Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on March 17, 2013.
About this project
From Voodoo To Vogue
Theater screening/Broadcast with Internet-based webisodes along the way.
Estimated Length: 45-60min (feature)
The subject, “Shanghai Kate” Hellenbrand, is in a unique situation of having begun tattooing in 1971 when women in the field were largely unknown. Her career is the longest of any American female tattoo artist, earning her the title “America’s Tattoo Godmother.”
Kate worked with the master’s of modern American Tattooing – from Sailor Jerry Collins of Hawaii, Ed Hardy, Jack Rudy, Michael Malone, Paul Rogers and Huck Spaulding -- and penetrated the membrane between the four-color, military payday tattoo climate of the early 1970s to present time with all of tattooing’s current technological and artistic innovations. She has been called one of the “101 Most Influential Persons in Tattoo History.” She is also known as “The Stencil Queen” … after resurrecting common acetate tattoo stencils from the trash piles of the past to wall-hanging artifacts and collectibles of today.
Through Kate’s colorful stories and anecdotes, we will be highlighting the female role in the art of tattooing from the beginning of time. Key Messages: A brief historical overview of how the modern tattoo industry evolved globally from prehistory Ice Age through the industrial age mechanization of electric tattooing to the “Old School” days of military paydays to the current trendy embracement of modern tattooing.
With this project, we will document the internationally traveling career of “Shanghai Kate” -- documenting her interactions with the general public and fellow artists. We’ll also be interviewing the industry’s top artists to supplement information and knowledge about Kate and tattooing in general. This footage will be used to form a feature length documentary that captures the progress and evolution of this woman’s involvement and growth in the now predominately male dominated field of tattooing. Ultimately, we want the audience to understand feel the emotional, physical, and psychological difficulties/ triumphs associated with being a female in an extreme industry.
•Travel (flights, baggage, lodging)
Austin - Alaska - New York - California - New Jersey
Hard Drives - Memory Cards - Batteries - Flight Cases - Misc Crew (minimal)
Editing - Colorist - Sound Design
Web Development - Advertising (very minimal, but has some costs)Used mainly for promotion for festivals, web
Here are a couple of samples of what the acetate stencils look like. One side is the ORIGINAL stencil used by Sailor Jerry alongside a replica Shanghai Kate has done to represent the finished color product (so you get a piece of him and a piece of her).
His Book - Sailor Jerry Collins
If you’re serious about tattooing, this is the book to have.
It’s like a conversation with Sailor Jerry Collins, the most important tattoo artist of the 20th century.
Other books have been written about Sailor Jerry but this is the ONLY book that he actually wrote. It was written near the end of his life in 1971 or 1972. It is a rough draft and no other versions exist. This is completely authentic, written on his old typewriter, corrected in his own hand. It is reproduced here exactly as he wrote it, with all his corrections and typos. Not one word has been added or altered. It contains his overview of tattooing, cautious as it may be, along with many of his stories—all told in his unique and colorful “no-holds-barred” language.
Hand bound with brass screws in vinyl covers, this is a required volume for any serious tattoo art collector’s library. Every book is signed by Kate Hellenbrand and numbered.
Approximately 70 pages with a never-before-seen photo of Sailor Jerry in his shop.
This book is being released from the private collection of Kate Hellenbrand who worked with Jerry for a brief time in 1972, shortly before his death. It has been kept secret for all these years and this is the first release.
Risks and challenges
I understand production, and for that reason we're not asking for 5,000 or 10,000, since it's not realistic to actually make a worthwhile film of this nature with that small of an amount. Even with the budget, I will be calling in favors to make this happen. Over spending budgets can easily happen when not managed properly. We have planned out an accountant, a grant writer, legal advisors, etc. to help this move along properly.
The only other issues I see happening could be people not wanting to be interviewed, and/or rights to use archival footage being difficult. As already stated, our team will be built to handle the full scale production of this film from day 1.
I have also seen too many Kickstarters be successful in funding and not successful in providing rewards or a finished product. If successful, the first 2 weeks after the funding comes through, we are sending out all rewards that can be sent immediately and filming to turn webisodes along the way to show our progress, as well as changes that might come along the way. Our dream is to have all of you take the journey with us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (48 days)