Tag Archives: e-knock

BoyBand spotted in Worcester Magazine

Worcester Magazine

That ’80s film
Rutland filmmaker debuts trip back in time on Friday
Melissa McKeon

Rutland native Andrea Ajemian hardly remembers 1982, but like many who were just entering their teens later in the decade, she does remember the music that was born during that era.

“When I was in high school, everybody was crazy for New Kids on the Block,” she recalled.

Ajemian, who graduated from Wachusett Regional High School in 1993, admits she wasn’t much into the music scene in college; she was too busy preparing for a career in film, with some business thrown in. It’s a path that has led her to producing, where her business education and experience comes in handy.

When she heard John Artigo’s idea for a film about the boy bands of the 1980s, she jumped at the chance to produce it.

Artigo’s vision–a comedy about a high school quarterback who leaves it all behind to turn his heavy metal band into the first boy band–had everything Ajemian likes: fun, nostalgia and opportunities for young musicians and for teenage actors to get a foot in the door.

But it also had its challenges. Neither Artigo nor Ajemian were musicians.

“John and I were at a loss when we came up with this concept and put the script together,” Ajemian said. “We said, ‘we can’t pull this movie off without a real music person.”

Enter Kaz Gamble.

Gamble grew up in Worcester but was pretty far away from home pursuing (with great success) a music career of his own. He came home for a visit and was presented by his parents with a newspaper clipping about the movie. They were looking for someone just like him. It was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Gamble had recently spent some time DJing oldies, so he admits the music of the 1980s was fresh in his mind.

But the task was daunting: come up with 20 original songs with the boy band feel.

“I went to film school, so I knew that making a film is a lot of work,” he said. “And it’s always harder than you think it’s going to be.”

Gamble went at it full bore. He researched extensively and then did what seemed impossible: produced modern music with an ’80s feel, and without the modern methods to prevent the modern sound from creeping in.

Harder than it sounds, he admits.

After accepting that he’d have to ditch a lot of the modern methods he was so familiar with, he faced the task of trying to replace them.

“You can’t believe, audio production has evolved so much since the ’80s,” he says. “It’s so out of fashion, so you can’t even get a lot of those sounds.”

Gamble couldn’t even find information online about mixing techniques; he went to thel ibrary to find a 1980s book about mixing to guide him.

Gamble wasn’t just writing music to sound like the 1980s; some themes were meant for older characters, whose music was from another era. And to be authentic, he realized that he’d have to take into account all the influences of the 1970s as well.

He’s feeling confident that he’s achieved the gaol: Folks who’ve previewed the movie think some of his songs are authentic to the era, not new imitations.

The movie has plenty of local appeal. Besides set at the fictional Worcester High School, it was filmed entirely in Worcester County. Also, besides Ajemian and Gamble, several local actors and musicians get their screen time with the bigger stars: Recent Wachusett Regional High School grads Nina Genatossio and Ryan Letourneau go to work beside One Tree Hill star Michael Copon and well-knowns E-Knock, Lorenzo Hooker III, Robert Hoffman, Ryan Hansen and Ming Na.

Mixing locals with Hollywood types is part of what makes the film so satisfying to Ajemian.

“In Worcester County, kids in that age group don’t get the opportunities to work as they do in L.A. or Boston or New York,” she said.

BoyBand: Breakin’ through in ’82 opens Friday, June 4, at Showcase Cinema North for a week’s run. An after-party at 9 p.m. ($7 cover) at Gilrein’s, 802 Main St., Worcester, will feature composer Kaz Gamble, who wrote the movie’s 20 original songs, as DJ, spinning 1980s music as well as the film’s soundtrack. boybandmovie.com


BoyBand in the Holland Sentinel

‘BoyBand’ takes us back to the ’80s

‘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.”

Film Review for BoyBand

Locally filmed ‘BoyBand’ conveys entertaining parable
Jeffrey Long
Telegram & Gazette Reviewer

Filmed and set in Worcester, “BoyBand” is an amusing film about youth culture that returns us to the early 1980s, a time as twisty and colorful as a Rubik’s Cube. People did word processing, but couldn’t yet send e-mail. They could watch a video, but where were the video rental stores? And a cowboy from Illinois was in the White House.

Written and directed by Jon Artigo and produced by Andrea Ajemian, this comedy follows the fortunes of talented high school quarterback Brad (Michael Copon). This guy’s gridiron achievements are so legendary and he is personally so charismatic that his male schoolmates believe the mere invoking his name when out on a date will help them score.

But for Brad, all is not right in paradise. There is a hollowness in his life that no cheerleader or state championship can fill. He has been leading a double life, furtively hooking up in dark alleys with some “metal heads” (as his father disdainfully calls them). Brad dreams of openly performing with a heavy metal teen band, even as mainstream pop music culture is stumbling away from Disco and toward Madonna.

Moreover, even at the professional level, not many individuals transition well, in the long run, in trying to move from a life in athletics to one in the performing arts. For every Mark Harmon or Jim Brown, there is a least one Tanya Harding or O.J. Simpson.

So when Brad decides to take off his cleats and climb up on stage, he is greeted by looks of icy betrayal when at home and a sloppy Joe on the side of his face when walking across the school grounds.

With the full-throttle launching of his artistic energies, Brad in effect has hurled his life forward like a Hail Mary pass. But will his efforts connect or fall short?

This movie is hardly groundbreaking in its plot structure, as it is a straightforward narrative that has no reason to call attention to itself.

And the story is, admittedly, chock-full of stock characters: the Jock, the Sweetheart Left Behind, the Evil Authority Figure,, the New Age Freak, to name a few. The actors inhabit these roles credibly, although suspension of disbelief is needed to accept the legitimacy of some of the relationships between characters. (For example, why on earth would Brad remain with Pamela for so long? And what is up with his parents’ bizarre living arrangements?)

More than 20 original songs, composed by Worcester’s own Kaz Gamble, fuel this hard-driving comedy.

There is considerable sexual talk and posturing, both in and out of the film’s many dance numbers. But raunchiness is not what primarily supports “BoyBand,” which is ultimately a broadly entertaining parable about following one’s dreams. (The scene featuring the band’s performance of the song “Dreams” is a standout.)

As the narrative advances, so does the engaging quality of the dance sequences. Particularly notable are Michael Copon’s deft footwork and the break dancing and other athletic moves performed by Derf (E-Knock) and Joda (Lorenzo Hooker III).

In the end, this is both a rousing and sweet film about a teen whose “road less traveled” turns out to be paved with heavy metal.

It is hoped that this fourth collaboration between Jon Artigo and Andrea Ajemian will, like its story’s protagonist, emerge as a hometown hero. Locally filmed ‘BoyBand’ conveys entertaining parable

E-Knock is Dance Coach on MTV’s MADE | Hip Hop Dance Battle

There’s a new sherriff in town.  E-Knock takes a turn as a dance coach in MTV’s epic new show Made: Hip Hop Dance Battle.  Check it out on MTV – it premieres Saturday June 27th at 12pm.  Watch him turn a normal person into a breakdancing machine.



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more about “MADE | Hip Hop Dance Battle | Trailer…“, posted with vodpod





E-Knock and Lorenzo Hooker audition.

Ernest Phillips (E-Knock) and Lorenzo Hooker of Status Quo audition for the roles of Derf and Joda for We Got the Beat.