Voices from the Street: Damien

VIDEO: His best friend was murdered. His mother kicked him out. But Damien is an optimist. He's getting things together. This is his story.
VIDEO: His best friend was murdered. His mother kicked him out. But Damien is an optimist. He's getting things together. This is his story.

Crosscut archive image.

I met Damien Connely last spring at Auburn Youth Services, which runs a shelter and drop-in center for homeless youth. Our first interview was in one of the conference rooms at the shelter. Damien was talkative and friendly. He has an incredibly positive outlook on life that's almost infectious. He's also very creative, making art and performing.

Crosscut archive image.
We met up again in Seattle's SoDo neighborhood to record some music for the video with my friend DJ Wizdumb. We had lunch together before heading over to the studio and Damien shared a few songs that he'd made with friends. DJ produced the music for the video, but Damien picked it out.

Damien didn't want to be filmed for the video, so we turned his story into an animated tale. I used a technique called rotoscoping, where I traced each frame of live footage by hand. By the end, I had made more than 170,000 individual drawings.

DJ Wizdumb produced the music for this video. Go here for more of Crosscut's Kids@Risk coverage.

  

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