In February 2015, producer Mia Bays spoke to ShowFilmFirst about why she took on the film and the teams attempts to interview former Backstreet Boys manager Lou Pearlman, who is now in prison:
Producer Mia Bays, of Missing In Action Films, was the woman charged with realising their vision. She says: “The film was initiated by the band. They were coming back together after Kevin having been away and were in London to start their new album. They hired a production company called Pulse and they then hired me.” The producer of an Oscar winner, multiple BAFTA and BIFA nominees, working across both docs and fiction with talent such as Martin McDonagh, Ben Whishaw, Eran Creevy, Lucy Walker, Riz Ahmed, Plan B, Stephen Kijak, Scott Walker & David Bowie, it’s probably fair to say that Mia wasn’t the band’s biggest fan.
“I couldn’t stand them!” She admits, cheerfully. However, she had a nose for interesting stories and the three weeks she was initially given to work with and get close to the band, to see how the idea could develop, convinced her. “As a filmmaker, I’m not interested in [making] films for the money. I like bigger things.” What appealed was the band’s journey from the boys they were then to the men they are now. And, on being told that the brief was Backstreet Boys make [acclaimed music documentary] Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster, she said “I’m in!”
Those first three weeks resulted in a 20 minute promo which displayed the beginning of a very real, very human story – one of perseverance. She told Pulse Films “I think there is a film in here”.
Mia says: “We spent a week on a tour bus, all around Florida, then on to Kentucky, and then we kept following their story”, taking in 18 months, on and off. Each band member’s return to the places of their childhood throws up poignant and revealing moments. Howie speaks of how his pet rabbits did what rabbits do best and they ended up with 45. His father had a practical solution that didn’t go down too well with his 12-year-old-son. A.J. reveals a talent for ballet dancing and also how he overcame a stutter. Kevin breaks down when he talks about his father. Nick recalls his parents arguing, fighting and firing off guns for the hell of it.
But the most harrowing visit is reserved for their return to the home of Lou Pearlman.
A key element of the film was to be the first meeting, after many years, between the band and their former manager. Having created them, swindled them out of millions and made a rival for them in the shape of N-Sync, Pearlman now resides in a state penitentiary, serving time for one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in US history, along with countless other bad business debts.Read the full ShowFilmFirst article here