Heather Parry prides herself as a multitasker, even at her own birthday party. In January 2016, two weeks after she started as Live Nation’s president of production, film and television, actor Colin Hanks mentioned to Parry, 46, that he was considering documenting the Eagles of Death Metal’s February return to Paris following the terrorist attack at the band’s November 2015 concert. “I go, ‘I’ll fund it!’” recalls Parry. “Colin’s like, ‘It’s your birthday, let me call you on Monday.’ He called me Monday and I said, ‘Let’s go,’” and they left for Paris.
Twenty months later, the resulting film, Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis, has taken on new relevance following the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, co-owned by Live Nation. Parry declined to answer questions about the latest tragedy, but the former MTV News executive and head of film production for Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions discussed her other projects, including Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story (Apple Music) and Gaga: Five Foot Two (Netflix), which debuted Sept. 22. Coming up are documentaries on Imagine Dragons and Noah Cyrus as well as a move into scripted films as producer on the Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga remake of A Star Is Born and Def Pictures’ After Party.
“For several years we’ve been streaming live shows and creating short-form digital content around artists and the live concert experience,” says Live Nation Entertainment president/CEO Michael Rapino. “Moving into film and TV was a natural extension of that strategy.”
With budgets largely under $5 million (A Star Is Born excepted), Parry’s Beverly Hills-based division is producing docs that reveal the artists behind the music, often joining them on an emotional and spiritual journey — such as Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds’ embrace of the LGBTQ community and his attempt to change his fellow Mormons’ opposition to homosexuality. They also provide an additional platform for, though not limited to, Live Nation-affiliated acts.
With the emotional Gaga doc now streaming, Parry tells Billboard about the process of putting together these projects and why it’s all about the artist.