IMDb > Fade to Black (2004)
Fade to Black
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Fade to Black (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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Fade to Black -- hv post


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The ultimate concert. Now the ultimate movie.
Filmed during his "Black Album" era, Jay-Z looks back on his career as one of rap music's most successful emcees and entrepreneurs. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
As good a billboard for his platinum-selling "Black Album" as he could get. See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order)

Jay Z ... Himself (as Jay-Z)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Fonzworth Bentley ... Himself (as Farnsworth Bentley)

Memphis Bleek ... Himself

Mary J. Blige ... Herself

Foxy Brown ... Herself

Michael Buffer ... Himself

Sean Combs ... Himself (as Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs)

Common ... Himself

Damon Dash ... Himself

Missy Elliott ... Herself

Funkmaster Flex ... Himself
Freeway ... Himself

Ghostface Killah ... Himself

R. Kelly ... Himself

Beyoncé Knowles ... Herself

Mike D ... Himself

Tim Mosley ... Himself (as Timbaland)

Q-Tip ... Himself

Usher Raymond ... Himself

Slick Rick ... Himself

Rick Rubin ... Himself
Afeni Shakur ... Herself
Beanie Sigel ... Himself

Ahmir-Khalib Thompson ... Himself

Twista ... Himself
Voletta Wallace ... Herself

Kanye West ... Himself

Pharrell Williams ... Himself
Jaguar Wright ... Herself

Directed by
Patrick Paulson 
Michael John Warren 
Produced by
Randy Acker .... co-producer
Zennia M. Barahona .... post-production producer
Robert Ezrin .... producer
Andrew Fried .... associate producer
Jay Z .... executive producer (as Jay-Z)
Jon Kamen .... executive producer
Rich Kleiman .... producer
John Meneilly .... executive producer
Rick Mordecon .... co-producer
Frank Scherma .... executive producer
Justin Wilkes .... producer
Cinematography by
Jonathan Boehr 
Theron Smith 
Film Editing by
Jim Helton 
Jonah Moran 
Ron Patane 
Adam Zuckerman 
Production Design by
Gary Westcott 
Production Management
Liz Bradley .... production supervisor
Art Department
Peter Aquinde .... assistant to production designer
Nathan Copan .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Rich Cutler .... sound editor
Corey Gibson .... sound mixer
Mike Patrick .... sound recordist
Mary Ellen Porto .... sound editor
Steve F.B. Smith .... sound consultant: Dolby
Camera and Electrical Department
George Bianchini .... Steadicam operator
Robert Cooper .... lighting crew chief
Tyler D'Askquith .... camera operator
Glenn Felton .... dimmer technician
Nick Jackson .... lighting account manager
Luke McCoubrey .... additional photographer
Theron Smith .... cinematographer (2003)
Tom Thompson .... lighting technician
Joe Victoria .... jib operator
Animation Department
Vello Virkhaus .... animation director
Editorial Department
Joe Gawler .... digital intermediate colorist
Dan Hacker .... post-production engineer
Zachary MacDonald .... post-production
Brett Mason .... on-line editor
Buckley W. Morgan .... assistant editor
Richie Roefaro .... post-production
Christian Zak .... digital intermediate producer
Other crew
Randy Buzzelli .... tour manager
Ava DuVernay .... publicity consultant
Drew Findley .... video programmer
Demetri Jagger .... film projectionist
Andrew Kimmel .... transcriber
Christopher Lagdamen .... production assistant
Scott Floyd Lochmus .... consulting director
Sean Ludlam .... production coordinator
Becky Mendoza .... production assistant
Davi Russo .... graphics creative director
Brett Goffin .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Jay Z: Fade to Black" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Rated R for pervasive language including sexual lyrics
USA:109 min | Argentina:109 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References Carlito's Way (1993)See more »


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8 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
As good a billboard for his platinum-selling "Black Album" as he could get., 29 November 2004
Author: jdesando from United States

Here are my credentials for reviewing the documentary about Jay-Z's 'farewell' performance in Madison Square Garden. Talk about 'square': I am a student of language and literature (Ph.D. in English) and trained in rapid talking (licensed auctioneer), but I cannot repeat to you more than a half dozen words from this energetic and positive look at one of rap's icons. His glossing of 'idiosyncrasy' for the audience was both a kindness and a put down but at least understandable.

Although I saw Eminem's early Detroit life in '8 Mile' and connected with Metallica's challenges in 'Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,' because of my inexperience with Jay-Z's music, I could not get past my ear's inability to hear the lyrics or even the dressing room and studio talk, a slight testimony to Bill Cosby's warnings about language. Yet, virtually everyone at that November 2003 concert knew every word of his songs. I am in the minority on this one.

Anyway, about a well-structured film I already have some idea. 'Fade to Black' is a faithful rendering of the excitement and beat of the Garden show. With the likes of girl friend Beyonce (whose scantily-clad, lip-syncing performance of 'Crazy in Love' is worth the admission price), Mary J. Blige, and R. Kelly (before the rift) joining Jay-Z, the film relays the energy and synergy of performers who speak to countless hip-hop fans. It is also as good a billboard for his platinum-selling "Black Album" as he could get.

Therefore, because so much of the documentary is dedicated to the performance, little is allowed for getting to know the rapper and how he creates. That he does not write down his machine-gun lyrics is a rare insight (In '8 Mile' I loved the exhilaration of seeing and hearing young people fight with 'vocabulary' rather than guns); that he cares about how his words effect his fans is sweet; what he does to shape the 'tracks' into pop gold as he listens to them in the studio is never satisfactorily explained (and surely the most boring part of the film). 'Metallica,' for instance, has an accurate rendering of the rock group's long struggle to create its latest album. Perhaps an exploration of Jay-Z's 'Hard Knock Life' would have better taught us about this post-gangsta powerhouse. A documentary should teach; 'Fade' mostly shows. Or maybe that's all there is.

As even I know, he reneged on the 'farewell,' remarkable because his other businesses such as his 'Roc-a-fella' recording label and clothing line could have kept him busy for a lifetime. I suspect music is much better for his forsaking retirement.

Like the opening and closing aerial shots of New York at night, we are too far away to get close to understanding the performer. Like the city, he dazzles and eludes.

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