NYC Skateboarding OG – Hamilton Harris is coming out with a documentary on the kids in the classic 90’s movie “Kids” by Larry Clark. It will be titled “The Kids” and has Larry Clark as the Executive Producer along with Tobin Yelland as Director of Photography. They’re also teaming up with Jessica Forsyth (Harold Hunter Foundation), Peter Welch and Caroline Rothstein. Filming for the documentary has already begun, read the full press release below for more details.
Documentary Film on the Inside Story
of the Kids from the 1995 Cult Classic Film “Kids”
NEW YORK, NY (May 29, 2014) — Holland-based music producer and New York City- native Hamilton Harris, a pioneer of the New York City street skateboarding scene as well as a principle cast member of the controversial1995 film “Kids,” is currently in production on a documentary about the real lives of the characters from Larry Clark’s cult classic. Titled “The Kids,” Harris’ film is the unprecedented, inside look into how the New York City skateboarding community of the 1980s and 90s created their own reality, usurping a city on the brink of gentrification, while building a new and unique culture along the sidewalks, curbs, and public parks of the city they called home. Larry Clark will Executive Produce the film, and famed skateboarding photographer Tobin Yelland has been tapped to be Director of Photography.
Clark’s “Kids” brought stardom to myriad individuals such as Chloë Sevigny, Rosario Dawson, and Leo Fitzpatrick, and massive exposure to street skateboarding itself, mainstreaming the previously radicalized art. However, the use of substances for escape from the pressures of the group’s new social position as well as past traumatic experiences soon flooded the family. The kids started going their separate ways while still remaining “skaters.” Some found club life. Some found economic stability. Some found spiritual transformation, yet some like Harold Hunter and Justin Pierce lost their lives.
“The Kids” documentary is the journey of how this unique group allowed skateboarding to become not only the way they navigated the harsh realities, streets, broken homes, and housing projects of New York City, but how it became their lens into understanding the most fundamental tool of survival.
Dysfunctional households drenched in depression, drug abuse, economic and emotional poverty from New York City’s ethnic melting pot bred a cast of lost boys who used skateboarding not only as a therapeutic antidote to these circumstances, but also as the spiritual and mystical catalyst for inner transformation. “The Kids” also explores why this particular group of skaters in a unique moment in New York City history is solely representative of and responsible for a cultural shift in urban history. It is the story of the real kids from “Kids,” told from the inside out.
Joining Harris, Mr. Clark, and Yelland on the production team are Producers Peter Bici, “Kids” cast member, professional skateboarder, and current FDNY firefighter; Jessica Forsyth, Executive Director of the Harold Hunter Foundation; Peter Welch, a notable filmmaker, writer, and photographer in his own right; and award-winning spoken word poet and journalist Caroline Rothstein whose article “Legends Never Die” in Narratively went internationally viral as the first retrospective piece to cover what happened to the kids from “Kids.”
“We published ‘Legends Never Die’ nearly a year ago and it remains one of Narratively’s top stories of all time. I still remember the editorial meeting when we first discussed catching up with the kids from ‘Kids’, and it at first seemed like a pipe dream, but Caroline Rothstein delivered. The piece was meticulously reported and had all the ingredients for a blockbuster success–from the intimate look at NYC skater culture to the gritty and painful examination of urban adolescence to the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. The story screams nostalgia and is a window into another world. It’s no wonder that its popularity crashed our site for several hours, which was mighty frustrating at the time but, in retrospect, was a damn good problem for an upstart publisher to have.”
– Noah Rosenberg, Narratively founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief
Preliminary filming of Harris’ documentary has already begun, with interviews of such notables as Jason Lee, Chloë Sevigny, Ryan Hickey among many others already in the can. But with the 20th anniversary of the release of “Kids” approaching, the production team is currently accelerating its fundraising activities to complete shooting this summer and fall, with the hope to have post-production wrapped up by Summer of 2015.
About “The Kids” documentary:
In the early 1990’s, on the cusp of New York City’s mass gentrification, a group of disparate teenagers venture outside their broken homes and communities to discover a new style of skateboarding inspired by the city’s hardscrabble streets. The Kids is the story of the real life characters behind the 1995 cult classic film Kids. Together these skaters build a unique family and lifestyle that transcends their origins and inspires millions, even as they become international commodities in a mainstream spotlight.
About Hamilton Harris:
Hamilton Harris is a Holland-based musician, artist, skateboarder, and writer. Born in the Bronx and raised in Harlem, skateboarding in New York City during the 1980s and 90s had a huge impact on his musical experiences. He has worked with premier skateboard photographer and videographer Tobin Yelland on promotional projects for Nike 6.0, and he’s also collaborated with Cory Shaw. Harris has completed promotional videography work for Toyota Rav 4, TMC channel, and “Skateboarder Magazine,” amongst others. Having had a supporting role in Larry Clark’s cult classic “Kids,” he is currently shooting a documentary titled “The Kids” influenced by his experience growing up in New York City skateboarding and being in the film.