- change ups
Indie film 'The Fly' starring Willie the Kid shoots in Grand Rapids
A short film about a Grand Rapids rapper is being set, cast, produced and shot in Grand Rapids — and producers want local talent to fill the screen.
The 25 minute indie film, "The Fly," is about a Grand Rapids bartender who has a secret identity as an underground musician. "The Fly" somewhat mirrors the story of international hip-hop artist and the film's star Willie the Kid. His mix tapes “The Fly,” “The Fly 2” and “The Fly 3” will be incorporated into the film — in the style of "Purple Rain," starring Prince.
Willie the Kid, whose real name is William Jackson, is a Grand Rapids native and the protégé of DJ Drama. Jackson released the 2008 album “Absolute Greatness” and the 2010 EP “Never a Dull Moment.” He also is the younger brother of New York rapper La the Darkman.
Emmy-winning director Kevin Budzynski and Scott Erickson, producer of The Grand Rapids LipDub, are co-producing the film. John Boros Productions, a Grand Rapids based film company, will shoot the film.
Budzynski won a regional student Emmy for “The Box,” a horror themed food drive PSA he made while attending Rockford High School.
He said the idea for “The Fly” came from a desire to showcase Jackson’s music, as well as give a voice to the music culture of Grand Rapids.
“We’re trying to highlight and show our love of Grand Rapids, and that’s why we’re using all Grand Rapids people,” he said. “It’s really a story about Grand Rapids and the new mixed music culture that we’re really trying to promote.”
Budzynski said the crew hopes to have post-production done by the end of January and release the film by the end of April. The film, after re-budgets, will cost somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000, Budzynski said.
The creative team behind “The Fly" is holding open-call auditions for main and supporting roles on Jan. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 50 Louis St. NW, Grand Rapids. The entrance is off the sidwealk and not Start Garden.
Filmmakers are looking to fill a cast that includes two main characters backed by 10 supporting characters, with roles for diverse male and female actors ranging between the ages of 18 and 30.
Callbacks will be by appointment only, and more information on the auditions and roles is online.