Magician Penn Jillette has been doing magic with his silent partner Teller for years! I've seen them perform in Vegas a few times, and they are always incredibly entertaining. Jillette is now in the process of making a feature length horror film called Director's Cut. Jillette wrote the screenplay for the film and Adam Rifkin is directing.
The movie he's making was crowd-funded, and what's interesting about that is the plot of the movie itself involves crowd-funding. In a recent interview with Cinemablend, the entertainer explained the story, saying,
"The bad guy in the movie is a crowd-funder. So, one of the people on the site, who’s crowd-funding and writing about crowd-funding is the villain in the movie, played by me. And I am fascinated by supposedly found footage movies. I love The Blair Witch Project, I loved the way that movie happened on the internet, as opposed to happening in the theater. And crowd-funding came along and I thought, wouldn’t it be great (to tie that into a film)…
So the idea of this movie is that a movie is being made, it’s being crowd-funded. People are there helping with it, and then one of the crowd-funding people who gets onto the set with his credentials for crowd-funding, kidnaps the lead actor and keeps her in a dungeon and forces her to act out scenes that he shoots on a camera, then cuts with the footage he stole with the other movie they’re making. So, he makes his own plotted movie using his own footage coupled with real movie footage to tell his story and then it’s all being done as a director’s commentary with his voiceover, talking about how he made the movie, which he didn’t really make. It’s kind of a horror movie, scary suspense, I guess, intellectual thriller."
When asked how crowd-funding is changing the movie industry, Jillette replied:
"I mean, Zach Braff is kind of denying, he’s not really embracing it, and Adam Corrola is just kind of going tangental to it. The crowd-funding is this, oh, this is just a different way, we want crowd funding to be as invisible as the studio is or less visible than the studio is. This movie, we are, from the opening scene, I think the first word that I say in the voiceover is the word crowd-funding. It really embraces it. I also, I think crowd-funding is just fabulous, from both sides. The reason this movie is crowd-funding is I would invest in stuff, invest is not the right word, but I would donate to stuff. I just love it. I love the, there’s this thing that happens in sports that I never understood where people from say we’re in the Superbowl, I always go, 'What do you mean you’re in the Superbowl? You’re going to be playing?' I never understood that team thing, but with crowd-funding, I really do go, 'Hey we’re inventing a new kind of phone.'"
As for where the production of his film currently stands, they are currently casting for the female lead. He goes on to discuss what they are looking for in an actress:
"Everybody else in the movie, every part in the movie, a zillion people can do, but the lead, really she is the hero and she’s also the victim and she’s on the screen all the time, and she has to play really herself in three different levels. She plays in the movie (Director's Cut), in another movie (the fictional one shot within the film), then in another movie (the one shot by Jillette's deranged fan). She has to be just really smart and really understand it. We’ve got people who’ve been very interested, then we’ve kind of gotten cold feet. It’s really her movie. It’s very odd to write a movie for someone and then have to cast it. I realize everybody does that, but in my life, I write stuff for myself. So I know who’s going to do it, but it’s very odd to write something to have so clear, and it’s also really hard, I mean whoever we get to do that, will really be working her ass off."
Since I'm a huge fan of both Jillette and horror movies, I'm very excited to see how this project pans out. It sounds like it could be a solid flick.