Henry back in the 80’s Style Wars brought New York graffiti and hip hop to Europe. We used to watch the vcr tape, recorded from tv, over and over again until the tape faded and all we could do is lipsink along with the audio. This movie inspired us to become who we are and we’ll be forever grateful to you for making it. – Mick La Rock
Great to play a small part in helping to restore some genuine Hip-Hop history – Style Wars had such a massive impact outside of the US and definitely educated me as a young kid in England discovering Hip-Hop culture in the early-80s – congratulations to Henry and the team for reaching the pledge goal and best of luck with the restoration process. – Ryan Proctor
Congrats henry you deserve it and the graff community needs it to teach the new generation about what graffiti was really like during the train years,I will be the first to cop it when it drops for sure. – Jimmy Griffin
”This was the day we filmed the battle between Rock Steady Crew and the Dynamic Rockers. A good question, who won the battle? As you can imagine this is disputed. The MC said it was a tie. I’m not entirely unbiased, but I think Rock Steady won that day in the spring of 1981. I bet this interview is in the outtakes…” – Henry Chalfant
Thank you Mr.Chalfant for capturing (Dynamic Rockers & Rock Steady Crew) what has become b-boy history for all to see and enjoy!! And thank you Kid Freeze aka King Freeze for that excellent explanation in “From Mambo to Hip Hop”. Peace, Kid Float (DR)
Mr.Chalfant will you show the full battle in Style Wars DVD outtakes, I saw clips of the same battle in the movie “From Mambo to Hip-Hop” @ Central Park. It would be good to show interviews of Dynamic Rockers, if not from the Style Wars movie footage then present day. Then we can get a different and possibly unbiased view of the entire event. – Fernando Godoy
Yes, we will show everything we shot in this battle. We used one camera, but there’s more there than we used for the original film and From Mambo to Hip Hop. We have to dig… I don’t think we interviewed Dynamic for that battle, till I spoke to Kid Freeze for “From Mambo to Hip Hop”. Good idea to follow up and get both sides. – Henry
In August of 1982 Tony and I shot most of the film. One of the scenes we wanted to shoot was the visit to Grant Avenue layup with Iz the Wiz, Min, Sach, and Quick. The MTA had agreed to let us shoot there, but we had to be accompanied by two transit officials. The MTA had agreed not to arrest the kids, or us, for aiding and abetting. On the day before we, Tony and I, the kids, and the two TA officials, all went to a hatch of the layup in the middle of Queens Boulevard to scout the tunnel.
When we got there, the officials saw that the hatch was locked, and they said, “Sorry, we can’t get in, we don’t have a key”. Min said “no problem” as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a key that fit the lock and we opened the hatch. A writer is always prepared. – Henry Chalfant
Tony shoots from the roof of the van in the Bronx. Linda Habib, the line producer, sits in the van. Tony’s idea was to pan any train that came by and later on attaches Henry’s images optically to the moving train. Our amazing cinematographer, Jim Szalapski, was bored with that idea so Tony took over the camera. in the end, we dropped this idea.
After this shoot, Jim quit, saying he had other projects he wanted to work on. Thats when we hired the second amazing cinematographer, Burleigh Wartes, who stayed with us for the rest of the production. – Henry Chalfant
The Bronx, waiting for trains to shoot. This was the fun part. Some of the greatest cinematography took place here, including the great shot of both sides of a train moving through the frame; Seen’s “Graffiti Died” car coming around the corner on one side and then the Pistol Pete appearing on the other.
The New Lots Avenue train yard was where some of the best art on the subway was created. It was situated on the southeastern end of the 2 and 5 lines of the IRT, in East New York, Brooklyn. East New York in the seventies and eighties was one of the neighborhoods in New York ravaged by blight.
The New Lots yard was easily accessible through a hole in the fence. Not long after Tony and I started to make Style Wars, I was invited by Min, Mare, and Pade to go with them into the New Lots yard to take pictures while they painted. We weren’t there long before we got chased by track workers, called “work bums” by the kids, who appeared, threatening us with steel pipes.
We quickly gathered up all the paint we could and fled back through the hole in the fence, leaving the trains unfinished. – Henry Chalfant