Scott Hammell is a man at a crossroads. Turning 30, he is striving to make it as a magician and daredevil…while conscious that the clock is ticking. He wants to settle down and raise a family — but can he balance his career with his personal ambitions? He already holds world records for his death-defying suspension straitjacket and handcuff escapes and now he takes on a new challenge — to recreate the Bullet Catch, the most dangerous trick in magic. But has he bit off more than he can chew? Along the way he becomes increasingly caught up in the reality of the illusion and obsessed with the shortcomings of onetime friend and collaborator, Chris Gudgeon. It’s a tough draw for a magician used to controlling every element of his tricks: how can he stare down the barrel of a gun, knowing that there’s a wildcard at the other end with his finger on the trigger?
Chris Gudgeon is anything but a man with a mission. Gudgeon, a best-selling author, has seen a lot in his 50 plus years, but he’s not jaded. Armed with an inquisitive mind and a poet’s eye, he sets off to explore the world of magic and magicians to determine if there’s still a place for good old-fashioned magic in this digital world. Irreverent, impulsive, distractible, frank, sarcastic (and sometimes maddening) — Gudgeon suffers from ADHD and an artist’s wandering mind — he’s the (im)perfect foil for Hammell. You won’t catch Gudgeon jumping out of a plane — he’s deathly afraid of heights — but he’s the kind of guy who likes pushing boundaries and buttons…and taking those everyday personal risks that make life interesting.
Michael McNamara — Director
““The camera ALWAYS lies.”
A film teacher told me this years ago – It’s because a filmmaker is always making subjective choices about what, when, where, why and how to capture an image. Even so, we like to insist that the camera never lies. This myth of truth has contributed to the power of the medium. And it certainly contributed to its power over me – I love to suspend my own disbelief and be told a good story. Great documentary filmmaking embraces this tension between our desire for truth and our deep human need to create a fiction that thrills, inspires and frees us from the ordinary.
There are many ways for a camera to tell the “truths” of a story. The trick for me as a filmmaker was to go further and gain the confidence of my two subjects, draw back the curtain and get inside their worlds, without spoiling the illusions they strive to create. I have known Chris for many years and I came to know Scott more as we made the film. I learned that we all share a common love and respect for the art of magic, and an even deeper desire to understand why it continues to hold such power.”
About the Director:
McNamara launched Markham Street Films Inc. in 2002 with partner Judy Holm. They produce film, television and award-winning documentaries. The feature length documentaries McNamara has written and directed have all won Geminis and been nominated for others, including Radio Revolution: the Rise and Fall of The Big 8; 100 Films & A Funeral; Acquainted With the Night. McNamara has also won awards for directing episodes of MSF’s series Driven by Vision and Fanboy Confessional. Recently he wrote and directed both Lights Out and The Cholesterol Question for CBC’s Nature of Things; and Ice Sweat & Tears for CBC’s Doc Zone. He also directed the TMN television adaptation of William Shatner’s Broadway show Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It.
McNamara is currently writing a screen adaptation of the novel Heaven is Small and developing two feature length documentaries, WORK for documentary channel, and Celtic Soul for Super Channel.
He also plays ukulele and collects scratchy vinyl musical recordings.
Written and Created by
Christopher Gudgeon & Scott Hammell
Director of Photography
Original Music Composed by
Animation Design & Director
Animation Production Coordinator
Director of Canadian Programming, Super Channel
Julie Di Cresce
Creative Development Executive, Western Canada & The Territories, Super Channel