Do our choices make us who we are? Or are there some choices we can't control? In the heat of the moment, the truth is revealed. How will you live with the consequences?
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Production Company - GearSeven Creative
Directed by - Matthew Underwood
Written by - Matthew Underwood and Beta Angarole
Produced by - Kirk Slawek, Loren Hughes, Matthew Underwood, Beta Angarole, and John Matysiak
Executive Producer - Kirk Slawek
Director of Photography - John Matysiak
Editor - Zach Prichard
Colorist - Jimmy Cadenas at FilmWorkers
Original Score - Bitlordz
Production Design - Streetnoise
Production Audio - Jeremiah Nave
Hair and Makeup - Brie Beckman
Stunt Coordinator - Sam Willey
1st AC - Geoff Storts
2nd AC - Diego Cacho
Additional Camera Support - Aaron Seldon
Gaffer - Colin Noel
Gaffer - Scott Phelps
Key Grip - Giancarlo Curzi
Grip - Lucious Pentenaude
PA - Zach Scruggs
PA - Lauren Weber
BTS - Ryan Camp
Mike Mitchell was just 15 years old when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare muscular cancer. Over the course of almost 4 years, Mike endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. A fierce athlete and competitor, Mike’s love for sports served as a fuel. Not only did he fight the cancer, he continued to play sports, even in his treatment.
You would expect that a boy undergoing chemotherapy would never set foot on a basketball court, much less play at a competitive level. Through a mutual friend, I heard just a snippet of his story, and it never left my mind. Finally, I asked to meet Mike to hear more. We sat in a park outside of Nashville on a balmy summer day, along with his girlfriend. He was kind and humble, and if I hadn’t known, I would have never guessed that he was just wrapping up his most recent round of chemotherapy. We spent most of our time talking football and basketball. He didn’t like talking about his cancer, mainly because he didn’t want people to feel sorry for him, or to treat him any differently. I was floored by his positive outlook, his will to play sports, and his determination to keep his body in shape, even while undergoing rigorous treatment.
So, of course, I wanted to tell his story. And somehow, amazingly, he trusted me with it. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to capture his competitive and determined spirit, through the context of his love for sports.
With the help of an amazing team, we began production. First concepting, writing, and then finally filming. I was introduced to Steve Johnson, who became the absolute champion of this project. He was instrumental in connecting us to all the right people. His unconditional love for Mike was a thing of beauty. We filmed a handful of days with Mike, and several with his closest friends and family.
We had shot about 80% of our story when I got the call: it was like ice in my veins. Mike had been having back pains, which had become increasingly severe in a short period of time. He had been hospitalized, and the doctors were certain as to the source… It was less than a week later that I sat with him, in his hospital room, and handed him an iPad, where we watched a rough cut. That was the last time I talked to Mike Mitchell. Less than 2 weeks later, he left this world.
I had no idea what to do at that point, no idea what story to tell. It was all too fresh, too intense. A fresh set of eyes and a fresh dose of passion from our eventual editor, Sean Dave´, was exactly what it needed. Once we had a rough assembly cut, the inspiration was back and we were charging through the edit process.
On March 16th, 2016, we premiered the film to Mike’s friends and family, at the church he had attended. There were over 400 people in the audience, all with one thing in common: respect and admiration for Mike Mitchell.
This is a glimpse into his story, his unwavering character, and his unstoppable attitude. This is Mike Mitchell.
Production: GearSeven Creative
Director: Matthew Underwood
Producer: Connor Carroll
Executive Producer: Kirk Slawek
Cinematography: Colin Noel, John Matysiak, Matthew Underwood, Kirk Slawek, and Connor Carroll
Editor: Sean Dave´
Additional Gaffing: Sam Willey
Original Score: Connor Carroll and David Brubaker
A magician's journey to discovering real magic:
What if one of the country's top magician's started sharing some of his deepest secrets? But what if those secrets had nothing to do with the tricks at all, but everything to do with exposing the lies and the deception going on around us in our everyday lives?
What if you discovered that, like him, you were settling for a counterfeit version of the life that you were actually meant to live?
This is a documentary about that.
Every single day we are told lies and we tell ourselves lies that dictate the way that we live. We seek out things like money, power, and sex to fill the voids that we are told that we need to fill.
Illusionist Harris, III fell into this trap. While he traveled the world entertaining others with the art of deception from the stage, he himself became deceived. He let his vocation creep into his lifestyle and the lines between what was real and what was just an illusion became blurred. He wasn't just tricking audiences anymore, he was fooling his closest friends and family into believing that he was someone that he wasn't.
But isn't this a story that we all share? Aren't we all putting on a show, in an effort to impress others, find acceptance and feel like we matter?
This film is about a journey that Harris took around the world to uncover these deceptions in an effort to see them for what they are: lies. Lies that can be fought with truth that will allow us to live a life full of freedom, lives that we were created by God to live.
You might think that you have heard this story before, but some of the darkest secrets of Harris' story have yet to be told.
What if everything our souls are craving are on the other side of conquering these lies?