About The Music
"Rock Star" is set in 1985, at the height of a period of unparalleled excess in the rock world — in the theatricality of the concerts as well as the off-stage antics of musicians, groupies and fans.
Director Stephen Herek encouraged the musicians to serve as unofficial technical advisors by sharing their own experiences in the spotlight. What better resource than some
of the musicians who spent the '80s living the metal god life? "I wanted to give a legitimacy to the film, so that you really believe and feel that you're back in
1985, and you're watching this rock and roll band and it's not something that will take you out of the movie, it'll actually suck you into it," Herek explains.
"I've essentially been doing research for this movie for my whole career," jokes Jeff Pilson of his years on the road as bass player for Dokken and Dio. "And one of the best parts about doing this movie was Steve's openness about getting input from us."
Blas Elias of Slaughter remembers, "There were some times we'd just hang out and talk to Stephen, give him road stories about little incidents that happened on tour, and he incorporated a lot of that into the movie. And it is very realistic. In fact, some of it's
too realistic for a couple of guys that have been through this kind of stuff— it brings back some memories for us and really hits a little too close to home."
The extensive musical performances required by the script called for the
implementation of a music "boot camp," which began well before the start of principal photography.
"The actors and musicians worked together on music and choreography for a solid month," says producer Robert Lawrence. 'in essence, they were functioning during that time as real bands — with all of the camaraderie, rivalries and ups and downs that that entails."
"One of the musicians in the cast told me that what we did during pre-production was just like the way they would put a real band together... they met, they talked about the music and they rehearsed," says Budd Carr. "This setup helped Mark, Dominic and the other actors to join an already moving process — they came into this environment, got absorbed in it and learned. By the time we began shooting it, it was second nature to everybody."
At night, the band members researched their characters by checking out legendary Sunset Strip clubs like the Rainbow and the Roxy, or attending performances of various
tribute bands. Sporting their newly acquired hair extensions, they began to inhabit their characters before shooting had even begun.
"When we first got our look together, we all went with Mark to these Grammy parties, looking like rock stars," Dominic West recalls. "It was wild - I'd never seen anything like it! We'd pull up in a limo, and girls would jump out of their cars and jump in there with us —
Jason Flemyng and I were a bit wary, because we felt like
As for preparing for the part of lead singer Bobby Beers, Flemyng explains, "Well, it was mostly genetic. I got Mick Jagger's lips as a gift from God." (Flemyng also concedes that the weeks of pre-production rehearsal with choreographer Eddie Baytos were instrumental in assuming his character.)
Shooting the rock concert footage was one of the biggest challenges the filmmakers faced during
production. For the concert scenes in which Steel Dragon performs in front of thousands of fans, it was decided that the most effective way to recreate the excitement and frenzy of a crowd for the cameras was to actually produce a full-blown rock concert.
A week before the start of principal photography, the production staged a full dress rehearsal of several Steel Dragon songs. This was the first opportunity for Wahlberg and the other band members
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