Alex Winter, one half of the rock ’n roll duo Bill and Ted aka Wyld Stallyns, has focused mostly on directing in the last few years, and his latest film, a documentary called “Downloaded,” takes a look at the technology that changed the music industry forever, Napster.
MTV News sat down with Winter at SXSW, where he and VH1 Rock Docs premiered “Downloaded” this past week, and spoke with him about bringing the project together and how our own little news organization played a part in making it all happen.
“I pulled a lot of archival from the MTV News vaults, which hyper-covered this story,” Winter told Josh Horowitz. “I was finding amazing gems in that. [Sean] Parker and [Shawn] Fanning young, all of the Metallica raid on the office, all of it, most of which is in the movie.”
When Winter approached the two Napster founders about making the doc, he focused on what would make this project different.
“I had known them a long time. The idea of going back to them and going, ’You’re actually going to be the main characters in this now, not somebody playing you.’ Both of them have a lot going on. Both of them have their own emotional response of what the Napster experience was like for them,” Winter said.
“I really did make it clear that I was going to be compassionate and not try to drag them through the mud. I don’t even mean tonally in terms of what you see in the movie, but just in terms of the experience of being in it. Other than that, I think they’re ready to go back and reframe the story for themselves and give us some context.”