CRUTCH chronicles the life of Bill Shannon, an internationally renowned artist, break dancer and skate punk, who wields his crutches as tools of expression and weapons of provocation.
A decade of exclusive access, plus a lifetime of archival footage, depict Shannon from his early years as a disabled child who refused to sit idle and watch able-bodied kids play, to his rise as an award-winning dancer and cutting-edge performance artist whose work finds outlet at prestigious venues worldwide, including Cirque du Soleil, the Sydney Opera House, the Tate Modern in London, and the Chicago MOCA.
The film examines Shannon’s controversial street performances in which he exposes a secret world of prejudices that disabled people encounter in public on a daily basis and questions his methods as he readily takes advantage of strangers’ good Samaritan impulses to make his point. The film explores how both the beauty of his movements and his in-your-face attitude are fueled by a degenerative disability and chronic physical pain. From childhood "cripple" to international provocateur, CRUTCH is an emotional journey of an artist’s struggle to be understood by the world.
Our Kickstarter page and new trailer will be coming very soon -- For now, check out our other videos below.
SACHI CUNNINGHAM, Co-Director, Co-Producer
Sachi Cunningham is documentary filmmaker and Professor of Multimedia Journalism at San Francisco State University. Her award winning stories have screened at festivals worldwide, online in the New York Times Sunday Magazine and the Los Angeles Times, and online and in broadcast on FRONTLINE, FRONTLINE/World and the Discovery Channel. The Emmys, Webbys and Pictures of the Year International among others have honored Cunningham’s work. A graduate of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Brown University, Cunningham’s documentaries focus on international stories, the arts, disability, and the ocean environment. She has turned her lens everywhere from the first presidential election in Afghanistan, to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to deep under the ocean with 350-pound blue fin tuna and the shallow waters of a swimming pool with Olympian Michael Phelps. With a decade of experience in feature films and commercial productions in New York, Hollywood and Tokyo prior to her career in journalism, Cunningham’s stories are both entertaining and informative. An avid surfer, when not crafting stories, Cunningham can be found bobbing in the Pacific with her husband or gazing into the horizon with her daughter, waiting for the next wave.
CHANDLER EVANS, Co-Director, Co-Producer
Chandler Evans is a writer/director, who’s award winning videos have garnered over 50 million views online. Evans has written for shows on CBS and the CW. His work in advertising includes writing and directing commercial spots for companies such as Procter & Gamble, Disney, KB Homes, and Singapore Airlines. He wrote “Visions of Everest,” a feature documentary about Erik Weinhenmayer, the only blind man to summit Mount Everest. Evans wrote and directed a groundbreaking, participatory web series for Disney Studios and, most recently, was Buzzfeed.com’s top video producer/director. Evans has an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA.
STEPHEN NEMETH, Executive Producer
Stephen Nemeth formed and heads up Rhino Films, the independent film company that originated as a division of iconoclastic record label Rhino Records. He has produced and executive produced dozens of films. His producer credits include THE SESSIONS (Sundance 2012 Audience Award, 2013 Academy Award nomination for Helen Hunt), C.O.G., the first David Sedaris adaptation (Sundance 2013), FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE, and RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH, the last Philip K. Dick novel. He is in post-production on the Bill “Spaceman” Lee biopic THE WRONG STUFF and in pre-production on the New York Times bestselling book CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN. Nemeth's documentary credits include DOGTOWN AND Z BOYS (Sundance 2001 Audience Award), WAR/DANCE (2008 Academy Award nomination), FUEL (Sundance 2008 Audience Award), PUMP, FLOW (Sundance 2008), PICK UP THE MIC (Toronto 2005), CLIMATE REFUGEES (Sundance 2010), ROBERT WILLIAMS’ MR. BITCHIN’, RIDE WITH LARRY, UNDER THE BOARDWALK: THE MONOPOLY STORY, and PATRIOCRACY. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and on the board of numerous non-profit organizations including Friends of the Earth, Children Uniting Nations and the International Documentary Association and is on the dean's board of the UC Santa Cruz's School for the Arts.
MITCHELL PECK, Executive Producer
Producer Mitchell Peck is most recently the producer of CROOKED ARROWS (20th Century Fox), a $15 million family film released domestically nationwide in 2012; after a successful theatrical run, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions purchased the movie for international distribution in 2013. In 2011, Peck produced PRIEST (Sony Pictures), a $70 million vampire movie that launched the studio's summer release schedule. Throughout his 20 years in the business, Peck has sold more than a dozen movies and television shows to Hollywood’s major studios, including MGM, Disney, Columbia, 20th Century Fox, Sony, MTV, Screen Gems and New Line, while working with A-list Actors, Directors, Screenwriters and Producers, in order to establish himself as an influential creative Producer. Peck graduated from Columbia University and attended USC Graduate Film School.
We've been working hard for over a decade to tell this story. We've followed Bill all around the world and happily pulled production funds from our own pockets to record over 600 hours of beautiful raw footage.
But in order to complete this movie, and do it right, we need to invest in a proper post production process... and we need your help to make it happen.
Our Kickstarter project page is coming very soon!