Every now and again you see a diamond in the rough, ya know something that automatically catches your eye! Whenever it catches your eye, you want to do everything possible to see it, feel it, and share it with family and friends. Thats the beauty of dance and artistic pieces in general! You feel connected to a dance, a song, or a piece of art!
Nick and Nate Simmons have been surrounded by a variety of genres of art their entire lives, so its only right that a combination of various styles of art came together in one film: Live Free: A Hip Hop Dance documentary. The documentary, that will complete filming in the Spring of 2013, has its own Kickstarter project attempting to raise $30,000 to piece together a quality documentary as well as travel the world filming the real stories behind Hip Hop Dance!
It’s projects like these that get me really happy about where the state of dance is headed! We all come together without any beef or high headedness, seeking to share our experiences and the purity of the art! We respect all people for what they have been through and see the expression of that in many ways! Thanks to these brothers for promoting dance and seeking to achieve success for themselves through an amazing artistic view!
Give us a little background on you two
You grew up in Chicago; tell us about your roots in dance, music, and art
Growing up, we both were surrounded by music and art. Our father was offered a recording contract by a major recording label back “in the day” but turned it down because he had just had his first child (our older brother, Zach). Our dad was our biggest influence into music and art and still is. He motivates us to do everything we dream of and pursue in life. We were both home-schooled which allowed us the opportunity to dig deep into what we are passionate about in the arts and music realm.
What’s your history with music and art?
We both wanted to play drums and guitar at a very young age but most music teachers refused to teach us without knowing how to read music. Piano was our next option, so that’s where our music background began. Now Nate has been playing drums and piano for almost 14 years and Nick has been playing guitar for 13 years. We’ve always loved to create things, whether it’s a song, painting, photograph or video. We believe that expressing ourselves is the most important thing in life because that’s what makes us human. Otherwise, we would all be robots. Putting positivity back into the world and uniting people through the arts.
How did the idea of following dancers in a documentary come about?
Live Free came about when we felt that the power of passion and expression needed to be told and brought to the screen. When we went to a friends dance studio a year ago, we quickly realized that there is a story to be told much deeper than just dance. Someone might think about something 24/7, “Eat, Breathe and Sleep” is a funny term that society has for this. You can’t teach passion or how to express yourself. It’s born into the nature of who you are and is embedded into your soul. Dancers who dig deep within themselves to let out their inner self can understand this passion and need to move.
Do either of you dance? What’s been your exposure to dance or hip hop culture?
Technically, everyone dances. We don’t dance as a hobby or at a local studio, but throughout the process of this film, the culture has been very influential on the direction and the meaning behind Live Free.
Explain the process of making the film. You all attended Hip Hop International in Vegas, was this your first time?
Filming a documentary can be a very long process because of each story we want to tell. Traveling to these areas in the world can also be very expensive which is why filming can take such a long time. So far, we’ve been filming since March 2012 but hope to wrap up filming by late Spring 2013. Last Summer, we took a trip to Los Angeles to film for two weeks, capturing some of the industry side of the dance community, going to studios, interviewing industry dancers and choreographers, dance unions and dance agencies. Then we headed to Las Vegas just in time for Hip Hop International to capture some of the community side of hip hop dance. We had the privilege of meeting countless crews form all around the world and hearing what the hip hop culture is like in their country and following up with previous dancers that we had been following from LA. Yes, there are plans to be back at Hip Hop International 2013, but this time not to film for the documentary…you’ll just have to wait and see what is to come!
What’s the general message behind Live Free?
To follow your dreams, pursue what you’re passionate about and express it to the world around you. Don’t get trapped by the pressure of society and let anyone tell you what’s “normal” or how to live your life. It’s more than just a film, it’s a movement.
What are some of your favorite moments from this film?
So far, we’ve met so many amazing people and have had such a great time filming, its hard to say. Some moments that stick out is when we went to film Funkdation for the first time during their practice and were gracious enough to invite us into their “Funkdation House” to relax and have a few drinks with the crew and their good friend, Anthony Lee. Another great memory was the last night at HHI and Grv invited us to go bowling with the crew. Hanging out and getting to personally know the amazing people that are making this film possible has made the journey so far worth it.
Any fun stuff behind the scenes of the film?
A lot of fun is spent at our computer desks going through footage and replaying all the fun moments we’ve had so far and finding what will go in the film.
What are the goals with the Kickstarter?
Our goal for Kickstarter is to bring awareness of the film and raise the $30,000 we need to finish filming, editing and sound mixing. But most importantly, take the film on a tour to dance studios to hold showings of the film to give back to the dance community.
Have you had any support from the dance scene, i.e. crews or dancers?
We’ve had a lot of support from the dancers and dance crews that we have come in contact with throughout the course of filming. Now, with our Kickstarter campaign live and running, we need the dance community to be behind this project 100%. We have until December 22nd to raise roughly $29,000, without the financial support from the dance community, this film won’t get finished and a lot of filming, time and personal money will have gone to waste. That’s why we need everyones support sharing, tweeting and pledging on our kickstarter page. So that we can shine a light on a side of the dance world that hasn’t been shown yet.
If you’re project and film had a theme song, what would it be?
That’s easy! “Live Free” by Mac Miller
Give us some final words or shout outs
Defiantly want to shout out to our friends in GRV Crew and Funkdation Crew for all their love and support! We hope that everyone reading this will believe in our project and movement as much we do. We want to most importantly thank all of the fans that have been supporting us these last several months and following the making of the film. It’s the support from people all over the world that make the process of making this film worth it.