Bend, OR-based production company PopMotion Pictures’ Kickstarter campaign for its next project, ‘Pick It Up! Ska in the 90’s‘, a feature-length documentary film that explores the third-wave ska explosion of the 1990’s, has surpassed its goal of $40,000, and is 100% funded within its first week of launching.
Director Taylor Morden says, “I am overwhelmed by the amount of support and love we have seen from the ska community. It’s really encouraging to see that we aren’t the only ones who care about this music and this time. We have hit the goal and can now officially finish this movie and get it out! But it’s just a start. The more we raise over the next 30 days, the better this movie will be! AND the faster we can get it done and out to the people who supported us. Again, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! It’s an amazing time for ska music, we are just glad to be a part of it.”
With plans to release the documentary in Spring 2019, filmmakers will be adding stretch goals, including a number of new incentives, to encourage ska fans to help make it an even better movie, given that the average budget for low budget documentary films is around $200,000.
‘Pick It Up!’ aims to tell the story of 90’s ska from a wide variety of points of view, including dozens of the key figures who lived it, such as members of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, No Doubt, and Sublime.
The documentary, a “love letter” to third wave ska, will delve deep into how the genre of ska evolved from its original Jamaican form, through British “two-tone” in the 80s, into an entirely new global thing in the 90’s, when it became wildly popular for a brief moment in music history. From the early years of bands like No Doubt, Fishbone, The Toasters, Let’s Go Bowling and Skankin’ Pickle, to the massive radio success of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, and Save Ferris.
Morden and producer Rei Mastrogiovanni (both former bandmates in various ska bands, of course) have canvassed the world hitting up clubs, studios and music festivals, in a quest to chat face to face with the bands, promoters, record label executives, fans, and others who helped build the ska scene in the 90s. The list of interviewees is impressive and includes members of No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, the Pietasters, Fishbone, Save Ferris, Let’s Go Bowling, Dance Hall Crashers, the Specials, Mustard Plug, the Toasters, Skankin’ Pickle, Hepcat, the Slackers, Kemuri, Blink 182/the Aquabats, the Hippos, The Skatalites, Sublime and many more!
The film aims to showcase the underground DIY nature of the scene all over the world and how the push into the spotlight changed everything. Making this film in a similar DIY, independent manner feels fitting given the nature of the ska scene over the years.
Morden and Mastrogiovanni’s goal is to tell this story as accurately as possible from as many points of view as possible, as it was a very different culture of ska music in New York than it was in Orange County or Tokyo.
Excerpts from some of the featured interviews in ‘Pick It Up! Ska in the 90’s:
“When we started off, Grand Rapids didn’t really have a ska scene… The only people in Grand Rapids that knew about ska were the ones in our band. If you knew about ska, you were in Mustard Plug. Didn’t matter if you could play an instrument.“- Dave Kirchgessner / Mustard Plug
“Part of the reason why I wanted to be in a ska band, was because I loved the scene, but also I knew, this is where I need to be!“- Monique Powell / Save Ferris
“When ‘Sell Out’ came out… That was like in the movies! Where they do a montage of playing a small show and then they get bigger and bigger and then they pan up the charts… Oh, going to number one!” – Aaron Barett / Reel Big Fish