1:20 pm Aug. 15, 2012
Back in April, we wrote about photographer and filmmaker Deidre Schoo and her forthcoming documentary, Flex is Kings.
The film, which documents Brooklyn-based members the contemporary urban dance movement known as “flexing,” exceeded its Kickstarter goal of $40,000 on April 12. This enabled Schoo and co-director Michael Beach Nichols to afford an editor, composers, music rights and various expendables, though more funds are necessary to complete the film, which she plans to submit to Sundance in late September.
In the meantime, Ashton Kutcher has gotten involved. This month, the actor and web entrepreneur offered Schoo and Nichols his support through his personal YouTube channel, Thrash Lab. On Monday, Thrash Lab aired the pilot episode of what may be an ongoing documentary series based on Flex is Kings. The prospective series, called Bklyn Flex, is part of the channel’s Dream Bigger program, which selects and mentors young storytellers and documents them as they pursue their chosen project.
To be included, Schoo personally pitched her show idea to the former “That 70's Show” star, a process captured in Episode 3 of the series. “I need you to explain this idea to me like I’m an idiot,” Kutcher says, and Schoo complies.
“Knowing the characters he’s played on TV and film, you have all these preconceived notions of who Ashton Kutcher is,” Schoo told me in a telephone interview today. “But he really knows what he’s doing. He’s a real thinker, an entrepreneur and a businessman.”
Out of a pool of 30, Thrash Lab selected six ideas to be developed into pilots, including Bklyn Flex. Of these, only a few will get the go-ahead for a full series, to be aired on Thrash Lab—one of the 100 YouTube channels that Google put $100 million of financing behind last year.
As might be expected, Brooklyn is heavily represented among the finalists. “Know It Alls” follows Brooklynite Bryan Schlam as he interviews children about current events in an attempt to produce short films based on their responses. “The Early Afternoon Show” is a “morning news show for the un- and underemployed of Brooklyn.”
Schoo hopes "Bklyn Flex" will bring the story of the flex dancing community to the wider public, and help to offset some of Flex is King’s marketing expenses. Thrash Lab will announce the winner soon. Stay tuned; and watch the pilot episode below:
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