by Mia Summerson email@example.com
Niagara Gazette — When Niagara Falls musician Torez Lamar approached local filmmaker Orundi Colvin about making a music video, neither had any idea that they would end up selling out two theater showings with the result.
Lamar originally pitched an idea to make a movie for his rap group Money Boy Family. Colvin said he was more interested in making full-length movies than music videos, so Lamar pitched an idea for a movie he had, and that piqued Colvin’s interest.
“All they had was the title and they knew that it was going to be about four friends,” he said. “We took it from there and started from scratch.”
The film, appropriately titled “Boys 2 Men,” stars Lamar as Dante and tells the story of four childhood friends who grow up and hatch an idea to get rich that goes terribly, terribly wrong.
“It’s about four friends, brothers, who have come up with a scheme to get rich,” said Lamar. “It was a nice learning experience, and it was fun. Everything was shot locally. People would recognize scenes shot at Unity Park or on North Avenue.”
Nino Rodriguez, the actor who plays Dante’s brother Phillip, says his character gets in too deep with his friends’ get-rich-quick plan. The film shows him learning “hard life lessons” that could be applicable to real Niagara Falls youths.
“(Boys 2 Men) is very relatable,” Rodriguez said. “I think people will gravitate to it.”
Lamar added that he’s excited that he can make people sit up and take notice of not only his movie, but of the issue that it deals with, saying that he is excited that he can “encourage people and get them to open up their eyes.”
The script took Orundi 11 days to write, and the filming took about eight cold, October days to finish.
The movie was shot using just $2,000, according to Colvin, who not only directed Boys 2 Men, but also produced and wrote it. Despite the low budget he says that they were able to “pull it off.”
Buffalo’s Market Arcade Theater on Main Street sold out for Friday night’s premiere of the locally filmed movie. The film was met with so much anticipation, that an additional showing had to be scheduled.
In the end, both showings were packed and the film drew a positive response from the public.
“It was great, everyone loved it. There was silence when it was serious, and laughter when it was funny,” Colvin of the premiere. “What really got the audience was the ending because it has so many twists and turns. They said, ‘did that really happen?’ It was just a great experience.”
After seeing the movie become a local success, the next step for the “Boys 2 Men” family is to get the movie into film festivals.
Orundi says they are applying to the American Black Film Festival in New York City as well as the Maui and Brooklyn Film Festivals. Success at any of these events would help bring exposure to the cast and crew, as well as help see Boys to Men get picked up by a distributor. Lamar noted that he would like to see Netflix add it to their selection.
Orundi also noted the possibility of a sequel to the film becoming one of his future projects.
“We just wanted to bring something different to Niagara Falls,” he said. “Everyone is excited.”