Monday, June 4, 2007


With the recent, yet understandable inundation of exposes on political oppression, corporate corruption, apocalyptic warnings and global catastrophe, we wanted to make a film that gave our spirits a lift and our nerves a rest.
The Life of the Magic Assistant was a concept that we we found instantly intriguing. Just when we thought everything had been said about everything, here was an untapped idea and the well was full. We embarked on our filmic quest in typical Storyteller 101 fashion, hunting for the conflict, the hook that would keep our audience engaged, hopefully glued to their seats. What we discovered in this small international community was that - due to the covert nature of Magic, there was a unique and very close camaraderie among women, almost cult-like. We found that the conflict and tension in our film was in the inherent danger of the work, their hand-to-mouth existence as live performers in a digital-centric age, and their interpersonal conflicts with and treatment by…the magician/husband they serve.In their bittersweet reflections on their lives, we discovered several anti-cliches in place within this subculture; the most refreshing anti-cliche being, the assistant is very much the one in control, in fact, the true Magician behind the Illusionist. He could not do it without her.If we have accomplished our mission, then the film has brought beauty, brevity, humanity and restored faith to our viewers that there is still Magic in the world.


More on the making of Women in Boxes....a Documentary about Magic's Better Half...

I LOVE TELLER! He is interesting, insightful, funny and brilliant. And he directed Macbeth with real magic. I directed Macbeth with young children and didn't edit the "dash the baby against the rocks" line. Here is the story of how Teller got in our film. (Though he remains quiet for other cameras, I feel very privileged that he spoke on mine.)
Over a year ago, we were on a hot pursuit to have Penn & Teller appear in our film. We were told by their gatekeeper, frankly, Penn will not speak in our film and Teller would like to, but he doesn't speak on camera. Ever!
We used our family magic connections to Penn: and...they BACKFIRED. Imagine that.
Now it's been a year. Our film was nearly done. We were driving from L.A. to Vegas to see my biological mother, long story, but she is to meet her grandchildren(ages 5&6)for the first time.
She put us up at her gambling hole, the Orleans, for two nights. Before leaving for Vegas, I decided to try one last time for Teller! This time, I reached him directcly. He had seen our rough cut, enjoyed it and agreed to be interviewed for Women in Boxes. There were a few little wrinkles, like it had to be around midnight - after his show, and to stick with his Teller Mystique, he wanted to be lit in Half Shade.
We didn't have our directors with us - it was the holiday. They didn't believe Teller would EVER speak to us. So meanwhile we didn't know "half-shade" from a levelor blind.
I was a wreck from 3pm to MIDNIGHT. Cut to: My mother’s living room. My kids are still awake so I drugged them with Nyquil.
Dante started jerry-rigging lights because....
The Show Must Go On.
12:03am - Teller arrives inside the unlit and confusing maze called Spanish Trail , where everyone always gets lost. My mother was locked in the bedroom with the children - my daughter apparently said of the Nyquil "This isn't doing anything for me." My son, on the other hand, passed out cold.
But two hours later, we were done. The interview was spectacular and I only wish the entire piece could be in our film.
Thank you Teller!


I was inspired with the idea to make a documentary about magic assistants after meeting a turbaned, bejeweled but tiny Diva of about 70, named Carol Roy.

Carol is a cross between a beautiful Phyllis Diller (Phyllis you're beautiful too) and Ruth Gordon. She has spent the better part of her life curled up inside a giant light bulb until produced by her husband, Mr. Electric (Marvin Roy).
Based on Carol’s participation, I knew we had a film. This woman could carry the film alone, based on personality and her stories!
Our co-directors came on board based on my big pitch about Mrs. Electric. We invested in cameras, lights, hard drives, sound equipment, hotel rooms. The week before Carol’s first interview, we got a call from Mr. Electric saying she was deathly ill in the hospital. It has been two years since that call. Sadly, Carol Roy, though our film's greatest supporter and cheerleader, remains seriously ill.

The film is now done, with a nod to Mrs. Electric from her peers and some beautiful footage of her popping out of the giant light bulb, which likely caused the malady she suffers from today.