Scrapertown

Scrapertown tells the story of a movement to get Oakland kids off the streets and onto their bikes.

The “Scraper Bikes,” which are decorated with spray paint and flashy rimmed spokes, was a project started up by Baby Champ “Scraper Bike King” as a hobby, but has become a grass roots effort to get kids to feel like they’re a part of something. Champs says that his big dream is to make a bike shop that also functions as a “fresh” facility for kids to do homework on new Apple computers. For now, scraper bikes provide a positive environment for kids that could be skipping school and stealing cars instead, Champ says.

One part street art project, one part after school program, scraper bikes are an innovation of going green in the hood. The video represents that through music and photos, which are huge in conveying the kids and their culture. The footage of 30 plus teenagers biking in a line through the streets of East Oakland on a rainbow of wheels, sun shining of the metal, is what makes this piece of online journalism. That, and the super tight shots of the teens faces and bicycles. The blend of Champ’s interview with b-roll of wheels spinning, colors, and kids biking mixed with the new age hip hop sound creates a multimedia that feels less like news and more like pop culture – I have to say, I love it.

The clip is from the series “California is a place,” which is a project that documents stories from the Golden State and is produced, directed, and shot by Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari.

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