‘BoyBand’ takes us back to the ’80s
By Bob Tremblay
GateHouse News Service
MEDWAY,Mass–Folks who see the new film “BoyBand:Breakin’ Through in ’82” can thank two Massachusetts residents fro the movie’s retrograde look. Leg warmers, anyone?
As production designer, Alecia Orsini lebeda was in charge of creating the film’s look. “That means coordinating the costumes, the props and the locations,” she says. “It’s pretty much creating the entire world the film is going to take place in.
“Since the film takes place in 1982, we wanted to stay really true to the year. We wanted to get authentic ’80s stuff. But we’re also working with an indie budget so we did a lot of Dumpster diving, Salvation Army hunting and pulling stuff out of people’s basements. If we came across a Members Only jacket, it was a good day.”
In the costume department, Krysten Trindade was responsible for getting the cast and extras into their outfits and making sure those outfits didn’t change in between shoots. Ah, the joys of continuity. “It wasn’t just making sure that everybody was wearing the same clothes from scene to scene, it was making sure they were wearing them the same way and that that clothes stayed clean.”
And what kind of clothes were the filmmakers looking for to capture that authentic 1980s look? “A lot of really brightly colored anything,” says Trindade. “I’ve never been more excited over such a horrible look in my life.”
To recreate 1980s home decorating, the filmmakers found people who offered the use of their domiciles. These included a resident whose living room featured carpeted walls and a turntable placed inside of the walls.
“We went into one woman’s house and she had a pink and blue bathroom,” recalls Orsini Lebeda. “And I put my foot into my mouth. I said, ‘This is disgusting. I love it.’ The woman looked at me and was kind of offended. So I added, ‘No, no. You don’t understand. This is really perfect.’ It taught me to approach this a little differently.”
Shot entirely in the Massachusetts communities of Worcester and Leominster during a five-week span in the summer of 2008, the film is a teen comedy about a high school quarterback who quits the team to turn his heavy metal band into the first-ever boy band. Written and directed by Jon Artigo, “BoyBand” stars Michael Copon, E-Knock and Lorenzo Hooker III.
“BoyBand” marks Orsini Lebeda’s eighth film. Her resume includes working as a production assistant on “Shutter Island.” She also served as the production designer on “A Woman Called Job,” now in post-production.
Trindade makes her film debut in “BoyBand.” In addition to working in the costume department, she was an extra for a day. “It’s a lot of waiting,” she says of the extra work. “you wait eight hours to get on film for five seconds, but it was fun.”
“I just loved getting to work with the people,” Trindade adds. “And working together. We’d have a 15-hour shoot and have to get up at 5 the next morning, drive somewhere else and try to cooperate with everbody. People would be cranky. They hadn’t had their coffee or breakfast yet. But if things went wrong, we worked through it. We found solutions rather than finding someone to blame. It was hard work, but worth it. It’s about being able to work toward a concrete goal. And I now have something to show for all the hours I put in.”
Like Trindade, Orsini Lebeda says she enjoyed her experience on the film even if it did entail climbing a 40-foot ladder in the rain to put up a sign or the film’s fictional high school. “That was one of the scariest moments in my life, ” she admis.
She’s particularly proud of the effort she made to make sure the star’s football team had the appropriate “heroic colors” of blue and gold. Allotted about $5,000 for football and cheerleader uniforms-the film’s overall budget was $750,000–filmmakers eventually found a Worcester company willing to help them get the uniforms they wanted.
“It wouldn’t have been the same film if we had the uniforms in green or red–which we used tor the opposing teams,” she says. “We knew what we wanted and we were going to fight tooth and nail to get it. You got to convince somebody that they’re going to love it as much as you love it.”
“I’m really proud of this film, ” Orsini Lebeda continues. “The people I worked with are like family and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a film. The the people watching it, it may not change their lives, but it changed our lives making it. To be given this kind of responsibility–production designer is high up on the totem pole–it’s kind of like playing God by creating your own world. And I miss that world now. I drive down the street and I see a 1982 Nova and I want to go ask the diver if he wants to be in the movie even though the movie has already been shot.”