"Boom for Real" follows Basquiat's life pre-fame and how New York City, the times, the people and the movements surrounding him formed the artist he became. Using never-before-seen works, writings and photographs, director Sara Driver (herself part of the New York arts scene) worked closely and collaboratively with friends and other artists from that period, inlcuding Jim Jarmusch, James Nares, Fab 5 Freddy, Glenn O'Brien, Kenny Scharf, Lee Quinones, Patricia Field, Luc Sante and many others. The film also uses period film footage, music and images to visually re-recreate the era, drawing a portrait of Jean-Michel and Downtown New York City before AIDS, Reagan, and real estate booms - and before the art world was motivated by money. Before the definition of fame, success and power changed, to what they are today. To be a penniless but published poet before the early 1980's, was the height of success. This is the story of New York City before everything changed.