Kid 90 Documentary Premiers on Hulu
It was the summer of 2016 that Pro8mm first started corresponding with Soleil Moon Frye, the actress who grew up on television as the adorable Punky Brewster. The show was a sitcom that appeared on NBC television from 1984 to 1988. Later, sporting her famous pig tails and outgoing personality she teamed up with first lady Nancy Regan’s “Just Say No” to drugs campaign, launched in 1988. Soleil was a household name during the 80’s and 90’s, and part of a generation of child actors who influenced so many kids with joy and brought childhood fame and fortune into the for front, especially among her own group of kid celebs who succumbed to the pressure of growing up on television.
When she first reached out to us, she wanted to speak to the owner - Rhonda Vigeant. The conversation went something like this.
“I have these tapes of many famous childhood actors and actresses. Hundreds of hours of material. The material is very private and confidential. Can I rent out your scanning suite and be ensured complete privacy?”
We knew nothing initially about the project or that Soleil intended to make a documentary from the material. We signed all the regular non-disclosure agreements regarding content and were interested in taking on the project, but we had to figure out a way to meet Soleil’s request for complete privacy. This meant that no scanning tech could be in the room while the transfer was going on. Since the material was on tape and not film, we decided that we could rent out the suite to her and her assistant. We would put a tape in the machine, do any necessary adjustments and when it was through encoding, we would download it to her hard drive and put in another tape, never keeping the material on our server.
Over the next few weeks, trust began to grow, and soon owner Phil Vigeant was assisting with the sessions, only leaving the room when Soleil and her assistant requested it. We take all NDA’s at Pro8mm extremely seriously, and never was there any question about the confidentiality of the content. There was absolutely no discussion with other team members about what was on those tapes, or keeping anything on our server. Soleil would take the hard drive home at the end of each session. These scanning sessions continued periodically during 2016 and 2017, then they stopped. We didn’t see or hear anything for about a year, when we got a call one day, “We found 14 more tapes.” Soleil came in and then she revealed to us that there was a documentary in the works “Kid 90.”
Rhonda says what she remembers most about those days were the bursts of laughter she could hear through the closed door between Soleil and her assistant Annie.
She also remembers how incredibly sweet and gracious Soleil was to the Pro8mm staff, which made it a joy to have a celebrity in and out of the space sometimes for several days at a time.
We are proud that as a company we continue to have a hand in saving history through documentaries made from footage shot of everyday life. The lives of Hollywoods inner circle are always interesting and it is a study of pop culture that no dramatic recreation can capture with the authentic of the real stuff. Kid 90 premiered on Hulu in March and is available for streaming. For some insight , watch the March 2021 interview with Soleil Moon Frye and Drew Barrymore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J0eNDT3ALo
The Punky Brewster “Reboot” show (10 episodes) is now streaming on Peacock. It is the continuation of the 80’s show that has Punky as a single mom raising her 3 kids and trying to get her life back on track when she meets a child in the foster care system, much like she was raised as a foster child in the original show.
Soleil Moon Frye is an American actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. She began her career as a child actor at the age of two. When she was seven, Frye won the role of Penelope "Punky" Brewster in the NBC sitcom Punky Brewster. For a full bio and list of credits, read her IMDB.