One thing I love about documentaries: they have the ability to transport you to a time and place you would otherwise never hear about. And some of my favorite documentaries dive deep into the history behind niche pop culture movements.
Take for example 100 Yen (pictured above), which profiles the arcade scene in Japan. Five-story arcades? Entire rooms of claw crane games? Who knew? And after seeing the trailer I say to myself, "I must know more! Contribute!"
Here are some of my current favorite films seeking funding to tell stories about niche pop culture communities.
This film is all about the breakdancing scene in the UK. Producer Claude Knight (a.k.a. "Scooby") points out that, unlike the punk and rave scenes which have received tons of press in the U.K., the U.K. breakdancing scene has rarely been covered in mainstream media or film. He describes the odyssey he's been on, searching out first-hand archival footage of breakdancing in trash heaps, basements and attics. And it was totally worth it — check out the pitch video to see some of the amazing video footage he's unearthed.
While a lot of the bands in this documentary have pretty huge followings, instead of focusing on the bands themselves, the filmmakers highlight the entire Oxford scene where they came from, and how this small town stands out among all others in the U.K. rock and pop scene.
Check out this compelling back-of-the-box description:
The cultural isolation of Spokane, Washington in the 1980s incited a group of bored teenagers to band together and create a punk rock scene that would test the social and moral boundaries of conservative small-town America. This film recounts the creative peaks and the nihilistic lows that were the scene’s legacy, and examines the profound effect the scene had on the participants’ later lives.
Like the producers of NG83, these filmmakers also had to dig deep to find the archival footage that makes a up a lot of this documentary. They also spent lots of time talking to some of the scene's key players who, as the trailer points out, now have "thirty years of hindsight." Definitely a film — and a scene — you won't see anywhere else!