<em>Half Sour</em>

Half Sour

Half Sour

Co-producers Mary Anne Rothberg and Jonathan Mann

This short yet intimate documentary shows how a young skateboarder’s pickle company in Long Island is changing the lives of wayward skate rats from troubled families across the East Coast.


How did you discover these pickle pros?

We walked by their pickle stand on our way to and from the office every day. There was an odd and very noticeable changing cast of characters — all young kids with skateboards, most mentioning that they came from Rhode Island. That led to us asking a few questions and the discovery that they weren’t employees of some huge enterprise but all friends who built this business mainly to fund the house that they shared — many never had “a home” — and to skateboard in their free time.

Did you know it would become a story of pickles as salvation?

Once we learned that the leader of the group, John Till, was a forceful personality — the one who threw virtual lifelines to his friends to bring them to New York in midst of the worst economy in history — we knew there was a compelling narrative and story to tell. The first and most obvious realization was that they all loved one another as brothers. The pickles provided the vehicle for salvation…and family.

How are they doing now?

We have lost contact with a couple of the kids but get updates from time-to-time. Most have now moved on and are thriving in more conventional jobs. They all remain friends, still have a lifelong bond as “brothers,” and they continue to skateboard. John Till has stayed committed to being in the business; he now manages a start-up restaurant and still makes pickles.

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