Magician: The Astonishing Life & Work of Orson Welles Available on DVD

Chuck Workman’s documentary, Magician: The Astonishing Life & Work of Orson Welles is a look into the remarkable genius of the filmmaker and star.  Orson Welles’s life was magical: a musical prodigy at age 10, a director of Shakespeare at 14, a painter at 16, a star of stage and radio at 20, romances with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Rita Hayworth. His work was similarly extraordinary, most notably Citizen Kane, (considered by many to be the most important movie ever made), created by Welles when he was only 25.

In collaboration with Cohen Media Group’s Charles S. Cohen and Calliope Films, Wheelhouse Creative was proud to serve as one of the production facilities for this highly-regarded documentary.  This is Wheelhouse Creative’s second collaboration with Chuck Workman, following What Is Cinema? in 2013.

In addition to creating the trailer, Wheelhouse cinematographer Michael Lisnet shot interviews for the film including Chris Welles, Elvis Mitchell and Julie Taymor. Wheelhouse animation and title designers Ze’ev Gilad and Beverly Rosenzweig’s work can also be seen in the film in the 3D animation and lower third design, respectively.

Continue reading for interviews with the Wheelhouse team, an inside look at creating the trailer and more.

Magician: The Astonishing Life & Work of Orson Welles is available on Blu-Ray and DVD from Amazon.  More information on the  film can be found on Cohen Media Group‘s website.

SlingShot: An Interview with Director Paul Lazarus

SlingShot is a feature documentary following famed inventor Dean Kamen’s journey into solving the world’s water crisis with his revolutionary water distillation machine. It was released in 2014 and is director Paul Lazarus’ first documentary feature.  Wheelhouse was thrilled to work with Paul on the trailer for this engaging documentary.

Paul Lazarus is a director, writer and producer based in Los Angeles.   He has directed a diverse range of projects in theater, television and film – his work in primetime TV series includes:  “Ugly Betty,”  “Pretty Little Liars,” “Melrose Place” and “Friends.”

Continue reading for our full interview with Paul.

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Wheelhouse Profile: Karen Altman, Composer of Magical Universe

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This month we’re profiling Karen Altman in honor of the theatrical release of Magical Universe.

Karen Altman is a talented composer from Virginia who has teamed up with Wheelhouse Creative’s Jeremy Workman to compose an original film score for his documentary, Magical Universe. Not unlike the film, Karen’s music is both enchanting and mesmerizing. In an interview with Karen, we got a glimpse into the creative mind behind the music.

Click below to read the full interview!

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The Great Trade Robbery Premiere

JJ-1 The latest ESPN 30 for 30 short from Wheelhouse Creative premiered today on Grantland.  The Great Trade Robbery directed by Stuart Zicherman about the greatest football trade in history.  Read the official synopsis below and hit read more to see the full short film.

In 1989, the storied Dallas Cowboys were a team stuck in mediocrity. They had a brand-new owner in Jerry Jones. They had a brand-new coach (just two years removed a national championship with Miami) in Jimmy Johnson. What they didn’t have was talent. But Dallas did have one asset that stood out: running back Herschel Walker. So Johnson went out to see what he could get for no. 34. Enter the Minnesota Vikings — a team that appeared to be on the cusp of many long playoff runs. All they needed was someone like Walker to put them over the top. They got Walker, but what did they give up? This film breaks down that deal and how the Cowboys’ new front office was able to give away one player and gain a dynasty of its own.

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Kid Danny to Premiere on Grantland

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The new Wheelhouse produced ESPN 30 for 30 short Kid Danny is set to premiere online at Grantland on Wednesday, August 13th.  The short film follows the story of Danny Almonte, a little league pitcher from the Bronx who made headlines when he and his teammates were disqualified from the 2001 Little League World Series.

Wheelhouse Creative was proud to partner with director Andrew Cohn to tell this unique story for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.  Andrew previously directed the basketball documentary Medora, which received a large amount of critical acclaim last year on the festival circuit.  We recently sat down with Andrew to talk more about Kid Danny – look for that interview later this week.  Read more to watch an exclusive clip released by ESPN and be sure to watch the full film on Grantland later this week.

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From the Vault: Junebug (2005)

The trailer for Junebug, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, is a Wheelhouse favorite featuring an intimate, perceptive American indie about a favorite son who returns to his family home in North Carolina.  The movie is most known as Amy Adams breakout performance, earning her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Though Junebug was considered an indie sleeper at the time of it’s release it quickly had commercial success after a four-star review from Roger Ebert in which he praises Adams performance and the entire film as “a movie that understands, profoundly and with love and sadness, the world of small towns.” 

Read more after the break for Rob and Jeremy’s take on the movie, and the challenges of creating the trailer.

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Trailer Spotlight: Finding Fela

From Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney, Kino Lorber‘s Finding Fela documents the story of Fela Kuti, an African visionary who used his Afrobeat music as a weapon to ignite a revolution against the repressive Nigerian military regime and illuminate his Pan Africanist political beliefs. The film weaves together footage of Fela from the 70’s and 80’s with numbers from the musical adaption of his life as well as interviews with his children, The Roots’ Questlove, choreographer Bill T. Jones, and Paul McCartney among others.

Cutting the trailer for a documentary about this monumental figure in music history was certainly a challenge – for any biographical documentary you need to find the right balance of educating and entertaining.  Read more for insight into the process of creating this trailer.

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