Blog / Michigan Rock School students featured in PBS documentary Detroit: City of Hot Rods & Muscle Cars
Students from Michigan Rock School were recently featured in the closing scene for the documentary, Detroit: The City of Hot Rods & Muscle Cars. The students, ages 15 to 17, were filmed performing the Kiss hit song, “Detroit Rock City,” on Belle Isle, while a parade of classic muscle cars drove past.
Detroit: The City of Hot Rods & Muscle Cars is a 90-minute documentary produced by Director, Keith Famie and Visionalist Entertainment Productions. Famie said, “The is the story about people and how cars impacted their lives from the early days of battling on Woodward to how much cruising means to the Michigan community.”
The documentary features familiar car fans and experts like Tim Allen, Bob Lutz, Danny Koker, Bill Collins, and Chip Foose, among others.
“Keith (Famie) contacted us early in May and said he was looking for a rock band of kids to play “Detroit Rock City” in his film,” said John Kozicki, Founder/Director of Michigan Rock School. “We’ve got some talented kids here, and I knew they could perform the song. The challenge for our teens was the tight time frame. They only had about 10 days to prepare before shooting live on Belle Isle! 10 days to learn the song, rehearse it to performance-ready, then shoot for the film. One of the kids had never even heard the song before!”
With the support of their parents, and permission to miss a day of school, the band spent most of Friday, May 19 on-location at Belle Isle playing “Detroit Rock City” for the documentary. While all of the kids have experience playing live, doing so while being filmed for a movie was an exciting first for all of them.
In our private lessons and band program we teach the kids how to be as professional as possible. In preparing for performances, that sometimes means meeting tight deadlines, and working hard to be prepared. With less than 10 days and only one rehearsal scheduled, the students rose to the occasion. They all worked hard, learned their parts, and showed up on the performance day incredibly prepared.
The kids made their big-screen debut on Monday, June 19, 2023 for the VIP premier event at Imagine Theater in Novi, Michigan. Following, Detroit: The City of Hot Rods & Muscle Cars debuted on Detroit Public Television/PBS on June 23, 2023. Affiliate PBS stations across Michigan are expected to also run the film, and Director, Keith Famie, expects PBS stations nation wide to also show the film.