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“'Skateboarding in New York, prior to Kids, was a clubhouse,” [Alex Corporan] says. “No one really liked us, no one cared about us. We were part of a scene that no one understood – a bunch of mixed-race kids together, hanging out. We shared everything, did everything together. It was a circle of trust; you had that, and that’s all you had.'” - The Guardian
"The Kids aims to celebrate the real lives and stories of the people who shaped the film, paying special attention to the cultural landscape of 90s NYC." - VICE
"There were times when watching Kids was my escape. I think everyone has that need sometimes. It could be through reading, writing, painting, [graffiti] bombing, drugs, sex, rock and roll, or whatever, but everybody finds a way to escape. For the kids of Kids skateboarding gave them not only an escape from their families and troubled lives, but provided them a new family of like-minded brothers and sisters that had their back. It’s that family that was really the focus of Larry’s vision...Theirs were the real stories and energy that spawned the film, and the ones that will finally be shared in this documentary." - 12ozProphet
THE KIDS is an all-access documentary about the real life individuals who inspired Larry Clark’s 1995 cult classic film Kids. Our film, currently in pre-production, will capture the formative, vital, and at times traumatic emotional magnitude that the kids from Kids experienced before, during, and after the film’s inception and global success.
We'll not only highlight how various cultural displays of inner turmoil manifested as they did, but also celebrate the 1990s: the dying breath of old New York. This is the unprecedented look at the real life stories behind Kids, being made from the inside out because we are, in fact, THE KIDS.
We grew up in the 1980s and ‘90s when New York City subcultures thrived: skateboarding, pre-gentrified downtown, Hip Hop, punk, and the rave and club scenes. Kids barely glossed the surface of the poverty, racism, and segregation we experienced in real life, behind the scenes.
With Larry Clark himself fully supporting the project, our documentary will weave together never-before-seen archival material from the ‘80s and ‘90s with intimate, present-day interviews featuring the core cast of characters from Kids.
This film is about our real lives and the real stories that inspired Kids, as well as the lives lost in the journey: Harold Hunter, Justin Pierce, Keenan Milton, Mike Cardona, and Sajan Bhagat. This film is for them.
Our project is about honoring the community that built a global movement and inspired a game-changing film. It is only right that it be an international communal effort to make this project take flight. We want to unite together. All of us. Not just us, THE KIDS, but anyone who’s ever felt unheard.
We want this film to be a worldwide effort to honor the legacy and culture that inspired Kids. We want you to help us tell this story. To honor the lives of those we’ve lost. And to make new history about a moment in time.
The now cult classic film Kids debuted at the Angelika Film Center in 1995. A directorial debut by renowned photographer Larry Clark, with an unmitigated script written by Harmony Korine, Kids changed the world. It's wrought with shock. Epithets. Underage drinking. Drugs. Unadulterated sex. Rape. And a loud, terrifying glimpse into the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Kids captured a real community of New York City skateboarders and downtown club goers, an unsupervised caldron of youth, a pre-gentrified New York City that now – twenty years later – is only visible in memory and cultural impact. The fictional plot-line positioned the real life culture as a Hollywood story – a virgin hunter on the prowl, and a former conquest on a mission to confront him after finding out that he infected her with HIV. This blurring of reality and fiction – pre-cell phone, pre-Internet, pre-AZT – immortalized a moment in history unlike any other film.
The funds will allow us to make a 10-15 sample cut trailer, which will help secure additional funding, and put us well on our way to completing a rough cut of the entire film, as the funds will help cover shooting brand new interviews for the entire film, and digitize most of our archival footage.
THE GAME PLAN
We’re launching this Kickstarter campaign to raise $81K in line with the 20th Anniversary of Kids. We want to celebrate this moment in history with Kids fans, skaters, and the global community.
We’ve been in pre-production for several years. While we’ve shot preliminary interviews, and gathered and secured access to some incredible never-before-seen archival footage, there is only so much that can be accomplished in kind. So far, everything that has been done to support the project has been provided as a gift from very, very generous individuals, or through deferred payments to be reimbursed later.
With exclusive access to outtakes, casting videos, home movies, rare skate footage and archival photos, THE KIDS will take viewers inside a critical moment in urban history to explore the origins and the consequences of sudden fame. Weaving together archival material and intimate, present-day interviews with the core cast of Kids, Director Hamilton Harris will thread the narrative arc with voice-over insights connecting the past and present.
In order to fundraise the traditional way by getting investors involved, we need to shoot and edit a sizzle reel and rough cut of the film. That's where you come in. To make the rest of this project a reality, we need your support. With your help, we can shoot the rest of our interviews, digitize exclusive never-before-seen archival footage, and edit a sample cut.
Hamilton Harris, known from the infamous blunt rolling tutorial scene in Kids, is the director of our documentary. As a unique, at times mystical, and always candid voice for the kids from Kids, Hamilton has spent the last twenty years reflecting on how he and his friends used their skateboards as therapy.
The personalities Hamilton met skateboarding influenced his life in a profound way. As a collective, they were the reminders to each other, and the world at large, that we are all interconnected.
Hamilton’s ultimate goal for this documentary is to help viewers, cast members, and the community heal from their varied life experiences, by seeing others as a reflection of their own selves without discrimination or judgment.
THE KIDS is the only opportunity to provide not only Kids fans and the global skateboarding community with in depth historical context and understanding of their passion’s origins, but an unparalleled way to show the world at large how we can all survive and heal.
HAMILTON HARRIS (Director, Producer) Hamilton Harris is a Holland-based musician, artist, skateboarder, and writer. Born in the Bronx and raised in Harlem, his experiences skateboarding in New York City during the 1980s and 90s had a profound impact on his life. He has worked and collaborated with Nike, Cory Shaw, Toyota, TMC channel, Skateboarder Magazine, and more. Himself a cast member of Kids, THE KIDS is his first documentary film.
ANDREA B. SCOTT (Editor) Andrea B. Scott is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker, editor, and writer. Her first feature-length documentary, "Florence, Arizona," premiered at the DOC NYC in 2014. Andy edited the CNN documentary film, "Fresh Dressed," and co-edited the Netflix documentary, "Hot Girls Wanted," both of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015. She was an editor and an associate producer on Participant Media’s documentary, “A Place at the Table,” directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and was released nationwide by Magnolia Pictures in March 2013. Prior to that, Andy worked for three years as an associate producer and assistant editor for Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Cynthia Wade.
TOBIN YELLAND (Director of Photography) Through a photography workshop in 1988, premiere skateboarding photographer Tobin Yelland became Larry Clark’s introduction to skateboarding youth. Yelland’s photographs have been exhibited worldwide, and have been featured in various publications including Visionaire, Tokion, Thrasher, Spin, and Dazed and Confused. He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
PETER BICI (Producer) A Firefighter for the FDNY, film consultant, and actor, Peter Bici played a premiere role in Kids, and is a known figure in the skateboarding community worldwide. A member of the original Zoo York skate team, Bici was a sponsored professional rider and played an integral park in the marketing and development of the now legendary Supreme skate shop in Manhattan. He lives in New York City with his wife Jaclyn and two children.JESSICA FORSYTH (Producer) Jessica Forsyth is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Harold Hunter Foundation (HHF), a non-profit, grassroots, skateboard community-based organization that provides support, opportunity, and advocacy for NYC skateboarders. Through her work with HHF, she has partnered with a variety of skate brands, professional and amateur skateboarders, and local organizations to produce events and programs that are authentic to NYC street skating culture. She has a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University.
CAROLINE ROTHSTEIN (Producer) Caroline Rothstein is a New York City-based spoken word poet, journalist, body empowerment advocate, and arts educator. Her Narratively article “Legends Never Die,” the first retrospective about what happened to the kids from Kids went viral. Caroline was an Associate Producer on Andrea B. Scott's feature-length documentary "Florence, Arizona." She has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Supported by Sundance Institute's Artist Services Program.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is to honor the members of the community that both inspired and were cast in Kids, while simultaneously maintaining our mission to tell deeply delicate and sensitive personal stories. And our biggest risk is to tell this story without further exploiting the actual lives of those whose stories we seek to share.
While Kids impacted millions of people and countless communities and cultures worldwide, we – those whose lives were directly affected, who were and are the kids from KIDS – continue to mourn the aftermath of our adolescence, immortalized on the screen.
We want to ensure that THE KIDS is the best, most respectful, honest, and beautiful representation of the reality of everyone involved. There’s so much depth connected to the story behind Kids – potent, haunting stories of pain, trauma, and triumph that haven’t been told, that could add extraordinary depth and texture to the public narrative surrounding Kids.
Even though this project is itself being spearheaded and run by members of the community, it is risky to ask the world to help fund this project. It is a risk we need to take.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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