Pick It Up! - Ska in the '90s
A documentary about the rise in popularity of Ska music in the 1990s, often referred to as the "third wave" of ska.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, July 23 2018 6:59 AM UTC +00:00.
UPDATE: 100% FUNDED IN THE FIRST WEEK!
We did it! I can't believe how awesome this community of ska fans is. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. You guys are the best!
Not only did we hit the initial goal in the first week, we've been blasting through our stretch goals, too. We're onto the $100K LIMITED EDITION VINYL SOUNDTRACK goal (see below). Thanks to the generous support, the project now includes:
- THREE NEW SKA T-SHIRT DESIGNS - Every T-Shirt reward package now comes with a choice of shirt design, including an EXCLUSIVE "Pick It Up!" design by the incredible Parker Jacobs (Yo Gabba Gabba, GoGo13, The Aquabats!)
- TWO HOURS OF BONUS CONTENT - (More stories, extra footage, outtakes, etc.) will be included with ALL Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital versions of "Pick It Up! Ska in the 90s"
A CELEBRITY NARRATOR! - Thanks to you we are currently casting for a celebrity narrator to really help get this movie to the mainstream.
- SKA SHADES - Every backer choosing a reward valued at $50.00 or more will now receive a pair of fresh "Pick It Up!" ska shades, with lettering by Parker Jacobs, included in their reward package!
- GUITAR PICK - Every backer choosing a reward valued at $20.00 or more will now receive a "Pick It Up!" guitar pick included in their reward package. Vote now on the design!
Can't decide on just one T-Shirt design for your package? Don't worry, cause now you don't have to choose! CLICK HERE to find out the details on how you can ADD ADDITIONAL T-Shirts and Blu-Rays or DVDs to your reward package for just $25.00 EACH, plus SKA SHADES, PICKS, VINYL and MORE!
You will get to choose your original shirt design, size, and confirm your shipping address AFTER the project ends via Kickstarter survey (Projected for August 2018).
NEXT UP: $100,000 STRETCH GOAL
If we hit $100,000 we will be creating a LIMITED EDITION VINYL SOUNDTRACK featuring bands from the movie. There are some caveats, so please click below to read more, but our goal will be to put together a rad '90s ska compilation type soundtrack with some never-before-available-on-vinyl tracks!
Vinyl is LIMITED in quantity (800 Black/200 Smoke) and available to Kickstarter backers before anyone else AND we will ONLY press vinyl (both Black & Smoke colored) if we reach the $100,000 stretch goal. Backers who have already pledged $125.00 or more will receive (1) copy of the soundtrack on black vinyl in their reward packs (Theatre poster reward tier and above).
See the graphic below for additional stretch goals, which will become clearer as we get closer to each goal.
Now onto the project story...
Pick It Up!
A documentary on the rise in popularity of ska music in the 1990s, often referred to as the "third wave" of ska.
Were you the kid who took up trumpet or saxophone in high school hoping your band would get to open up when the touring ska band came to town? Or were you the girl sporting the checkered dress at prom, hoping the DJ would play any song you could skank to? Maybe you were you the preppy kid that didn't quite fit in with the metal heads or the gangsta' wannabes, who finally heard a catchy upbeat on the college radio station and had to learn what this style was? Or were you the younger sibling that was filled with sadness when the 90s were over and the third wave ska bands you wanted to see live were no longer touring!
Well, if this is you, we are making your movie!
This documentary aims to tell the story of how the genre of ska evolved from its original form in Jamaica in the 60s, through two-tone in Europe in the 80s, into an entirely new sound in the 90s and became wildly popular all around the world for a brief moment in music history. You'll hear the stories from the early years of some of the most well loved bands including No Doubt, Fishbone, The Toasters, Let's Go Bowling, Operation Ivy, and Skankin' Pickle, as well as how the rise to fame occurred for the radio success stories The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, and Save Ferris!
We are traveling around the world, interviewing the bands, promoters, record label executives, fans, and others who participated in building the ska scene in the 90s. This documentary showcases the DIY nature and challenges of the scene all over the world and relives how the push into the spotlight changed everything for these previously obscure bands and the genre in general. Making this film in a similar DIY, independent manner feels fitting given the nature of how the ska scene grew in popularity from its underground roots over the years.
Our goal is to tell this story as accurately as possible from as many points of view as possible. Ska in the 90s had a very different culture and scene in New York as compared to Orange County, or Tokyo for that matter!
Who's in it?
We still have a long way to go to finish this movie, but here are some of the bands we've interviewed members of so far:
- Reel Big Fish
- Less Than Jake
- No Doubt
- Save Ferris
- The Aquabats
- The Mad Caddies
- The Toasters
- Dance Hall Crashers
- Let's Go Bowling
- The Pietasters
- Skankin' Pickle
- Tazy Phillipz (the Ska Parade)
- The Skatalites
- Spring Heeled Jack
- Suicide Machines
- Mustard Plug
- The Porkers
- The Hippos
- Big D and the Kids Table
- Voodoo Glow Skulls
- Five Iron Frenzy
- RX Bandits
- The Specials
- Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
We need your help!
Being passionate fans ourselves, we are attempting to make this film in a DIY manner, and as such, we have no big studio support or any real private funding whatsoever. Until now we have been self-financing this project and have run out of funds to complete the movie in the way we feel it needs to be completed. That's where you come in, because we have heard your voice and you love ska! You want these stories to be told!
Your support, large or small, will go a long way towards getting this movie out into the world!
Want to do more to help?
We have a lot of the standard fare for a Kickstarter movie... You can get a digital copy, or a BluRay copy of the film, Your name in the credits, buttons, stickers, t-shirts, even exclusive posters being drawn (Image coming soon!) by the incredible Steve Vance (Less Than Jake's "Hello Rockview", Mystery Science Theater 3000)... All kinds of goodies.
We will also be releasing some LIMITED REWARDS of signed memorabilia from some of the bands involved and other cool RARE ska stuff, like the 1996 Less Than Jake promo stickers that were all claimed in the first weekend! Follow us on social media to know when more #Noskalgia becomes available!
So keep an eye out on this page for those rewards and visit skamovie.com to join our mailing list and learn about contests and other Pick It Up! news.
Director - Taylor Morden has been playing trumpet in ska bands off and on for over 20 years. He has directed several award-winning short films and, after the success of his previous feature documentary, Here's to Life: The Story of the Refreshments, Taylor is returning to the ska world to help bring these stories to the masses.
Producer - Rei Mastrogiovanni has been playing ska music for over 20 years. Since 2005 he has been working in Japan in music and television. Aside from his solo projects and bands in Japan, he has worked with American ska legend Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Mexican ska giants Maskatesta, and Japanese female pop-ska group Oreskaband.
Associate Producer - Jason Hockney Zeimet is a walking “3rd Wave Ska Encyclopedia” who has worked on several music-related documentaries including “No New Kinda Story: The Story Of Tooth & Nail Records” & MxPx’s “Best Life Series”. His favorite ska record is Slapstick “Lookit.” He owns a nearly-infinite number of Ska records on Vinyl, & is a feature writer for Modern-Vinyl.com.
Associate Producer - Leanor (AKA "Jeff the girl") Ortega Till has been a female pioneer in the Ska Punk community for over 20 years! As the saxophone player for Denver, CO's Five Iron Frenzy she was the only female on the acclaimed 'Ska Against Racism' tour during the height of the third wave ska movement. In addition to being a multi-talented musician, writer, & charismatic interviewer, her connections in the ska community have proved invaluable to the production of this movie.
Writer - Heather Augustyn literally wrote the book on ska. In fact, several books on ska, all available at skabook.com
Cinematographer - Noah Mucci has an uncanny ability to recognize story and react to it quickly with a cinematic eye. His recent work on ICARUS (Academy Award Winner: Best Documentary 2017, Emmy nominated) is just one example of that.
A Note From The Director:
Ska is what got me into playing music. Music is what got me into making videos, which led to films. Now film making has brought me back to ska. Playing in ska bands throughout the years has taken me around the world and introduced me to some of the most amazing people and most of my lifelong friends.
For some people ska (especially from the '90s) is viewed as silly or novelty music, but for me it means a lot. As cliche as it may sound, growing up as a band geek, discovering ska music changed my life. Which is a story I've now heard from countless other people both musicians and fans. Even when "The Impression That I Get" hit the mainstream and was in heavy rotation on VH1 it always seemed like ska music was for the outsiders, the geeks, and the weirdos. Like it was music that was just for us. Which is part of why so many people still love it today.
So far, making this movie has been an amazing experience! I hope that when the movie comes out and you get to hear these stories that we have been gathering it will give you a whole new appreciation for the music and the bands that meant so much to so many of us!
Risks and challenges
Making a feature length music documentary takes a lot of work and has a unique set of challenges.
- Going through dozens of hours of interviews to find the best way to tell the story.
- Tracking down and restoring archival videos and photos that may have been lost or damaged over the years.
- Licensing and clearing music and video clips that are owned by countless different record labels and corporations.
- Finding distribution and marketing for an independent film.
All of those are surmountable challenges for sure, but it takes a lot of work by a lot of people to get there.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!
Help Wanted Labs
Do you have experience in licensing archival video clips or music for documentaries?
Do you have an old VHS tape of a ska show from 1994 sitting on a shelf that we can digitize for you?
Are you an animator? illustrator? graphic designer? Want to help make this doc more awesome?