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Local artists, 624 Productions ‘rocking and rolling’ on current and future projects

624 Productions will finish up filming for its new short film "American Boy" later this month.

There’s a “full force” collaboration going on between a production company and local artists in the Hillsborough community.

Owner and founder of 624 Productions LLC, Tom Baldinger, has provided the tools and services of his production company to help Hillsborough residents like Michael LaMastro and Salman Jaffri, bring their artistic works to life.

“We’ve been rocking and rolling,” Baldinger said of the recent work done by 624 Productions. “We want to continue to grow and become a full-service production company.”

LaMastro is the lead vocalist/guitarist of the heavy metal band Nuse, which is based in Hillsborough. He met Baldinger last year through mutual friends.

The two Hillsborough residents have since built a strong professional relationship and that has correlated into 624 Productions and Nuse working together on a couple of projects.

The first of those projects was filming and producing the music video for Nuse’s song “Swept Away,” which won the award for Best Music Video at the Independent Shorts Awards, an international film festival that is associated with the international movie base website IMDB.

“We’re definitely happy as a local band to be working with (624 Productions),” LaMastro said. “Anything 624 Productions does is ‘Grade A’ stuff.”

LaMastro said Nuse is hoping to “strike gold” twice on the music video that they shot with 624 Productions for their new single “Scoundrel.”

Lead guitarist of Nuse, Mike Wilday, who is also a Hillsborough resident, said the band’s new single off its album Evilution-Volume 1 “revolves around the people you run into in life that are not nice to you and to everyone else around. It can be like people yelling at the cashier in a coffee shop or those showing no respect to others around them.”

“The song depicts what life would be without those types of people in our society,” he said.

Baldinger came up with an idea to make a “comical” presentation for the music video of Scoundrel, which was released on May 12.

NUSE Scoundrel

“We had a lot of fun making the music video for Scoundrel,” Baldinger said.

LaMastro said Nuse has gotten an “incredible” response from people around the area about the music video for Scoundrel and will be showcasing it at different music festivals throughout the summer.

“The initial hype for the music video has been great,” LaMastro said. “Tom (Baldinger) had a great idea for the video and we ran with it from there.”

In addition to the two music videos, Nuse also provided the introduction for the TV comedy series that 624 Productions created called “UN$UITED.”

“We’re 624 Productions’ biggest fans,” added LaMastro.

Baldinger and 624 Productions are currently pitching the two-part pilot of UN$UITED to different streaming platforms and cable stations like Comedy Central.

UN$UITED centers around a young man named Greg Mucha who walks away from his inheritance to become a professional poker player. Unbeknownst to Greg, he is terrible at the game and is unaware of the risks and implications his decisions will have not only on himself but also his family and friends.

The series stars Ronnie Marmo, Dan Lauria, Tony Denison and Carmine Giovinazzo.

Another project that 624 Productions is working on is a short film called “American Boy,” which was written by Jaffri and based on his life growing up as a first-generation child of Pakistani immigrants in the United States.

“It’s a film that is 14 years in the making,” Jaffri said. “It’s about my life as a first-generation child of immigrants and going through the expectations they had of me and the journey I had to find myself and true passions. Any child of Pakistani, Indian or Asian immigrants would be able to relate to it.”

Jaffri, who is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., moved to the Hillsborough area in 2019. After contacting Baldinger and 624 Productions last year and seeing their past projects, Jaffri said he was on board with working with the production company on his story and bringing it to life.

Jaffri also stars in the lead role of the movie.

“It’s been fantastic working with 624 Productions,” he said. “They’re an amazing group of people.”

American Boy is set to end filming later this month. The ultimate goal for Jaffri is for the film to be bought by a streaming company and made into a full-length feature.

Jaffri is a consultant for a pharmaceutical company by day, but his true passion lies with acting and doing stand-up comedy.

Since becoming a part of the Hillsborough community, Jaffri said that he has been very impressed with the talented artists he has met that live in the area.

“It’s a real phenomenon,” Jaffri said. “You wouldn’t expect that from Hillsborough Township, but they have so much talent. It’s been fantastic working and connecting with all these people.”

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