Saturday, April 29, 2006

Suisun goes Hollywood; Filmmaker shooting movie for Sundance Festival

From Vacaville Reporter
By Melissa Murphy/Staff Writer

A new movement is making its way through the Bay Area and an independent filmmaker is trying to get to the heart and capture the "hyphy" culture and its uniqueness by filming in Suisun City.

Peter Ramirez and Brandon Rodegeb work for Flip and Company, a movie production company. They are currently filming in downtown Suisun City until Sunday.

"Yadada," an urban comedy documentary that captures the lifestyles of the Bay Area, is the second movie that Ramirez and Rodegeb have directed, written and produced together. They currently have a five-film deal with Image Entertainment.

Ramirez said he has wanted to be involved with movies since he was little and now he's finally getting that chance.

"The hyphy movement has had some negative attention," Ramirez said. "We want to show the positive side of it."

Hyphy is a moment of euphoria, according to Band-Aide, a member of Dem Hood Starz rap group from East Palo Alto who wouldn't release his real name. Band-Aide is also a main character in "Yadada," playing Hook in the movie.

"It's just a part of life," Band-Aide said. "It's a time of relief, a big ball of energy."

The "Yadada" movie is geared to reach the new rap community that takes rap music style from the past and mixes it with a new style of music.

"These kind of movies are something that we look for, this is something we can relate to," said Scoot, another member of Dem Hood Starz, who plays Plug in the documentary. "This is a good look for the Bay Area as a whole, it's a good way to show a different element from Northern California."

Ramirez has a good mindset when it comes to making movies, Band-Aide said.

"He has a way to have fun, but be serious at the same time," Band-Aide said. "This is a different kind of media attention that we need."

Their goals are set high.

Beginning in June, the plan is to start filming "Purgatory," which will be filmed with the intentions of going to the Sundance Film Festival. Ramirez and Rodegeb created the characters and let writer Soren Baker, an editor for Source Magazine, develop the script.

"Purgatory," will be filmed in Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles. According to Rodegeb, that area has been plagued by gang violence since the '50s and '60s.

Even though the plot of the movie involves a family dealing with a son in a gang and the choices that come with the lifestyle, the producers are trying to make the movie more positive than negative.

"This is regular life for a family in this area so we didn't really have to make up a story," Rodegeb said. "This is reality. The real world is a tough place, but you can get through it and that's what this movie shows."

We're excited about the upcoming film and it's potential, Rodegeb said.

"If it's only a limited release I will be happy."

Melissa Murphy can be reached at

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