Tales From Shaolin is a web series we are developing that uses the solo work of Wu Tang Clan members as narrative inspiration for a shared universe. With each installment we pull together a wide array of pop-cultural influences in order to create an experience as eclectic as urban culture itself. The first series is known as our “Tarantino Trilogy”, and pays homage not just to the cinematic style of legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, but also the love with which he elevates grindhouse cinema, Spaghetti Westerns, Blaxploitation films, and Kung Fu flicks from B movies to high art.
Part One was inspired by the Ghostface Killah song “Shakey Dog”, the epic tale of a heist gone horribly wrong! It stars Stephen Hill (of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, BlackCard, and upcoming Lewis & Clark miniseries as well as Marvel’s Luke Cage) as “Ghost” and Dominique Antonio Spencer (Broken Angels, The Infinitely Generous Francis Victus) as “Frank”, with supporting roles played by Clinton Lowe (Louie, The Hustle, American Gangster) and enigmatic hip hop mega-producer Megahertz (50 Cent, Nas, Jay-Z, RZA).
Each subsequent Tale will be inspired by a completely different song in the Wu Tang solo album catalog, and while the story selection is being kept under tight wraps, wise fans of the Wu and those deeply familiar with Tarantino’s filmography may be able to put the pieces together. But don’t get too comfortable, as the trilogy that follows will take an entirely different turn!
Shot entirely on location in Bushwick by director and 1193 Productions LLC. Co-Founder Louis A. Moore (Broken Angels, Highly Unlikely, One & Done) and award-winning cinematographer Matt Heymann, Tales From Shaolin is a true piece of independent film-making. But as the first major production of this Philly based, Black owned, LGBT+ operated business, we intend to make a splash and force the world to take notice.
We are currently raising money to shoot the second half of Shakey Dog via an indie film centric crowdfunding site called Seed & Spark. The third act immediately picks up with a complicated, John Woo-style shootout that has been storyboarded by Canadian illustrator and screenwriter Phillip Bastien. The budget covers expenses such as set construction, special effects, an animal handler, and stunt coordination. We are also working to obtain clearance for use of the lyrics, which will require a coordinator as well. We are running a 60 day campaign which ends on September 13th, 2016. Here is but a taste of the campaign thus far:
- We achieved over 50% of our goal, made it to the front page’s “Hot Crowdfunding Campaigns”, and received a “Highly Anticipated” as well as a “Staff Pick” in our first four days, and have since received consistent promotion via Seed & Spark’s Twitter account.
- We’ve collaborated with REBEL! Sticker Campaign, Riot Alliance, Night Owl Designs, and Rainbow Alternative on our incentives, as well as local artists such as Kristy Munday, Sam Naumick, and Eisner Award winning illustrator Dave Proch!
- A limited time stretch goal will coincide with Tales From Shaolin’s Louis A. Moore, J. Michael Neal, and Stephen Hill’s attendance of the BlackStar Film Festival from August 4th through the 7th that will include exclusive merchandise and passes to a private screening next Spring!
- Series composer Jake Summers and long-time collaborator Verny Mack are releasing Music Inspired By Tales From Shaolin on August 19th courtesy of Trademark Copyright Records via Spotify and iTunes. It will feature appearances by Philly’s own Eno Noziroh (who is currently working on the follow-up to his critically acclaimed .two) and Human Being (who’s debut $be,ING.00 will see release later this year). Early access to bonus tracks and music videos off the album with be granted to backers.
Stay tuned to this page for more info!