Griffen Launches BOYBAND Series
April 23, 2015 by Julian Axelrod
Bands have always been subject to behind-the-scenes drama. But Colleen Griffen is facing a slightly different problem: After assembling a talented cast and crew, Griffen finds herself with a limited timeframe to pull together her 22-episode web series about a fake boy band.
boyband, a mockumentary web series chronicling the formation of a pop band consisting of five impossibly handsome young men, started as a short film shot on a long weekend. The short was created by the Evanston-based producer/director after she noticed her son and his friends resembled a boy band. Griffen, who also has a genuine appreciation for groups like *NSYNC and One Direction, then recruited cinematographer Chris Vinopal, who had worked on her previous feature THE COLD AND THE QUIET, and filled the cast with actors from Evanston Township High School’s sketch show. Many of the film’s scenes were heavily improvised, and Griffen worked with the actors to flesh out their characters and make the scenes feel more natural. “I’m a huge believer in film as a collaborative artform,” says Griffen.
The cast and crew shot the interview and garage scenes in Evanston over three days last July, thinking, “If we liked it, we’d go back and film the studio scenes and the music video,” according to Griffen. A few months later, they returned to the concert venue SPACE in Evanston, where Griffen’s son Jake Chappelle directed the group’s debut music video... after extensively studying boy band videos. In March, boyband finally premiered on Vimeo.
Griffen is now focused on shooting the 22-episode web series that will expand on boyband’s story, documenting the group’s first album and tour and all the accompanying drama. However, most of the actors are leaving for college in the fall, meaning this summer is the only available time to shoot the web series. So Griffen recently launched a Kickstarter, which ends on May 8, in an effort to make the production possible.
So why should you donate? In addition to providing a hilarious showcase for local talent, Griffen says, “We’re trying to fill a niche between guerrilla filmmaking and big budget filmmaking in Chicago.” That’s a goal even boy band skeptics can get behind.