Gangsta Island - Podcast

"Gangsta Island" is an innovative and fully animated Podcast dedicated to throwback hip-hop of the 80s and 90s. It's usually centered around "barbershop" type debates on various subjects such as: The Greatest Of All Time, The Most Unsung Artists of the 80s/90s, etc. It aims at educating the viewers on hip-hop topics as well as making it edgy and original.

  • Ken Lewis
  • Ken Lewis
  • UrbanLenz Productions
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Music Video, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 29, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD - Adobe Character Animator
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ken Lewis

Ken Lewis is an award winning innovate film writer/director based in the Chicagoland area. Not one for producing the standard narrative, Ken has a penchant for witty satires and clever plot twists. In his first film “Jean”, he covered the chronological sequence of a young, depressed woman driven to drug addiction. At the end of the film, he left the viewer to interpret the fate of the film’s protagonist. His 2nd film, The Final Interrogation”, focused on the consequences of sacrificing your own well-being for other people who may be undeserving. The film was critically acclaimed because it led the viewer to believe that the lead character was being interrogated by a police officer about a murder that he committed when actually it was HIM who was murdered and that the “interrogation officer” was his deceased mother talking to him from purgatory. In his most recent work, “Miss Represent”, he takes the ever-familiar social media world and turns it into an actual place (a living room). Using clever dialogues and deliberate exaggerations that fit the genre, Ken giggles the excessive use of social media and brings a beautiful message: being your true self is all you really need. “Miss Represent” went to over 30 film festivals and took home 6 total awards. Ken holds both an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from Purdue University. He lives in Country Club Hills, IL with his wife and two daughters and enjoys honing his craft at filmmaking, a good craft beer and cigar, and all things technology.

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Director Statement

I grew up in the 80s in the urban middle America town of Gary, Indiana located just outside of Chicago. This was before social media, cable television, and all of the things to distract us today. The best part about growing up in the 80s is that we got to experience the birth of a genre of music which was once considered a "fad" that would ultimately end up one of the top selling music genres. "Gangsta Island" (a less than flattering nickname of my hometown) is a FULLY ANIMATED podcast dedicated to the "Golden Age of Hip-Hop" (80s through mid 90s). I felt making it an animation would add to the innovation of it all as well as make it more visually pleasing with all of the "old school" props (e.g. boom box, vinyl record player, etc). I often feel like the essence of hip-hop in the 80s have been lost in the commercialized world that we live in. The purpose of "Gangsta Island" is to show love and immortalize some of the founding fathers/mothers of the genre and give them their credit on a bigger platform.