PC594 The Film
PC594 follows the life and art of Lydia Emily, an LA-based artist, activist and mother who won't let anything stop her - not even MS.
A recipient of grants from Chicken and Egg Pictures and the Levi Strauss Foundation, Bluprint Films' latest documentary explores the life and art of Lydia Emily, an LA based street artist who is determined to overcome every challenge that comes her way, including a potentially devastating diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
At the helm of Bluprint Films is director Libby Spears, who's previous film PLAYGROUND (produced by George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh and Abby Disney) continues to raise awareness about child sexual exploitation and trafficking. Bluprint Films has a history of making docs that take viewers into complex subjects with a sensitive eye. We hope you'll join us on the PC594 journey.
WE FIRST MET LYDIA EMILY IN 2011. Gucci was preparing to host a groundbreaking concert in London for the Chime For Change campaign that would bring together millions of people to demand education, justice and health rights for women and girls everywhere.
Because of our history of making films with a social message, Gucci asked us to make a short film celebrating resilience. We were humbled to find a woman named Jessica who survived years as a victim of sex trafficking and is now working to support other survivors as they rebuild their lives. In our short film, JESSICA'S STORY, we wanted to show Jessica the strength we saw in her so we went on the search for the right artist who could paint a beautiful and bold mural to honor her and other survivors.
Our first call with artist and activist, Lydia Emily, lasted for four hours. We knew we had found someone remarkable as we talked about the project and her approach to art and life. In that conversation, Lydia took us through her day and described her politics, her life as a single mother with two daughters, one of whom has autism, and her struggles with the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis. One thing was clear: not only was Lydia Emily just as committed to bringing untold stories out of the shadows as we were, she herself was an incredible example of the resilience we hoped to capture.
In the end, the film we made with Lydia Emily was screened at the Chime For Change headlined by Beyonce and Salma Hayek and broadcast to millions around the world.
THE MORE WE GOT TO KNOW Lydia Emily the richer our worlds became and we knew we had to keep filming.
Lydia Emily’s art can't be ignored. With it, she gives voice to the silenced, embracing subjects that are often overlooked. And while her work shocks and confronts on the walls of American cities, Lydia Emily disarms everyone around her with her humor and endearing charisma.
LYDIA EMILY GIVES BACK, by teaching art for free in schools that have slashed arts education. She creates community, by handing paintbrushes to passersby as she works on large scale murals. And she stays positive, using art to work through life altering challenges, like the chronic illness that threatens to debilitate her.
Lydia Emily is doing everything she can to stay true to her artistic mission: to transform her own private pain into public works that inspire and remind us of that one essential ally - HOPE.
Long ago proving that MS is a disease to conquer and not a definition, Lydia Emily is currently traveling to cities around the US and painting large-scale murals that bring attention to MS and to underscore the hope we must not lose. Joining her on the mural tour are local artists and people in the community who are impacted by MS.
And we're there filming every moment.
We're telling this story because we've witnessed the isolation that chronic illness can bring. For us, Lydia Emily's fierce embrace of life despite her diagnosis stands as a beacon and her story has the capacity to energize all of us to redouble our efforts to find a cure.
"Art can do more than just hang," Lydia Emily told us, "it can help," And that's exactly what we intend to do.
We’ve been filming Lydia for over two years and we’re planning to keep going through July 2015. We’re hooked and want to continue filming as she creates her incredible works of art.
So far we’ve been fortunate enough to raise $75,000 in prestigious grants from Chicken & Egg Pictures and the Levi Strauss Foundation and $100,000 cash from the director but we need A LOT more money to complete the film.
WITH YOUR HELP, WE'LL SURPASS THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF MONEY WE NEED TO RAISE - $250,000 - TO FINISH PRODUCTION AND EDITING.
Here's where the funds will go:
- Finishing Production. We have two more months of production left and want to make sure our crew can capture Lydia Emily when she's on the road painting
- Editing. We want to have this film finished in the Fall of 2016 so we'll need to fund all our post-production costs including editing and final color and audio mixes.
By chipping into ye old film project, you’ll be joining the Bluprint Films family, so it seems fitting that we introduce ourselves:
Libby Spears I Director Libby is one of those shy, brilliant types who hates being the center of attention, which is why her team has hijacked her bio and why she got Lydia Emily to do the pitch video. She's also super humble so won't tell you things about herself like the fact that she was named one of 150 Women Who Shake the World by Newsweek (and was in the very good company of Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton). Her previous feature-length documentary film, PLAYGROUND (produced by George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh and Abby Disney), continues to bring an incredible amount of attention to child sex trafficking and exploitation in America. As a filmmaker, Libby uses art as a vehicle to bridge gaps and provide access to places and people that would otherwise not converge or be seen. Oh, and she makes really good fish tacos.
Simeon Hutner | Editor Right now, Simeon is busy working on a longer teaser of PC594 in NYC, one our favorite cities! He's a talented film editor, director, and producer with over twenty years of film and television credits, including many works shown at Sundance and other film festivals, as well as on HBO, BBC, Bravo, A&E and PBS. Simeon recently finished editing the documentary feature Winning, about the lives of five legendary athletes (currently in post-production.) We love Skyping with Simeon, especially when his adorable kids are around.
-Libby and the PC594 Team
We'll be adding more info about rewards here to keep checking back!
MS ENDS HERE DIGITAL MURAL
Lydia Emily is going to cities around the country to paint murals that raise awareness about MS and members of the community coming and add their names or honor loved ones with messages. We'll be creating a digital mural on the PC594 website so that anyone who can't get to one of these cities can still share messages of strength and hope or just the name of somebody they love. #MSENDSHERE
Risks and challenges
We know it takes a village to make a successful documentary film. Our last feature-length documentary, PLAYGROUND: The Child Sex Trade in America, was completed because of a network of generous and talented friends and supporters and PC594 will be no different.
This first round of funding on Kickstarter will help us get through production costs. If we don't significantly exceed our goal, we'll have to pause on post-production (editing, audio mixing, music licensing, etc.) to raise more money so that we finish the film by the fall. We're certain that the people we reach through Kickstarter will be just as blown away by Lydia Emily as we are and will help us overcome those final hurdles.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (43 days)