Stephen Kijak, Director
Back in the day, I hated mainstream music. I wore black. I worshiped The Smiths and The Cure. Siouxsie Sioux was my pin-up girl, not Britney Spears. So how on earth did I end up making a film about the Backstreet Boys? When the idea was presented to me, I will admit, I did not jump immediately. It took some convincing to remove the heavy music-snob chip from my shoulder. But I am so very glad I did.
The turning point came from a call with the band themselves. In an hour-long conversation every preconceived notion I held about them was somehow dismantled completely. I felt like a jerk. And I immediately cued up the video to 'I Want It That Way' and started to think it all through.
What I discovered making this film, and what legions of BSB fans around the world have always known, is that these guys can sing their asses off. And years of blood, sweat and tears went into making them the biggest selling boy band of all time. And that now, after the glow of the heady multi-platinum days has faded away, they still do what they do because they love it, are exceptionally good at it, and their fans love them.
And they love their fans. This symbiotic relationship is extraordinary. When we shot the finale of the film, at a concert in Toronto on their 20th anniversary tour, the wall of screams coming from the sold-out arena almost lifted me into the air. It was jaw-dropping. And, of course, they gave it right back and put on a kick ass show.
But this film is about a lot more than just the music and the fans. After the screams fade, you are left with five individuals – five grown men in a boy band, who have forged an incredible bond, sealed by their unique talents as singers – who allowed us a look inside themselves, inside this brotherhood, this family unit which has endured for 20 plus years. They allowed us an intimacy which is rare for this kind of a film.
As a filmmaker, it was a gift and a privilege and I can guarantee this is not the film you would have expected from the biggest selling boy band of all time. I hope the fans love it. But I also want everyone who ever turned their noses up at what they perceived as processed manufactured pop (like me) to spend some time with these guys and try not to be moved by their stories, by their humor, their honesty and their talent. I may still prefer 'Blue Monday' to 'I’ll Never Break Your Heart', but I’m happy to now count myself among one of the millions out there "Keeping The Backstreet Pride Alive”.