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Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece documents the history of San Francisco's controversial graffiti art movement, with a fast-paced journey into the world of San Francisco street art, as seen through the eye of the artists. Chronicling more than 20 years of creation and destruction -- honestly, accurately, and critically, the film takes you alongside those who lived in what is arguably one of the most influential youth cultures of our time.

San Francisco's graffiti style arose in the period from 1983 to 1993. Piece by Piece starts by documenting what laid the groundwork for today's Bay Area graffiti: "Cholo" writing and the impact of PBS's 1983 documentary, Style Wars. The film includes not only San Francisco's graffiti originals, but also commentary from noted New York "writers" such as Seen, Cope 2, and Case 2. It also covers the tragedy of Dream One, a San Francisco graffiti pioneer and a vocal figurehead in Bay Area urban welfare activism.

From 1993 to 2000, San Francisco became an international magnet for ground-breaking graffiti styles yet to be seen in other parts of the world. The film elaborates on what it takes to establish credibility among the graffiti community, featuring classic works from KR and the horses of Reminisce; and documenting the creative expression of these and other "writers." The film also features well-known graffiti artists such as Grey, Buter, Joro, Norm, and Barry McGee (Twist).

While graffiti is largely considered an underground movement, it's no secret that this art form has provoked a huge response from everyday citizens. The final segment of Piece by Piece explores the wide range of public opinion towards graffiti by giving a voice to the citizens of San Francisco and the law enforcement officers who claim to represent their interests. The film also captures the artists' heartfelt confessions of their love of and addiction to graffiti art and typographic lettering, as well as their social activism, and the short life span of their works.

[Original air date: Sun, Feb 10, 2008]

This program is not currently scheduled for broadcast.

Filmmaker Profiles:

Nic Hill

Read more about Nic Hill, director/editor of Piece by Piece.

Piece by Piece: Crew & Credits

Directed by
Nic Hill

Coordinating Producers
Ed Walker Jr.
Tom Quickel
Noah Tsusui

Nic Hill
John Murillo

Assistant Editor
Adam Hazard

Senor One

Cinematography & Audio
Nic Hill
John Murillo
Vu Pham
Mike Mattson
Noah Tsutsui
Caroline Cho
One Werd
Mike Tran
Susan Ali
Joey Alone
Devon Huges
Akasha Rabut

David Stucky
Justin Lawrence
Chris Osborn

Graphic Design
Brishen Mahoney
Mike Tran
Damon Anderson
Adam Hazard

Titles & Motion Graphics
Adam Hazard

Chris Sanchez

Technical Assistance
Noah Tsutsui
Nixon Hazard

Audio Mastering
Dominique C. Toulon
@ Capp Studios

Jason Gigs Ed Walker
Norm Demon Dement
Check Awe Diet
Giant Maseo Eskae
Deen Twick Skrag
Crayone Igni Vegan
Gigs Jorone Estria
Vogue Apex Sibl
Skrag K2 Tryal
Kasper Phresk Gabe
Krupt Renos Haze
Nate DJ Rise Brock
Neon Shady Essec
Heis Lanes Abhor
Norm Reyes Asia
Shuman Orfn Bles
Jason Vaughn Charo
Malicios Mischief
Josolin Superstar
Patrick Nelson Barnes

Contributing Writers
Alone India Cope2
Ader Erupto K2
Estria Cyme Krupt
Vogue Kode MQ
Skew Dalex Dement
Renos Sac Eskae
Bisaro The MUNI Deat
Chief Bus Hoppers
Fury Diet BST
Heis Doper Pastime
Kasper Rolex Naka
Orfin Dare Werd
Oven King Yern
Sect Delux Bask2
Seen Nez Onset
Skrag Apex Tryal
Awe Iz the Wiz Case2

BeatsNpieces Crew

Thanks to
My family -- for the support
Deen TMF -- for the trust
Sean -- good lookin out
All the writers who put it down in the bay
FE, ETC, 2SR5, 340
Dr. Melinda Stone
Shelby Ulibarri Dr. Kidd
Katie Argurie Anni Tran
John Rogers Nick Nack
Niles Tucker Tin
Nixon Hazard Sarah Quickel
Slick Ricky Sherri Brenner
Gibran soto USF Media Lab
Jake Kozel Jennifer Morgan
Niko Coucouvanis
The Mac Addict Staff

Thank you to Society

Sergeant Nevel, SFPD
BART Police
James Prigoff
DJ Qbert
The people of San Francisco
KTVU Channel 2 news

Found Footage
Internet Archive (at
"Boy in Court"
"Act Your Age"
"Saint Paul"

Music Contribution
"War Night"
by A.A. Kertz

by TD Camp

"Razorblade Alcohol Slide"
"Invasion of the Octopus People"
by DJ Qbert

"Lit Up and Protruding"
by Electric Company

"Off the Block"
by R Clothing & Music

"You Just Don't Understand"
by Kid 606

"Silly", "Havana", "Take Over"
by Archetect

by All Bets Off

"Bad Bender"
by B Student

"A.C.P.P.F.G.", "Trapture"
by Ika Dry (Gus & Dryhump)

"Straight Outta Frisco"
by D-Styles

by Bas1

TMF Section
by Unknown

by rundown

"H.T.s Mist"
"Interrupted Silence"
by Josh Hertel

"Are You With Me"
"That's How It Was"
by Ink One for Bhrn Poppie Music

"SF Mafia"
by Angelo Shadik

"Random Thought"
by Kool DJ Rize

by Baligerance

by Wash House Music

by Morgan Tucker

by Dystopia

"West Side," "Misbehaving," and "SlooShea"
by Chris Fox

by Crayone

"Move to the Left"
by Board Stiff

by Crash Faster

"Lil J Says Wus Up"
by Equipto

"San Francisco Knights"
"Slow Bullet"
by The People Under the Stairs

"Taste Your Own Medicine"
"Population Birth Control"

by Stab1
written/produced by Jason Foote

written/produced by
Dick Nasy & Bootleg

"White Film"
by Tujiko Noriko

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