Sony pic profiles three generations of guitarists

Air guitarists everywhere can get a dose of the real thing when Davis Guggenheim’s “It Might Get Loud” bows Aug. 14 in New York and L.A. The Sony Pictures Classics release juxtaposes three ax slingers from different generations: Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, U2’s the Edge and Jack White, best known for the White Stripes.

The enigmatic Page may be the doc’s most alluring element. “I live something of a hermit existence,” Page told Daily Variety recently. “When doing a documentary, if you have a cloak of invisibility, you can make a little hole for yourself, and people can just peep through. But they can only see certain angles.”

Page and White feel today’s emerging players have more to contend with than breaking in a guitar and developing a personal style. “It’s people being famous for being famous in this decade,” said White, whose newest incarnation, the Dead Weather, released its debut disc on Tuesday. “There’s so much media for a young kid now to battle against to try to get to something soulful. This film lets people dig deeper beyond the personality.”

The three musicians may give the movie built-in appeal for rock fans, but SPC co-chief Tom Bernard acknowledged the film’s challenges. “It is a movie that is not a concert movie, which is not a surefire hit,” he said. “In this movie you learn about how these guys create.”

While the 98-minute feature chronicles each guitarist’s career individually, its climactic moments involved throwing Page, White and the Edge together on a Warner Bros. soundstage, without a script, and witnessing a kind of organic chemistry evolve. “These are guys who are used to a setlist, and there’s no setlist,” said Guggenheim, whose “An Inconvenient Truth” won the Oscar for best feature documentary. “There is a feeling when you go to a rock concert about what is the conversation backstage. That is the kind of thing I wanted to build — that sense that you are there listening to that conversation.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more