Mark O’Brien’s film, Walking Through Fires centers on Mark’s true life story. It is as real as you can get. No Hollywood smoke and mirrors, no re-writes and big name production army and no “A” list cast. It is a micro-budget film although it looks like a much bigger budget film. Mark’s film centers on his loss of a half-million dollars worth of illusions burned in his Orlando warehouse in two suspicious fires five days apart. Classified to this day as arson by the Insurance investigator, many believe the fires were set to thwart Mark’s attempt to open his magic attraction in Orlando. But the real story and “relevance” is that his film sheds light on the way things really are in showbusiness. His very personal film depicts the events before during and after the fires and the damage to his career, family, friends and mental health. The film is enlightening, educational, moving, disturbing and inspiring and covers so much of what life is all about. Justice, corruption, family, career, friendship and magic are all examined within the film’s complex structure.
In spite of this tragedy, Mark remains a World Class Illusionist and has developed into a very good film producer-director. This is one micro-budget that every magician should see as it will beg them to ask not only why they perform magic but what they find important in their own lives outside of their crazy profession, hobby or obsession. And they may even ask themselves why Mark O’Brien would spend five years and a great deal of his own money to tell his story in a film. I wonder if Hollywood could have told Mark’s story any better?
So who the heck is Burt Wondertsone? He is a fictitious character and you can expect to see Steve Carell star as “Wonderstone” in the magician comedy film, titled Burt Wonderstone. That big budget movie is centered on the world of Las Vegas magicians, with Carell playing a traditional performer who gets a rival in the form of “a hip younger illusionist,” which leads to him having to “find a way to rediscover his love for magic.” According to some press articles, Wonderstone accidentally kills his partner and must regain his “hocus-pocus focus” while simultaneously competing with a rival. New Line is planning to shoot this month.
According to IMDB, the film script was purchased in 2006. This is the same year that production began on Mark O’Brien’s micro-budget indie. Thus you may have two films about illusionists coming out at the same time again. Dejavu – like when The Prestige and The Illusionist came out at the same time. Those films were very similar but these films are very different in many ways.
To see clips from the film and check on the release information you can visit the official site:
Aside from purchasing the DVD or renting it when it becomes available, please support Mark and the real world of independent film making by visiting the film’s facebook fan page and clicking the “like” button.
You Tube is also filled with classic clips of some of Mark’s television and live show appearances. You will love the creative illusions on many of Mark’s Nickelodeon network TV shows!
If you are searching for relevance in a magic film or even in your life, you may find it in Walking Through Fires. If you are looking for comedy then let’s hope Wonderstone delivers as much bang as Walking Through Fires does for the buck!