The mid 90s you say? Jonah Hill you say? A film you say? Launch events you say? Well that’s four of our favourite things right there… throw Everyman and some skateboards into the mix and that’s a cocktail team Sundae will drink all day long.
When our good friends over at the amazing Everyman came to us and asked us to look after their launch events for the UK release of, Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, mid90s at their venues in Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool we were massively hyped – mainly because we love Everyman and we love Jonah Hill… everything else was a bonus.
Everyman isn’t every cinema – they do things differently. We wanted these events to be fully experiential and to convey exactly what Jonah Hill was trying to communicate through mid90s and partner it with Everyman’s relaxed and welcoming approach.
We took to the OST to garner some knowledge on the writer’s perspective; the OST is hip-hop heavy and within it are snippets of an interview with Jonah in which he describes both hip-hop and skateboarding as emotive, empathetic, accepting, family based and judgement free scenes that gave him an identity and a home throughout his formative years.
Hill disagrees with how both scenes are represented in films generally – intimidating and aggressive cliques that don’t allow outsiders in – and wanted to flip the script, show them in their true light and let people know that everybody was, and still is, welcome.
This became our inspiration.
We wanted to use our friends in the skate and music industries to continue that family feeling in the events – our mission was to recreate the film’s atmosphere outside of the cinema and make the guests feel at home and welcomed by the hip-hop and skate worlds respectively to put them in the correct mindset for the film that they were about to watch.
First we tapped up our mate Tez at Black Sheep Skateboard Store, home of the best skate team in Europe, for some advice – he gave us better than that; they became our skate partners for the entire project. Result.
Next we had a chat with our pals Poppy and Nik over at the Marcus Intalex Music Foundation (MIMF) about coming on board as a music partner and their answer was simple: we got you. Ideal.
Sundae’s friend Lei-Mai LeMaow is known for her incredible skateboard art (amongst many other talents) so she came on board as a live art partner. More than safe hands!
Down in Birmingham we hooked up with the B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival which is organised by the Hippodrome and they joined us as an event curation partner; they wanted to supply breakdancers, skaters and DJs and cross promote their upcoming Festival. Works for us – the more the merrier.
After much planning and negotiation with the various shopping centres that the Everyman cinemas operate out of, we were good to go.
In Birmingham, upon arrival, guests walked through a live skateboard and b-boy display outside the cinema with the mid90s OST booming in the background. Once inside, they were greeted by DJ Silence tha Nomad on the 1s and 2s spinning beats pre screening…. after the film, the party started in the bar.
The event was also well attended by members of the city’s hip-hop and skate scenes and with the display being outdoors, a crowd formed and there was plenty of cheers and applause for the performances on show resulting in maximum authenticity.
Next up was Leeds. The guys at MIMF arranged for, local hip-hop heavyweight, DJ Weston to supply the soundtrack while Lei-Mai LeMaow did some awesome bespoke live skateboard art in the bar (later given away on Insta) as the guests arrived and, once again, after the film… the party continued.
And now, here we are in Liverpool at the final event of the trilogy, we’ve moved the skate display inside the shopping centre and with the soundtrack blasting, this is the edgiest of the three events.
As the guests move through the display and into the cinema, Liverpool legends No Fakin’ are on the turntables (again courtesy of MIMF) and are taking zero prisoners. Liverpool’s leading skate store, Lost Art, were out in force and after the screening….. well, you know the rest.
Three cities, three venues, three awesome events, insane skateboard displays, breakdancing, great music, an amazing film, family, friendship, acceptance, authenticity, lots of happy faces… and thanks to our videographer, RCLC, we’ve got evidence.
Until next time.
(Images: mid90s / Everyman / RCLC / publicity shots)