20 YEARS IN THE MAKING
'CUTS' is a feature length documentary focusing on the hairdressing salon Cuts in London. Cuts was founded by James Lebon during the post-punk, New Romantic scene of the early 80s and is still going to this day.
It began its life in a tiny room in the basement of Kensington Markets where different social strata meshed together to form a movement that included contemporary musicians, photographers, artists, DJs, filmmakers and fashion types.
People such as Leigh Bowery, Christopher Nemeth, Boy George, Tom Dixon and John Maybury all made Kensington Market their home by day.
In the 80s the fashion magazines took their lead from the young people making statements through their DIY clothes and hairstyles. The Face and ID were in their infancy pushing multiculturalism and inclusiveness and at odds with Thatchers declaration 'There is no society'. Thatcher's politics clashed with the flamboyant creativity of the new 'It' kids & Cuts was central to this Ã¢?? the first independent hairdessers in London:
The antithesis of Vidal Sasson and the place where the club kids went to get their hair done. Punks, new romantics, rock bands, young stars and the general public all trusted James with creating a 'look' to suit their personality.
This documentary shows the beginning of Cuts through interviews and archival footage. James Lebon & Steve Brooks are interviewed by Paula Yates on her TV show, The Tube on New Years Eve. Cuts is featured in the glossy mags and business couldn't be better. But by the middle of the 80s times were changing; AIDS had become a reality and the DIY attitude of the punk era was being replaced by capitalism & consumer culture.
Change was also inevitable at Cuts and in the mid-80s James left London for a fresh start in New York and Steve Brooks took over the running of the new 'Ladies and Gent's' barber shop in Soho. Steve took on 3 new partners Ã¢?? Daniel, Pete and Roy and he referred to the new team at Cuts as Ã¢?? 'we were a tribe, we were family.'
Soho is also featured as a character in this film. Footage from the 1950s through to present day shows its ongoing transformation.
The time span of this film allows us to witness change and cultural shifts including the death of the 'people's princess' in 97 and a shift in political regimes in the UK. Tony Blair and New Labour usher in a new era of politics in the UK and with it a nation's optimism. Events of global importance are juxtaposed with events that transpire within the Cuts community
All ideologies are challenged when real life intervenes and the Cuts fairy-tale is no exception. In the beginning we see a carefree utopian workplace within an untarnished vision of trendy London life. In 2010 problems at Cuts come to a head and 'We Are Cuts' is reformed run by Daniel and Pete. As Daniel says ''Cuts is not dependent on one person, it is made up of all the people who have been here over the decades, and hopefully it will continue well after we have gone, taken over by the next generation.Ã¢??
Use of funds
We Need Your Help! Your Participation Makes A Difference
Purchases these rewards now will cover the post production costs through to submissions to film festivals. Whatever amount we raise, we can assure 100% will be utilised to fund the completion of this film.
WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.
What we need are:
2. Sharing on social media/email
In return for your donations, we have all kinds of rewards, as you'll see to the right, including being the first to see the finished film. Or having you haircut at Cuts, EVERY DONATION MATTERS.
Not just because of the money, but for the support in general and to raise our number of backers. We know that Cuts has a huge outreach of people who have been involved for over 30 years.....and most of these people love Cuts! So we are asking people to please SHARE ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA to try reaching as many of these people as possible in the time that this campaign is running.
Help us get the word out there to finish this film so we are able to share it with the world as soon as possible.
Your help empowering this film is critical to the success of this project! You can stay updated beyond the campaign by emailing to sign up to CUTS The Movie mailing list, and please ‘like’ the project on Facebook.
What We Need, Where The Money Goes
We’ve pulled many favours already and have onboarded sponsors such as:
Fashion brand –
Hair product – Mojo Hair
MOJO HAIR is the new premium hair styling and grooming range for men that combines pro-salon product styling performance with a modern luxury fragrance. Define your individual style and attitude with MOJO HAIR! Find out more at www.mojo-style.com.
- Final rough-cut edit
- Some post production costs
- We have also taken into account charges via the Crowdfunding platform and the costs of creating, packaging and the shipping of Exclusives.
Any questions? Or not seeing the rewards you'd like? Email us at email@example.com. We'd be happy to answer any questions!
We appreciate anything you can do to help!
Thanks for your support and empowering this project!
Funds at 70%
Reaching 100% of our funding goal will allow us to complete a final 90 minute rough-cut edit, and clear the music and archival rights. Broadcasters are traditionally uncomfortable using their production funds to cover archival costs and the archival footage in this film is essential for the story so this will allow us to fund the clearing of the rights.
Making 70% of our funding goal would be amazing, however we would have to scale back on production costs and festival submissions.
However, Lets dream big and keep our hopes high & CUTS the movie will be a roaring success.
Hurdles & Hopes
In 1996 Jenny Selden and I began filming a documentary about Cuts. It was so different back then. We filmed in an observational way until 1999 on film covering these global events through the eyes of the Cuts community. We captured the daily comings and goings of the colourful characters, the relationships within the Cuts family and the fabulous haircuts.
In 2000, we were unable to get funding to cover the post production of what would have been a very different film than the one that exists today.
It had been stressful, Jen no longer wanted to be involved and I moved back to Australia. But once there, the CUTS film never left my mind and over the next 15 years I continued to visit the UK to film the characters and bring the story up to date.
In 2009, 2011 and 2013, I was back in London filming the Cuts community.
Over this time, filmmaking has completely changed and become far more accessible. This has allowed me to continue working on the edit myself. Using a professional HDV film equipment kit meant I can shoot further footage at Cuts with a minimum of expense.
Little did I know that this venture would take 20 years to be finally finished. When we began filming in 1996 we thought it would probably take 2 years to complete the film. As a result of the length of time that this film has taken, there have been unintended positive consequences.
This film is a fascinating piece of recent British cultural history based in Soho that actually shows the changes in peoples lives and the changing global situation over a time span of 30 years.
It has been a labour of love that now has an end date in sight.
– Sarah Lewis (Director/Producer)
3 years ago
3 years ago
'Hunger TV' supports 'CUTS the movie' crowdfunding efforts!
3 years ago
'Dazed and Confused' are onboard...thank-you!
3 years ago
Excited to share: Weekend Guardian/Observer Article
Press coverage started over the weekend - from Saturday read the Guardian online here and just to prove it happened, see a photo of The Observer in print on Sunday. Enjoy the film's journey and please share with your friends.