By The Editor
Jun 21, 2006 - 12:05
Genius Products to Distribute First Direct-to-DVD Release of 'HIP HOP KIDZ: It's a Beautiful Thing' for HHK Entertainment, LLC
Genius Products, Inc. is bringing the wildly popular world of hip-hop music to kids across the nation in a new kid friendly format with HHK Entertainment's first direct-to-DVD feature, "HIP HOP KIDZ(TM): It's a Beautiful Thing," it was announced today by Genius Products General Manager Christine Martinez and HHK Entertainment Partners Jim Green and Mark Bacino.
Now in production, "It's a Beautiful Thing" tells a fictional story that takes viewers into the world of the real-life Hip Hop Kidz dance troupe founded in 1991 by fitness expert and dance instructor Suzy Stone, who saw an opportunity for kids to participate in America's fastest growing art form in a fun, healthy way. Today, the Kidz are a commercial success, having thrilled audiences as the opening act for such superstar groups as Jessica Simpson, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees and Destiny's Child, and as featured performers in the 79th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Individual members of the Hip Hop Kidz can also be seen in music videos starring Ricky Martin, Lil' Romeo and Lenny Kravitz.
The 60-minute feature dramatizes the Kidz' efforts to create a hip-hop video for a competition that could land them a record deal. Alison, the newest member of the Hip Hop Kidz professionals, is the daughter of a conservative business man who disapproves of any involvement in hip-hop music, let alone a hip-hop dance troupe. She is torn between loyalty to her friends and the approval of her father. Without her, the video won't get made and her friends may miss their big break. Does she dare to defy her father? Or, can she find another solution?
The DVD will be packaged with a bonus music CD featuring original music performed by the Hip Hop Kidz recording group, H2KZ, and will be available at retail October 3, 2006, to coincide with the debut of two new "Hip Hop Kidz" books from Penguin Young Readers. DVD extras include a new music video, a comprehensive dance instruction segment for kids to follow at home, and a behind-the-scenes look at the Kidz as they practice their lines for "It's a Beautiful Thing" in an acting class taught by renowned acting coach Mark Durso.
"The response to Hip Hop Kidz at rock concerts and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been nothing less than sensational. We believe the combination of these talented and determined dancers together with a fun, music-filled storyline will result in a long-lived franchise of 'tween-based music entertainment," said Martinez.
"With a terrific cast drawn from the ranks of the Hip Hop Kidz program and a production team that is highly experienced in producing popular music videos, we look forward to a successful DVD release that will have kids wanting more," said Green.
Promoting a motto of "No drugs, no violence ... just dance" and a teaching philosophy that emphasizes building self-esteem through fitness and self-expression, the Hip Hop Kidz method has become the nation's premier hip-hop dance program for kids ages 6-19, boasting more than 1,000 dancers. Today, Stones' classes are taught at dance studios in New York and her home state of Florida, where she puts together dance troupes that perform throughout the country, and will soon be expanding to Southern California.
"HIP HOP KIDZ: It's a Beautiful Thing" is produced in association with Outfit Media Group. The production team includes producer Mace Camhe and director Donn Viola, who together have produced and directed many MTV music videos for top recording artists; film and TV producers Jim Green and Mark Bacino, producers of the highly successful Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movies and a number of programs in their video series; and veteran marketing and brand developer Harold Weitzberg, who spent more than seven years developing the Mary-Kate and Ashley brand, as well as other 'tween and kids programs. The script was written by Kris Black and is now in production on the campus of Florida Memorial University in Miami. Future plans for the brand include TV, feature films and a wide variety of consumer products.
The Hip Hop Kidz Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established to promote a philosophy of "no drugs, no violence ... just dance" at schools, institutions and events to reach children and parents, and to provide motivation to build a young person's self esteem, improve their health and build character through dance and self improvement. The foundation provides underprivileged children with scholarships to the unique Hip Hop Kidz dance program.