Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiger Lapis.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
There’s a new Deadly “Chess Game” Gothic Action Thriller TV Series Global Franchise I created called, “The Guardian Program”, which stars two strong Asian female leads and a diverse ensemble cast. It’ll be promoted by the U.S. Chess Federation nationally and Chess.com to their 50 Million+ members worldwide. My TV Series is like “The Queen’s Gambit” vs. “BBC’s Sherlock” in a world of “Gotham” vs. “Blade Runner 2049” with film noir. Starring two strong Asian female leads and a diverse ensemble cast, it’s a Dark Gothic Tale about these two young women and former childhood best friends who are two sides of the same coin: one is the Master Strategist and genius detective who fights against becoming everything she fears as she strives to stop her friend from seeking revenge against those who framed their fathers for a crime they did not commit. The other is the Vengeful Manipulator with no compassion who fights against confronting everything she could’ve become by forcing her friend to learn the rules through a series of deadly chess games under a short time limit where she must play judge and choose to gamble with the lives of her own team and innocent civilians to save those who framed their fathers, seeking to seduce her mind to become just like her.
In these deadly chess games that symbolically reflect our lives where we discover if it’s the choices we make that determine our destinies or if we’re just pawns on a chessboard, the Master Strategist and emotionally closed-off genius detective running away from her tragic past after her father is framed, fights to follow her heart and become who she truly wants to be in this world as she battles against a dystopian society that forces her to be someone she’s not.
The story in this TV series is relevant to our current greedy society in a near economic collapse further worsened by a virus. Taking place in the year 2030 in a futuristic Gothic New York City filled with Art Deco buildings and architecture reminiscent of film noir with a hint of cyberpunk, and a dangerous environment of corruption, lost souls, and extreme weather plagued by global warming and oceans devastated by oil spills, this TV show is meant to help turn this world in a different direction from the dark future of where it’s headed. It is a compassionate story and spiritual journey about coming back to the Heart.
Thanks to the success of “The Queen’s Gambit”, which won the Golden Globe Award and broke records with 62 Million viewers, my deadly chess game show has been gaining traction. This gothic series I’ve created is one I’ve always wanted to see, especially since it will give Asian actors more opportunities to play lead roles on a major mainstream show meant for the worldwide audience. More information on it can be found here, where you can watch the public concept trailer: www.vision-tiger.com/
Before I had the confidence to pursue my dream of becoming a world-famous Director/Writer and getting my TV show produced, I was working in the business world. I knew since I was 6-years-old that I wanted to be a film director. Outside of work, I started competing at anime music video competitions as an editor at the top anime conventions in the U.S. I remember the first time I walked by a large auditorium at Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the U.S., and saw the audience watching these amazing anime music videos on the big screen during a competition. I was stunned by the editing and storytelling of the contestants.
When I watched the audience laugh and cry, I thought to myself, I want to do that — I want to move the audience and hit their hearts so hard that they keel over with laughter or cry with emotional tears. Most of all, I want to inspire them. So, I set out to teach myself video editing, and much to my shock was able to become a finalist on my first try competing at Anime Expo (Anime Expo’s competition is considered the cream of the crop — everyone wants to win Best of Show there!). Three years later, I won Best of Show with my first Comedy video! I continued competing at all the top competitions in the U.S. and won 11 Best of Show awards (totaling 41 awards that include Best Action, Best Comedy, Best Drama, Best Romance, Best Video Game, and Judge’s Choice). I saw my strength in storytelling, and the more I competed and watched the audience’s reactions to see what worked and what didn’t work, the more I became a better storyteller. To have thousands in the audience watch my work and laugh and cry was incredibly thrilling!
At the time, I still hadn’t pursued my dreams fully. It took everything going wrong in my life and getting laid off from my job a second time to finally push me to just go all in since I had nothing to lose. When I took that leap in the entertainment industry, everything suddenly lined up! That’s when I realized that the universe was trying to get me to finally just do what my heart always knew I was meant to do! The universe literally had to set everything on fire to force me to run away from my old life and enter the new!
I ended up becoming an Apple Certified Instructor in Final Cut Pro, teaching at UCLA Extension’s film program as one of the youngest instructors there, working on feature films and documentaries, filming for a TV show, and creating commercials and promotional videos. After over two years, I finally got an offer to film and direct full-time at a company! When I got the offer, USC’s Film School accepted me for their MFA program in Film Directing. It was a tough decision, and I waited until the very last minute to turn down USC since I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision. A year later, I knew I did the right thing. In that new job, I filmed NBC’s Red Bull Global Rallycross videos for Honda and Ford for over four years. It was exhilarating, and I got paid VERY well! By the end, I was making 6-figures.
During that time, I never forgot about the story I had written — the story about two strong Asian women in a deadly chess game and epic journey filled with suspense, mystery, action, and spirituality.
While working at my full time job filming, directing, and editing, I still wrote a lot and even consulted on scripts for clients. I’m a very strong writer and loved it. A comic series I wrote, “Comis of Inspiration”, even received incredible positive interest from a manager of Nickelodeon Animation Studio! My true dream is to be in Hollywood, not directing and filming in the sports and business world, so I submitted my story to Script Pipeline’s Best Movie Idea competition (this was before I realized my story is a TV show and not a movie). This was the competition where Evan Daugherty had won at and ended up selling his script for $3 million. He also wrote the film adaptation of “Divergent”. So, naturally, I was shocked when the Contest Director (who’s now the Senior Executive) contacted me and said I came very close to winning! He asked if I had considered turning my story into a TV show and encouraged me to submit to the Best TV Show Idea Contest in the next round.
So, I restructured my story and realized that it definitely IS a TV show – I was now finally free to go deeper with the stories and characters!
I submitted my show to the competition (there wasn’t a script yet, but I had the Series Bible and synopsis done, character art illustrated, and created an epic trailer that would later help me tremendously with the studio executives!). My show placed within the Top 4 as Runner-up, and I was jumping up and down when the results were released! It gave me the confidence I needed, and I knew for sure now that I have something special in my hands! The same Contest Director emailed me and told me that my trailer was a legit trailer! I will always be grateful to him for believing in me and seeing the potential in my story. It was because of him and another writing instructor I knew who both pointed out that my story is meant to be a TV show.
I set out to get this TV show produced and immediately started working on the pilot script. I wanted this script to be perfect and to truly show everyone who I really am. I’m here to send loving, positive, inspiring messages to the world! With the script finally complete, in 2018, I went all-in on getting this TV show produced. I had a strong pilot script, a one-sheet and synopsis, an epic trailer, a detailed series bible, and a cast of amazing actors who want to be in my show (including one who is well known!). I networked like crazy in Hollywood and promoted my show. I’m really good at strategizing, and because I don’t follow traditional rules in Hollywood, I got really far fast, faster than others! I knew that anything is possible, and ignored everyone who told me to be realistic (which is the stupidest advice someone can give you). I got to the executives and producers by being my true self and speaking from my heart. I wanted to prove that I can do the impossible, especially since my story IS about a young woman who can do the impossible! I knew that this show would be my big break, and soon, after generating so much buzz, I had some studios and producers interested in my show, including an Academy Award-nominated film producer! My pilot script received incredible positive feedback, and led to some major managers and agents who wanted to represent me!
I knew for sure that the show I have is special and would create a huge impact in this world. This is the story I always wanted to tell.
When “Crazy Rich Asians” was about to be released in theaters, I was so close to the top of the mountain. Soon, my show was going to be picked up. “Crazy Rich Asians” was going to be the final rocket to launch my show forward. But then, something happened…
Has it been a smooth road?
“I’m a big believer in following your dreams because I learned that the journey you take to follow your dreams is the same journey you take to find out who you really are. What I didn’t know was that by following my dreams, a year later, I would end up homeless, living in my car, and almost broke. So, what the hell happened?” – my speech from “Crushing the Myth,” an Asian American Speaker Series.
With some studios and producers interested in my show, my dreams are about to come true. It was right before “Crazy Rich Asians” was about to be released in theaters. I knew that the universe had timed my show perfectly to build up to that point.
And just as “Crazy Rich Asians” was released, the movie that was supposed to be the final rocket to launch my TV show forward after months of interest in my show– my own manager blocked some of my meetings and mishandled communications with people interested in my series. Now, I know you’re asking, Why the fuck would he block my show? After a series of arguments with him, I found out the truth: that he wanted all his other projects produced first before mine. Someone pointed out to me that my manager was upset and jealous that my show was getting all the attention and not his own projects.
Suddenly, the success of Crazy Rich Asians became the most chaotic and painful period for me because, now, I was fighting to save my show. I fired my manager and found two new managers to fix the problem. Unfortunately, these new managers made things worse.
Things spiraled out of control. Months went by. I was running out of money, searching day and night trying to get new gigs to pay my rent. I was so close to the top of the mountain, and now, I was falling off really fast. And after I found out my new managers had mishandled my career and lied, I lost everything and ended up living in my car.
Months later, I was reading articles on how much “Crazy Rich Asians” changed Hollywood… I was in the backseat of my car. And when a friend sent me an article that Chloe Zhao, an Asian American director, was picked by Marvel, it felt like a punch to the face. Because I knew I was supposed to be one of them.
I was angry. I was mad. I had a perfect plan in place. I asked the universe, why did this happen to me? Little did I know, my journey now has truly begun.
Now with only a Dodge van as my home, I ended up living next a river and a lake in an RV park in Santa Clarita where I would hear the calming water streams at night. I camped out in the mountains of Malibu, slept next to the ocean in Ventura, and watched the Milky Way in the middle of the desert of Cuyama Valley. And during that time, I discovered who I truly am. The journey changed me completely. It was like I traveled around the world without traveling around the world, and I cannot tell you in mere words the beauty I saw and the miracles I witnessed. Even though trying to survive living in a car was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had (there were times I almost had no money for food and was freezing at night during those incredible cold spells in LA), it was all worth it. The journey I took ended up being one of the most magical journeys ever, and I realized that this was the universe’s plan all along — to help me fully become the real me so that I am ready to take on Hollywood. And now, I’ve come back to get my TV show produced once more, as well as a feature film I co-wrote that will change the way we see Mary Magdalene and what real love is — that film is called, “The Lost Gospel: A Modern Fairy Tale on the Return of Mary Magdalene’s Life”: https://youtu.be/
And this time, I won’t let anyone get in my way.
I now have the U.S. Chess Federation that will promote my deadly chess game TV show nationwide, as well as chess.com to their 50 Million members worldwide. I also have a large scale Native American feature film based on the true story of Princess White Deer, one of the most famous and most beautiful Mohawk performers in the world. It is called, “From Wigwam to White Lights: Beyond The Spectacle”, and will give more creative and economic opportunities to Native American and Indigenous actors, crew members, costume designers, and musicians.
You can find all our projects here: www.vision-tiger.com
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I provide writing, script consulting, directing, story development, filming, and editing services. I’ve worked on feature films, documentaries, TV shows, commercials, trailers, animations, promos, web series, social media assets, short stories, books, comic books/manga, and music videos. I create pitches for clients since I know how to get the attention of studio executives and producers, and I enjoy pitching stories. I excel in crafting scenes that reach an audience’s heart and can make them laugh, cry, or feel inspired. That’s why I’ve won so many awards and why I was able to get the attention of studio executives with the stories I write and create. As a story consultant, I know how to pinpoint the exact problem in a script and provide the right solution to fix it. I would then teach the writer the tools that allow them to help themselves when I’m not there. I enjoy helping writers reach the audience’s heart with the messages they want to send. I’m also an actress who loves to do action scenes and a model who has worked at a fashion show. I’ve appeared in 3 music videos — in one of them, I played the drums, which I love! As a motivational speaker, I can speak at major events, fundraisers, universities, businesses, and organizations. As an EMCEE and hostess, I can interview major celebrities on the Red Carpet and host large industry parties. I know how to make people feel comfortable and be their true selves during interviews.
Over the years, I have worked with Honda, Ford, IGN, a former VP of Marvel, Microsoft, Apple, and GAMEVIL (now the leading mobile games publisher in Korea).
As an actress, I played a leading role in an episode on Ice-T’s “In Ice Cold Blood” TV Series on Oxygen Network.
I love telling stories. Most of all, everything I do is spiritual, meaning, I strive to send loving messages to the world through the stories I tell. Even though my stories are dark, I write the darkness to show the light.
I am known for my strong storytelling skills and my ability to move the audience’s heart and make them laugh, cry, or feel inspired. I am also known for my big, rocker, peacock-colored hair and my deep, distinct robust voice that is rare for Asian women. My look generates a lot of attention everywhere I go! I’m known for my unique, rocker fashion as well. Most of all, I speak from my heart and write from my heart. I believe all those things set me apart from others.
I’m most proud of my ability to tell stories that can inspire the audience and help them on their journeys. I mentioned before that everything I do is spiritual (I’m not religious though). These days, there’s a trend to tell stories that are very dark and realistic, but those stories are sending the wrong messages to the world (especially when the stories are dark for the sake of being dark!). They don’t even express the deeper truths of the universe because these stories think pessimism = realism. It does not. I understand the darkness from multiple angles because I’m spiritual. That’s why I write the darkness to show the light, and that’s what sets me apart.
What also sets me apart from others is that I don’t tell people to be “realistic”. I know that anything is possible, and I know that you have to follow your heart and your dreams because that will help you become the real you. That is why you’re here on this planet: to discover who you really are and become your true self. People who tell others to be realistic will only confine them and limit them. Most of the time, the reason they tell people to be realistic is because they themselves didn’t have the courage and confidence to do what their hearts wanted them to do. Many of them didn’t choose to follow their dreams, so of course, they would tell other people to be realistic because they themselves couldn’t do what others may feel is the impossible.
Anything is possible. You have to trust that the universe will guide you to help make your dreams come true because there’s a reason the universe placed those dreams in your heart to begin with. I tell people to follow their dreams, to listen to their hearts. But I also tell them the reason why they need to so that they understand that even though they will walk through a great fire that will feel like hell at times, it will only burn away everything they’re not, leaving them to discover who they truly are.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Of course, I feel the city is a great place for a business like mine! This is where Hollywood is! As much as LA is chaotic, it’s in that chaos that magic happens! Creativity thrives here! When I left LA because I lost everything and ended up living in my car, and then came back as my life was coming back together again, I had a greater appreciation for the city! Driving on the freeway and seeing Downtown LA made me realize how much I miss it and the creative energy it produces. If you want to be in the entertainment industry, you need to be in LA. There are other places too, but LA, I feel, is still the #1 place to be when it comes to film and TV.
Professional photographs were done by a small studio in Boyle Heights! The makeup in the professional headshots were done by Olivia @_via.makeup_