SOUL PROVIDERS: LOS ANGELES
Total Run Time: 53 minutes, 35 seconds
Soul Providers: Los Angeles (Documentary)
Shot & edited by Lisa Murray
I shot this film in December of 2013, a little more than a year after my close friend, Derrick Jackson was killed. It was an experiment really, not filmed for public consumption but rather, for personal healing. About a week after I finished filming the tenth subject (and starting to reconnect to my creativity again), my brother Michael died unexpectedly. I wanted to throw this film away, burn the tapes, delete the files. How could this happen?! I fought the temptation to delete everything as my way of “getting back at God/the Universe” for taking away two extremely important people in my life. I owed it to the ten artists to get it together and at least give the video to them. It took me years of living with this film (hating creativity, loving creativity, hating creativity, loving creativity) to get something together and get it out of my hard drive. I was so mad at the Universe for taking the two main Jenga pieces out of my life that I would be derailed for months at a time. The artists’ words in this film, that I spent years listening to over and over as I edited, saved me. They helped me heal from grief. You never completely heal from grief but working on this film was like a salve on a cloth, wrapped over my deep spiritual wound from profound loss.
This film is not its final form but rather, a frozen moment of time.
I shot ten subjects - five are featured in this film. I just needed to be creative again after the shock and trauma of Derrick’s death. I asked ten artists who were living and working in Los Angeles - some I knew, some I didn’t know - if I could film them for a documentary about art & artists. All ten said yes. I showed up to their homes, having never been there (in most of the cases), with two cameras, one microphone, and a wounded Soul. I had no idea what I was going to capture. I had no lights. I had no assistant. I asked the subjects for the first hour to just do the work they would normally do (except I would be filming them.) I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible. Sometimes I got a good shot, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes they got up and walked into the other room - or in Jarell’s case, walked upstairs to the roof of his loft building in Downtown Los Angeles! In not wanting to bother them too much, I ran behind them trying to capture what I could carrying my camera bag and two cameras. Sometimes the footage is too dark. Sometimes it’s shaky. I really did try to stay close to them and not have it suck too much. Most of the time I accomplished this. There are a few times that I did not.
After an hour of filming them (and they not knowing how we were going to do this but trusting me), I mic’d them and asked them each about ten questions. For the most part, all ten questions were the same. I asked them questions like, what gets you through your dark days? What’s your creative process? Why is art important?
What you are about to watch is these two components (visuals + audio) put together into a film. Once I realized that I wanted others to see this, I originally thought it would be a great docu-series (I still think that and it may end up like that.) But in the meantime, I had film friends suggest that I put five of the subjects together into a film and submit it to a festival just to get it out there and go from there. It was accepted into the Valley Film Festival in Hollywood, California last Fall (2019.) How terrifying and exciting!!
The fact that we are experiencing a global pandemic and home quarantine at this time, I want to share this film & these artists’ words of wisdom, with the world with this free streaming today. The part of me that can overthink things and get too into promotions can't do too much because I made this decision less than 24 hours from the time I set to premiere the film. Now more than ever we need to be reminded of the importance of art, artists, and creativity. I hope their words offer some comfort and maybe even a little healing during this time when we are ALL grieving. If it does touch you in any way, I’d love to hear from you. Stay strong and stay home! ❤️❤️❤️
Watch Soul Providers on YouTube:
Soul Providers Website
Connect with SOUL PROVIDERS: LOS ANGELES Artists
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