scheduled — and subsequently canceled — tour of New Zealand (see "INXS To Tour Down Under").

Other INXS dates have been scheduled with Stevens, including a New Year's Eve appearance in Adelaide, Australia,

in conjunction with a Le Mans car race. McConnell said that European dates in June and July are also on the group's itinerary.