Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

DEATH OF A ROCKSTAR World's 1st Feature-Length Animated Rock Opera to Premiere in NYC


A devoted labor of love, the rock opera Death of a Rockstar is Röckët Stähr's first film and took a little over thirteen years to complete.

DEATH OF A ROCKSTAR World's 1st Feature-Length Animated Rock Opera to Premiere in NYC

Most certainly, Röckët Stähr's Death of a Rockstar is not a film for everyone, but it is truly brilliant and will definitely join the greats of rock animation. Imagine Tommy meets Yellow Submarine with a little Rocky Horror thrown in as performed by some of Heavy Metal's greatest bands.

In the year 2164, when rock 'n roll is banned, a group of underground rebels, led by a mad scientist, attempt to start a non-violent revolution by waking up the docile masses via a cloned rockstar sent on a guerrilla tour to "rock n roll them free from the tyranny". But they soon find out, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

See the NYC Premiere of animated feature film Röckët Stähr's Death of a Rockstar on Friday September 24 @ 6:30 PM at Cinema Village (22 East 12th Street) as part of New York City's 10th Annual Winter Film Awards International Film Festival. Tickets now on sale!

A devoted labor of love, the rock opera Death of a Rockstar is Röckët Stähr's first film and took a little over thirteen years to complete. As the filmmaker stated, there was no budget allocated, or a pre-production process. Animation was his choice preference over her sister - claymation; as Stähr puts it, "it is fantastical!"

Stähr wrote and recorded all of the music in about five years; animating took close to eight years. While animating, he largely ignored the screenplay and opted to just animate freely. Röckët Stähr let the music and mood guide him each day with whatever ideas came to him at the moment. Stähr would just go with where his mind went and didn't question it much outside of making sure he hit his spots at the end of the scene. A couple of scenes stick pretty closely to the screenplay including the opening one, but others like the entire ending is nothing like what he wrote in the screenplay.

A self-taught composer, Röckët Stähr arranged all of the strings, horns, and wind instruments that were played by real, excellent, musicians. He recorded at Threshold Studios, and N.Y. Hed, in NYC. Stähr played all piano, bass, guitar, and sang all of the parts aside from the part of Ronnie Waye, which was sung by Abby Ahmad. He recorded the drums and piano at Threshold Studios as well; the song Cinderella Suicide was recorded at N.Y. Hed. All of the guitars, bass, and vocals were recorded in his apartment straight into Protools.

Röckët Stähr's biggest cost was time. Because he chose to work with top-notch instrument players, he had to save up for several months between studio sessions to be able to afford the next one. There were engineers during the studio sessions, and the mastering engineer who mastered the final mixes of the music. That was pretty much the crew aside Stähr.

The biggest challenge Stähr overcame was learning to mix his film in a handful of months. Without formal training, the filmmaker worked in a considerable-less-than-ideal space, his studio apartment. The tracks were dense and he struggled. The string, horn, and wind parts were played by a handful of players whose tracks he overdubbed multiple times to get more of an orchestral sound. Röckët Stähr sang every single part of those choir parts one-by-one on his own. There are probably close to one hundred tracks on a lot of these songs. The filmmaker almost gave up -he couldn't believe how hard of a time he was having. But having twenty-six dense tracks mixed professionally, would cost him a fortune and couldn't possibly afford anything like that. Stähr simply pushed forward and figured it out. Then he worked with Joe Lambert who mastered his mixes.

Death of a Rockstar made its virtual festival debut at Lake County Film Festival in November of 2020, and since has also been seen at virtual film festivals Other Worlds Austin, Cinequest, and Fantaspoa, where the film made its international virtual debut in Brazil. Death of a Rockstar made its theatrical debut at the Anthem Film Festival on July 23, 2021 in South Dakota, and will make its NYC theatrical premiere at the Winter Film Awards International Film Festival in September of 2021.

In the meantime, Röckët Stähr is working away! He's always writing more. Stähr would love to do another rock opera, or even a rock opera mini-series or something like that. The songwriter and musician is open to collaborations. If you would like to team up and do a live-action film or an animated one, then get in touch with Röckët Stähr.

Visit for tickets and information.

Related Articles

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

More Hot Stories For You