Magicians: Become a Hollywood Producer Today

Fallen Cards is the title of an amazing magic-related film project  on Kickstarter worthy of your consideration and funding.

Unlike most films with putative ties to our art, the folks behind the project are either magicians or magic enthusiasts.  The plot is great, the actors are all accomplished and some big names from the world of magic are promoting the project.

We have some familiarity with the way movies are made.  The movie Michael starring John Travolta went from completed script by Inside Magic Favorites Jim Quinlan and Pete Dexter to its theater debut pretty quickly by Hollywood standards – about 12 years.  Film production is apparently a costly, time-consuming and complex process – who knew?

The magic on screen requires the combined talents of writers, directors, actors, set designers, special effects experts, high-priced lawyers, best boys, grips, riggers, wranglers and caterers.

(We do not know what best boys or grips do but they always appear in credits so it must be important and apparently only the really good ones make it to the top of their profession.  We worry about their self-esteem issues, however).

While Fallen Cards is a smaller production than Michael, it faces its own costs and logistical hurdles.  That’s where you come in.  By being a producer of the film, you share in the process and will hopefully bask in the glory.

The team behind Fallen Cards want the magic to be performed rather than generated by computers and special effects folks.  That was the key for us.

The film sprung from a comment made during a card session.  “What if we created a superhero, but he was a martial arts magician!”  That was four years ago.  After drafting, revisions, auditions, site scouting and planning, Fallen Cards is ready to go from concept to concrete expression.

While there is more to the movie than a magician performing tricks – apparently non-magicians insist on some sort of plot or structure in their magic movies – the magic will be authentic.

Rich Manley, the project’s creator said he wanted to showcase all types of magic.  “There have been many films about magic with actors portraying magicians, but poorly performing the art. We wanted to change that and make sure that our actors were also professional magicians.”

Mr. Manley is joined by his producing partners: the beautiful Kristina Ellery and richly-talented Zachary Kamen.  The trio have enlisted the talents of magicians Dan and Dave Buck and Rob Zabrecky to keep the magic real – if that makes sense.  We understand Ms. Ellery will also appear in the film as the lovely and beguiling Minx.

The plot is a grabber.  Here’s the meta description:A magician must confront the overwhelming discovery that he possess real powers over his mastery of illusion and sleight of hand while searching for the whereabouts of his missing father and avoiding the forces of two evil factions who wish to obtain the source of his ability.

So far, so good.

The story is set in the year 2200.  Things are not going so well for our planet.  Mr. Manley describes the gritty backdrop as “a post-apocalyptic world resurrected by greed, and the foul desire to create a new world order under tyranny and false pretenses.”

We should note that while we are big fans of “false pretenses” we are decidedly against tyranny, greed and most “foul desires.”  But without “false pretenses” we would still be wearing water-proof clown make-up, insulting fair patrons and hoping they could not throw accurately enough to trigger the dunk mechanism.  We liked the corn dogs, though.

Back to the story.  The earth is in lousy shape.  There has been a nuclear war and civilization is on the ropes.  The globe is occasionally populated with settlements and cities that dot the arid landscape representing “man’s last attempt at rebuilding civilization, some more advanced than others.”

The Outlands feature dune-shaped huts and small villages.  The Outlands is the home of Osiris – a  mystical ghost town resurrected by a leader known as the People’s Guru.

Harbor City was once called Los Angeles but is now best described as “the mecca for humanity, but also the capitol for mankind’s greed.” Picture Las Vegas that runs not on booze and the inability of a gaming public to understand statistics but steam energy and “gears and cogs.”

[This last sentence has been edited to correct the spelling of “cogs” from “clogs.”  The spell-checker did not highlight the mistake and we should have wondered if a town could really be built on wooden shoes. We regret the error.]

The hero is Tommy Blades.  He is “a young, aspiring magician” heading to Harbor City following his mother’s murder and his father’s disappearance.

He has chops – literally.  He performs magic and demonstrates amazing dexterity with swords.  Armed with these skills, he quickly gains fame and notoriety in the town’s casino showrooms.  But Tommy is more than Robert Houdin’s description of a magician, “an actor playing the part of a magician.”  He possesses real magical powers.

The team intends Fallen Cards to take the form of a television series. The Kickstarter funds will let them make a 20 minute film they can use to shop to networks as a pilot.

You can read a breakdown of the costs and logistical challenges they face on their  Kickstarter page.  Their goal is $45,000.  They have just about $2,000 thus far and 23 days to make up the difference.   Kickstarter will only fund the project if they reach their $45,000 goal.  If they come up a dollar short, the project is not funded.  It is all or nothing.

Check out their page, watch the very entertaining trailer, meet the cast and team, and then pledge something to help this project.  We are impressed with their vision and the work they have done thus far.  Let’s help them make it a reality.

Visit their Kickstarter page here.

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