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- Curtis Snow SpeaksCurtis Snow Speaks to <em>XXL</em> From Prison<a href="https://ja.twitter.com/ducidni/status/230365206801444864">Kid Cudi</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/questlove/status/236128549436805120">?uestlove</a> and Action Bronson have all raved to their Twitter followers about <em>Snow on Tha Bluff</em>, the gripping documentary-styled crime drama that follows Atlanta stick-up artist Curtis Snow’s life and times. After premiering at Sundance 2011, the indie underdog’s shockingly authentic portrayal of the infamous ATL hood “the Bluff” has snatched the hearts of hip-hop heads and film geeks alike. With the help of director Damon Russell and executive producer Michael K. Williams (HBO’s <em>The Wire</em> and <em>Boardwalk Empire</em>), Snow created a raw and touching story that won Best Feature Film at both Chicago and Atlanta’s Underground Film Festivals. Since being released on DVD and Netflix this summer, <em>Snow on Tha Bluff</em> has become a 'hood classic of sorts, making the film’s hero, Curtis Snow, a cult star.<br /><br />Currently serving time in Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail, Snow is now experiencing the lows of the street life while his film soars to new heights on the outside. Being held on charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, criminal trespassing and possession of a firearm, Snow is confident that he’ll be released “before Christmas.” In spite of his situation, the charismatic D-boy was in high spirits when he got on the phone with <a href="http://xxlmag.com">XXL</a> to talk about his film’s success, the message he wants people to take from it and the new life path he is currently taking. —<em>Calvin Stovall</em> (<a href="https://twitter.com/calvinstovall">@calvinstovall</a>)
- On the Success of the FilmOn the Success of the Film<strong>Curtis Snow</strong>: "They say I’m god damn getting rave reviews out there. They say the shit on fire, you know? With the fame, you gotta have some kind of fortune that come with it, but I guess the fortune comes later. But so far, so good. As long as I know my name ringing a couple bells out there. That’s enough for me.<br /><br />"Yeah man, I never thought that it’d get this far, this (is) beyond my expectations. But shit, I got a lot of people backing me on the streets. You know, I got the city behind me man, 100 percent. Even in here, I got officers in here watching the movie while they at work. And they coming to me, [saying] how much they like it and how much they digging it. They been going to get it, they been buying it offline, they been supporting me man, for real. I appreciate the love."
- On the Realness of the FilmOn the Realness of the Film<strong>Curtis Snow</strong>: "You really have to look at it for yourself to determine what’s real and what’s fake. If I tell my secret, then everybody will know. But the majority of it is real. I just put a little bit on it, not too much though, but the majority of everything is real. It’s a real life story. It’s my real life story but certain shit I couldn’t put on there at the time. But you know I made it authentic as I could. That’s the whole point of it. You gotta look at it again to try to determine what’s real and what’s fake.<br /><br />"[I was afraid that some of the footage might incriminate me], that’s where Damon [Russell] came in at. Because the shit I had first was so raw, it was so much raw footage that they wouldn’t let me get out there. Shit, I don’t wanna incriminate myself you know, or get nobody in trouble that don’t got nothing to do with the situation. So we had to switch it up. Put some little bits and pieces in there, you know. But wasn’t nothing really complicated, we just had to go about another way of doing it."
- Linking up with Director Damon RussellLinking up with Director Damon Russell<strong>Curtis Snow</strong>: "I met Damon through my sister. ‘Bout six years ago, she was telling me how he was in the filming business and what’s going on. So we hooked up and I seen what he was working with. And I noticed he needed some more realness to go with what he had. And I had all the real shit for real, for real. I been filming now about eight years straight. And I had a lot of shit that was really for real from the street. But it was so horrifying and so gotdamn real that they wouldn’t have been able to accept that shit. But he helped me get it all the way to where we could get it through. 'Cause I had some real shooting and some real killing, man. I’m talking about where I would get on the scene before the ambulance or the fire truck get there. And you know, mother fucker was laid out with their chest hanging out and all that type of shit. And [Damon] was like, 'They ain’t gon' be able to show that type of shit.' Looked like the stuff that was supposed to be on 'Banned From TV Part 3.'"
- Pursuing a CareerPursuing a Career as a Filmmaker<strong>Curtis Snow</strong>: "Shit, you know, really nothing but some real deal drama type shit. Some shit that the streets can relate to. Some shit that everyone can relate to because it’s one in every hood. It’s something going on similar to what I’m going to in every God damn country, in every city, every state."
- Michael K. Williams' InvolvementMichael K. Williams' (Omar in <em>The Wire</em>) Involvement<strong>Curtis Snow</strong>: "When the movie first jumped out, we reached out to a couple people who was already tied up in the industry. And you know how muh'fuckas say, 'Yeah man, I’ll help ya,' but they never got back to us. We fuck around and hit Michael K up, he was like, 'Yeah, man. I’ll come through.' We was like, 'Oh yeah?' We thought he was bullshitting. We in the 'hood, this nigga pulled up sho’nuff. That let me know he was the real deal 'cause he showed up like that. And we clicked. And I thought that he was a hell of a nigga from the role he played. But he was like he ain’t grow up like that. It was a role for him. He was honest by telling me he ain’t never been through none of that shit in real life. But he done seen it done, he done acted the character out in movies. We went out and kicked it and talked and me and that nigga have a lot in common."
- The Ultimate Message Behind the FilmThe Ultimate Message Behind the Film<strong>Curtis Snow</strong>: "It’s just a part of the streets and a part of life that society tends to forget about. Shit like that going on for real, but they don’t talk about it the way they talk about other bullshit. It’s like a situation that needs to be talked about. Because there’s a lot of poverty and shit going on right in your backyard, but they don’t talk about it. They try to keep shit like that on the hush, but it’s going on all around the world. I was just one of them that was fortunate enough to paint a clear picture for you of what’s still going on. As we speak, this shit going on and been going on.<br /><br />"A lot of people think it was just a movie, just muh'fuckas running around robbing [people]. It’s really a message. The movie send out a message to anyone that’s young or whatever. First of all, keep in contact with the people who you rob, you nah'mean? Keep tabs on them because if you rob so many people, you tend to forget. And then one of them will creep back up on you and when it happens they’ll never know who did it because you been robbing everybody. And then you’ll just be a case dismissed. But then at the same time, it’s another message out to the young crews that, 'Ay man, ain’t nothing but two things that can happen behind some shit like that. You either go to jail, or you go to hell.' Because it will catch up with you.<br /><br />"And everything in the dark must come to light. And just like it’s a beginning, it’s an end to everything. So if you did that type of shit or you do it, I say get out while you can and stop while you ahead. Because once you get so deep, you think, 'I just need to hit one more,' and that might be the one that take your whole life. You just never know. If you got a chance to go to school, go to it. If you got a chance to be something or get out your neighborhood, go somewhere and start a new move, something positive."
- The Current Situation in the BluffThe Current Situation in the Bluff<strong>Curtis Snow</strong>: "Shit, right now it’s just slow, smooth sailing man. They got the feds, they been riding around fucking with folk. It’s been kind of hot in the neighborhood lately, but things still moving along.<br /><br /> "The movie just made muh'fuckas wanna come to the hood and buy more dope. And find out what it’s about. You got people who scared who like being scared. So they wanna come through the hood, they scared to death but they still wanna come through and see what it’s like…Oh, yeah, I’m talking about muh'fuckas coming from all over the world just to see what the Bluff is. They say they done heard about it."