Fight Game to Hollywood – Lapenda & Boon Style. Fight Promoters turned Movie Producers Frederico Lapenda, and Bas Boon are doing the Hollywood Thing, No Holds Barred!
By: Emile Turner
When they first met over a decade ago, Bas Boon was already a noted player in the world of Martial Arts. He was promoting fighting events and is a successful manager and entrepreneur with several ongoing concerns. At the same time, Frederico (Rico) Lapenda was an upstart promoter/manager with a shortlist of good fighters. Frederico has lots of good ideas, and all that energy the international fight game requires to succeed. Lapenda and Boon became fast friends and became strong partners in a business that necessarily breeds adversaries.
Bas Boon and Frederico Lapenda on top of the Fight Game
They are staging some of the most exciting events in the fight game. Including 100’s fighting shows seen by millions of viewers at arenas and on television in more than ten countries on four continents. Vale Tudo, K-1, Pride, and UFC event sponsors and fans all over the world know the names Lapenda and Boon. The duo are providers of unparalleled championship fighting action featuring names like Igor Vovchanchin, Mark Kerr, Semmy Schilt, Chalid “The Faust” Arrab, Heath Herring. Including fighters like Pedro Rizzo, Marco Ruas, Alistair Overeem, Stefan Leko, and many others.
While most managers/promoters would be satisfied with the kind of success Lapenda and Boon, have achieved individually and as a team. These guys are known for thinking big and bigger, their track record in the Fight Game is amazing.
Mixed Martial Arts is World Wide Entertainment
Frederico Lapenda is all about entertainment. He is one of the most prolific and successful live and broadcast promoters/producers in Mixed Martial Arts history. Lapenda has created properties that have entertained consumers worldwide. In his role as Chairman/CEO of Paradigm Entertainment Group, Lapenda is bringing his zeal for making great products. His insight in structuring financial packages, and his loyalty to his heritage to run a production company unlike others in the industry.
“What we are actually in,” says Boon, a Dutchman from the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, “is the entertainment business.” And the entertainment business,” adds the 36-year-old Brazilian-born Lapenda, “is ultimately the movie business; because everybody wants to be in the movie business.”
The movie Bad Guys futures Mexican super star Kate Del Castillo.
So the movie business is where these two successful promoters find themselves now. Their first feature film project wraps up production in Hollywood Los Angeles. Bad Guys is a crunchy noir/thriller with a fast-talking cast of quirky characters. Lots of guns, drugs, and a blazing hot chick (The Biggest Latin television and film star Kate Del Castillo of upcoming Bordertown starring Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas) are at the center of everything. The film marks yet another joint project for this dynamic duo. And while it may seem like a stretch for a couple of guys more used to dealing with Kick Boxers than Actors, says Lapenda. It’s not much of a stretch at all from working in the Fight Game business.
Movie and fights as a learning process for big things to come.
“The business of Producing is the same. Whether it’s a 16 man Round Robin event in a 60 thousand seat stadium or a television special or a documentary or a feature film… it is all the same. It’s about getting all the proper elements in place and executing a plan of attack to provide the best possible show for the audience.” These are the words of Lapenda, the film’s Producer and progenitor of the project. Bas Boon, the Executive Producer of Bad Guys, concurs and notes that he and Frederico have developed several projects for television that were excellent preparation for this undertaking. These projects include several programs for FOX television in the US and Europe. This includes, “The Red Light District,” about the underground party scene in the brothels of Amsterdam.
These projects, along with many reality programs and documentaries. Were training for the novice filmmakers Lapenda and Boon and set the stage for this next phase of their long partnership in the entertainment business.
Producing movies is similar to promoting fights, you have to have a storyline and talented fighters.
“As I said before,” explains Lapenda, “all Producing is the same. What you have to do is put together the right elements to provide the best possible show for the audience. In the movie business,” says Lapenda, “that means finding a great script.” Which, adds Bas, “Rico found and brought to me.” Boon knew that he was about to take on a new challenge and was more than willing on a single read. “When I read the script for Bad Guys,” recalls Boon, “I said… I’m in. This script is going to make a cool movie in Hollywood. I could see it in my mind just like I can tell when a fighter will be a champion. You know.” With script in hand, Lapenda set about putting together the rest of the elements to make a first-class independent feature film-including bringing some intriguing details from the fight world.
The Fight Game and actors.
“Fighters are actors,” says Lapenta, “so we always wanted to find things for our guys to do in the right movie. This film provided an opportunity for guys like Ray Sefu and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to prove that they are entertainers in the larger sense, not unlike The Rock or Arnold from back in the day,” he adds. One might think this a chancy undertaking, but not so, says Boon.
“A guy like Quinton Rampage Jackson can captivate an audience. This is true whether it’s in the ring or on the silver screen. It just has to be the right part in the right film, and Bad Guys is a project that Ray and Q fit into perfectly. They are not the stars of the film. We have some great actors in the leads, but they provide an edge that fight fans will appreciate, and that will surprise movie fans a lot.”
Future movie plans.
Bad Guys’ site www.badguythemovie.com has received thousands of hits in its first month. Fight fans from all over the world, asking when the movie is coming up, fighters wanting to do auditions. Sponsors wishing to be part of the already talked about sequel. A movie rarely has such a strong kick from the start.
As for the future-Lapenda and Boon are already planning a sequel to Bad Guys. This sequel would be many future thrills and the opportunity for even more of their real-life action starfighters to play action stars on the big screen. Chalid Arrab is one of the names that is buzzing here in Hollywood. Lapenda and Boon believe he will also be part of the new generation of stars.
“And we are not stopping there,” says Lapenda. “We are working on films in various genres featuring famous actors from around the world. Including two horror movies and a huge action film set in Las Vegas about dueling assassins. Most films will be produced in Hollywood. We are here to entertain you, baby, whatever it takes,” says Lapenda. “And well do whatever it takes,” adds Boon, like the Fight Game there are lots of challenges ahead.
And I believe them.
Golden Glory owner Bas Boon, GSI bought its Showtime.
(C) Bas Boon www.basboon.com