PROJECT US is a documentary chronicling the unexpected friendship and collaboration between Linda Lack, a dancer and movement therapist in her 70s, and Inksap, a 24-year-old guerrilla artist as they take over Los Angeles with their own brand of movement street art.
We are raising funds to cover post-production of the documentary, which we expect to clock in at around 30 minutes. Two Snake Dance and Dance Company Inc. is a California 501 c3 non-profit organization which means that all donations are tax deductible.
We are excited to share a major announcement! Linda and Inksap's artwork will be making its gallery debut at the Water, Earth, Air, Fire Exhibition at the Dual Gallery in BUDAPEST!
When you support our Kickstarter, you are not just funding a documentary--you're supporting Linda and Inksap's ongoing campaign to bring art to the streets--and now to Europe!
But first, let me tell you our story.
Linda Lack Ph.D. is a widely-respected dancer, choreographer, educator, innovator and influencer in the field of yoga therapy. She has performed all over the world, from dances on stage to movement rituals in desert stream beds. While dancing in New York in the 1960s, Linda saw her fellow dancers suffering from injuries and began creating her own exercises to help the body survive the rigors of life and art.
In 1970, she returned to Los Angeles and created The Thinking Body-The Feeling Mind®, a comprehensive movement technique useful in supporting injured bodies on their way to healing as well as sustaining demanding and accomplished movers. Linda describes TBFM as the owner's manual for the body that was never issued to us at birth. She credits the technique she created with sustaining her well into her 70s as she continues to teach, train and heal both at her studio in Los Angeles and across the globe.
HOW IT BEGAN
In 2017, a drunk driver crashed into the front of Linda's studio, throwing her sanctuary of over 50 years into chaos. After months dealing with the stress of rebuilding and red tape from City Hall, Linda found herself on the verge of leaving it all behind and simply walking off into the desert never to return—until one morning, she discovered a street artist had pasted up graffiti on the front wall of her studio.
And she loved it.
Her spirits renewed, Linda not only moved the artwork into her studio to preserve and put on display, she set out on a mission to find the person who had put it there--the artist known only as INKSAP.
WHO IS INKSAP?
Inksap is a street artist whose work can be seen all over Los Angeles. In 1975, his parents escaped from Vietnam during the Fall of Saigon. They settled in the United States as refugees and moved from Florida to California where Inksap was born.
Growing up in Orange County, Inksap always felt disconnected from his culture. Though he was initially drawn to environmental initiatives and messages, as he found his calling as a street artist, he began exploring his Vietnamese identity by telling his family’s story through his art.
An acolyte of the streets accustomed to dodging the police and irate landlords, Inksap was suspicious of Linda’s intentions in trying to contact him. When he finally agreed to see her, their first meeting lasted 5 1/2 hours. It was like two soulmates coming together.
When Linda and Inksap met, it set off a spark that quickly exploded in a wildfire of creation. Rather than separating them, their differences brought them closer--pouring fuel on the other’s fire. Together, these two subversive artists became more than the sum of their parts, and they set out to combine their artistic DNA. Their goal: to combine Linda's style of fluid contortionism with Inksap's raw energy to create new works of street art.
Linda only had one requirement--if she was going to be on a piece of street art, then she was damn well going to put it up herself. In her 70s, Linda found herself starting a new chapter of her life as a street artist. And Inksap, who had always been a lone wolf going out into the streets solo, suddenly found himself part of a duo.
Neither of them knew where it would lead or how they would pull it off.
This documentary follows the process of discovery as they create a new kind of street art. Their medium crosses disciplines, mixing movement and ink, photography and charcoal, silkscreens and performance art. Armed with a bucket of glue and a bag of posters, Linda and Inksap venture out into the city in Inksap's urban art vehicle under cover of night to tell their story. The city of Los Angeles is their canvas; every street corner their stage; every passerby, their audience.
This is street art done as only they can.
On their own, Linda and Inksap are rebels. But together, they are much bigger-something daring and subversive. They did not set out to be revolutionaries—it came about as a natural byproduct of who they are—an unstoppable force of creative energy and beauty.
This is art for everyone. Linda and Inksap are on a quest to reclaim the streets from corporate advertising, taking back the public space for the public. Their art graces the walls under which the homeless sleep. It dances at bus stops. It embraces the viewer in an outdoor gallery, free for all--the cost of a museum ticket not required.
Their art also leaves the streets cleaner than when they arrived, as Linda and Inksap collect the detritus of the streets--artifacts they recycle to create new art.
There are those who disapprove of what Linda and Inksap are doing--who would prefer they went back to their lives from before they knew each other. Others are unable to understand what these two people, born 50 years apart, could have in common. Linda and Inksap's story dares to challenge our preconceived notions of age, gender, culture, friendship and art.
What they do and who they are is outside of convention. They're two people who never should have met, yet through a twist of fate, they found each other--and felt the call to express their shared creative energy.
Linda and Inksap continue to heed the the call of the streets, unable and unwilling to turn their backs on the serendipity that led them to each other as they continue to push the boundaries of art to tell their story on the streets of Los Angeles.
And now you can help tell their story.
I'm Stuart C. Paul, a screenwriter and filmmaker. I've been a member of Linda's studio for about five years--having joined around the same time I ran a Kickstarter for my last film THE LORD OF CATAN.
While attending classes at Linda's studio, I saw this story unfolding before my eyes--literally, as my wife and I happened to be coming to class the morning that Linda discovered Inksap's art on her building.
When I heard that Linda and Inksap were planning to go out into the streets at midnight to put up their art together, I realized this was an amazing story that needed to be told. I sent Linda an email asking how she'd feel about me making a documentary about their story. The next morning, Inksap came to attend class at her studio. Afterwards, Linda showed him the email. Five minutes later, they had both enthusiastically signed on. About two minutes after that, I picked up my phone (later, of course, I'd use an actual camera) and began shooting the first footage of what would become PROJECT US.
Like that, we were off and running.
I immediately found myself excited by embracing the parallels between guerrilla filmmaking and street art. The crew consisted solely of myself or whoever I could get to help run sound or a second camera. The key to it all would be capturing the beauty and truth of Linda and Inksap's personalities and collaboration. The goal--to tell a heartfelt, intimate story that also pulsates with the defiant energy of the streets. But with that defiance comes risk as Inksap and Linda evade law enforcement and scale buildings in the middle of the night.
The documentary follows Linda's journey from neophyte to veteran of the streets. From his mantra, "Get up, stay up," to strategies of how to respond if confronted by the police, Inksap taught Linda the ropes of street art, and she found herself inducted into a world that is often misunderstood by the general public--and sometimes, by those much closer. At the beginning of filming, Inksap's family was unaware of his identity as a street artist--and his coming out to them as his authentic self is part of the journey we are documenting.
The beautiful part of documentaries is that you can't plan for what is going to happen. Reality dictates the story. And we are continuing to chronicle Linda and Inksap's journey as they continue to develop new art and embark on the next chapters of their journey together, including plans for a new mural and even an article in the Sunday Los Angeles Times.
You can read the article here: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-ca-cm-inksap-linda-lack-20190314-story.html
What it's really about
In a time when the world is only getting more divisive, our goal is to make a film that breaks down barriers and brings people together.
It is a film that crosses generations, artistic disciplines, cultures and geographical boundaries as we celebrate the journey of Inksap's family, refugees who made this country their own, whose story continues through him.
It is the story of a young man finding his place in the world, and a woman in the last chapter of her life starting a new journey.
It is a story about defying convention, fighting for what you believe in and never losing the spirit of youth and rebellion.
It is a story about finding family in the most unexpected of places.
It is Project Us.
After covering production costs out of pocket, we are turning to Kickstarter to help us fund post-production and complete the film. While we are still shooting the documentary as the story continues to evolve, we have already begun constructing the film with our amazing editor, Heather Mathews, who came to us through Glass Elevate, a wonderful resource and website promoting professional women in the film industry.
Our approach to this film has always been one of family. That family is not limited only to Linda, Inksap and myself, but also includes our friends and communities--and now, we would like to invite you to become part of the family; part of the story of Project Us.
Our intention is to complete the film by August in order to meet the submission deadlines for the 2020 film festival circuit. We also intend to kick off the film's public life with at a pop-up art show at a location TBA somewhere in Los Angeles.
Below, you can see a description of how we intend to use the funds we raise. Once again, the great news is that Linda has always been devoted to education, and thanks to Two Snake Dance and Dance Company Inc., all your donations are tax deductible.
Funds above and beyond our goal will go to cover the costs of making new art, materials for a new mural--and, if we can raise $5,000 over our goal, we can cover travel expenses for Linda and Inksap to attend the opening of their artwork at the Dual Gallery in Budapest. This sequence will be edited into the final film. It's a tall order, but we know we can do it because we believe in our story we're telling and we believe in the art.
We have put a lot of thought into our rewards, because we want them to mean something; to reflect the film and the journey that it represents. So please take a look at our rewards and see which one seems right for you. We have rewards the reflect both Linda's world, Inksap's world and the combination of them both. An if you like art--well, you've come to the right place.
One of our most exciting rewards is our Us Artifacts series. Inksap invented his artifacts because people kept asking him how they could get a hold of some of his art to display in their homes. The problem is that cities tend to frown on people removing walls and electrical boxes from public land. And just creating a print of the art designs lacks the authenticity and immediacy of street art. So Inksap found a way to integrate his process of "harvesting" artifacts from the streets in order to create unique canvases that exude the organic decay and layers that one finds in an urban setting. Each artifact is a unique, made-to-order piece by Inksap, featuring poses inspired by Linda's movement and named after the four elements.
Move over Lululemon, there's a new name in activewear alliteration in town--and it's Linda Lack, or at least, the street art version of her. Be the coolest person in your yoga or pilates class by sporting a pair of Project Us yoga pants. Or hey, maybe you just like t-shirts. Either way, we've got you covered.
MEET THE TEAM
Stuart C. Paul - Director, Producer
Stuart C. Paul graduated from the USC School of Cinema-Television with a BFA in Screenwriting. He has been working for 14 years as a screenwriter and has worked with filmmakers and actors such as Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012), Anton Corbijn (Control, A Most Wanted Man), Jason Statham (Hobbs & Shaw, The Transporter), Logan Lerman (Indignation, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Jack Bender (Lost, Mr. Mercedes), Amy Acker (Angel, Person of Interest) and Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, Cabin in the Woods). Plus one time, he saw Al Pacino at a restaurant.
Stu is currently head writer for a reboot of a major sci-fi franchise, the title of which we are not at liberty to disclose just yet. In 2017, Robert Kirkman's company Skybound hired him to develop Roger Zelazny’s acclaimed fantasy novel series The Chronicles of Amber. He is also a comic creator. His graphic novel Ides Of Blood, which reimagines the assassination of Julius Caesar by vampires, was published by DC Comics. The series was nominated for three CBG Fan Awards, including Best Writer.
In 2014, he wrote and directed the Kickstarter-funded short film The Lord Of Catan. The film won awards across the film festival circuit including the Audience Award at Dances With Films, Best Short Film awards at the Southampton International Film Festival, Dehli Shorts International Film Festival and Dragoncon Film Festival. Starring Amy Acker and Fran Kranz, the film tells the cautionary tale of a married couple whose game night plunges them into a vortex of madness and destruction. It is based on a true story.
In his spare time, he enjoys practicing samurai swordsmanship, researching the JFK Assassination and taking pictures of his cats.
Linda Lack, Ph.D.
Linda Lack has dedicated her life to the study of the human body and its relationship to breath and movement. She is the creator of The Thinking Body-The Feeling Mind®, a movement modality that is interdisciplinary and explorative while simultaneously science-based--a contemporary healing, maintenance and body sustainability technique. It is now practiced and taught throughout the United States as well as parts of Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
In addition to teaching, Lack gives presentations to diverse medical communities on longevity, somatic wellbeing, pain management and preventative care. On faculty with Loyola Marymount’s Yoga Therapy RX program, Lack has been recognized and funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, Samadha International Healing Awards and the Los Angeles Area Dance Alliance Awards for Innovative Choreography. She has been honored with an L.A.C.E. Award for her life’s work, elucidating the role of spirituality in body movement.
Students have been accepted into Alvin Ailey II, Cirque du Soleil, Juilliard and Cal Arts and have received the Princess Grace Award. Lack also trains and certifies Yoga Teachers and Movement/Yoga Therapists.
Lack believes that the basic human impulses of movement and breath are profound pathways into healing, creativity and spirit. She “lives” her belief daily.
Heather Mathews - Editor
Heather Mathews edited, produced and co-wrote the Emmy/Television Academy Honor winning feature documentary Forbidden: Undocumented & Queer in Rural America and has edited many other award winning documentary & narrative films. Prior to becoming an editor, she worked for David Fincher's Special Projects division at Anonymous Content where she worked on jobs like the BMW Short Films project with directors such as Wong Kar-wai, John Frankenheimer and Alejandro Gonzales Inñaritu. She worked for Tony Scott at RSA, Gary Ross at Universal and Scott Rudin at Paramount. In 2007 she returned to school to get her MFA at the American Film Institute and since graduating in 2009 has been editing and producing.
Pawel Pogorzelski - Guest Cinematographer
Pawel Pogorzelski is an award-winning and well-traveled Cinematographer whose hope is to portray the human psyche through challenging and beautiful images. He is known for his work on Water for Elephants (2011), The Lord of Catan (2014) and Hereditary (2018). His work has been captured in features and shorts on 16mm and 35mm film, digital, as well as through photography and artistic collaborations. Following his undergraduate degree at Concordia University, Canada, Pawel has shot numerous stirring movies such as The Forgotten Ones, a sci-fi film that was written by autistic and physically disabled teenagers. Pretty Dresses, which documented the reality of child soldiers lives in Uganda was co-produces by the NFB, and featured at the 2005 Montreal International Film Festival. After successfully completing his MFA in Cinematography at the AFI Conservatory with two scholarships granted by the AFI, and graduating at the top of his class, Pawel Pogorzelski's thesis was shown at the DGA Showcase, at the 2011 Slamdance Film Festival, and at the NYFF. Continuously aiming for perfection, Pawel furthered his knowledge by meticulously shadowing his mentor Rodrigo Prieto AMC, ASC, during his internship on Water for Elephants. Today, Pawel Pogorzelski lives and works in Los Angeles and abroad and has additionally under his belt feature films, commercials, music videos, TV and web series.
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges we face are much the same as any documentary film--namely the breadth of footage that we have to sort through and edit, which will take time. Every step of the process is a little different, making it difficult to give an estimated timeline for delivery of the film with any certainty. However, between our experienced post-production team and my having run a successful Kickstarter campaign in the past, we feel ready to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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