‘Style Wars’ Producers Launch Kickstarter Campaign To Retrieve Film Outtakes

By Jay Casteel (@JayCasteel)  |  11/08/2011

Style Wars documentaryPublic Art Films, the producers behind the iconic documentary "Styles Wars," launched a campaign on Kickstarter this week in an attempt to retrieve the film's outtakes

"Style Wars" needs no introduction to those who know it. For those who haven't had the experience, it is considered one of the seminal documentaries of the 20th century. The film is not only the indispensable document of hip-hop culture in the early years, it is also a portrait of New York City at a very dramatic moment in its history --the Bronx ablaze, the city bankrupt, citizens and public officials at each others' throats, while the youth of the city gave birth to a cultural movement that took the world by storm and is still going on.

Its outtakes are one of the most intriguing buried treasures of New York's cultural history. Over 30 hours of "Style Wars" outtakes lie in storage. It was edited to its 69 minute length from the original 30 hours, and there's a lot of historically significant material there, which never made it into the finished film -- including spectacular breaking moves from the historic b-boy battle between Rock Steady and the Dynamic Rockers; Skeme and his mom have quite a bit more to say to each other.

There's more of the conversation with the late, beloved Kase 2, the "King of Style," in which he speaks in a poetic language that intrigues and fascinates linguists. Seen reveals his trade secrets, describing in detail how he goes to the yard to paint a train.

With the money raised from Kickstarter, the producers plan to rent the necessary studio space and equipment, pay for the labor to go to the archives, find the best clips, and get them ready to appear as extras on the new "Style Wars" HD and Blu Ray disc.

A weeklong screening of the original, groundbreaking film is being shown on PITCHFORK TV (see below), coinciding with the Kickstarter campaign.

The Kickstarter goal is to raise $28,000. As of press time, 89 backers have pledged over $5,000. To contribute, visit KickStarter.com.