About this project
We did it!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE!
- Over 3000 people helped us exceed our initial goal by over 66%!
- We exceeded $238K, so everyone who donated $95 or more will get a free Amazing Deck!
- Your donations will be a HUGE help in enabling us to finish the film and to make it the best film possible!
- You are ALL a part of our team now, and we'd love to take you along for the rest of the ride! Please like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AnHonestLiarDoc) to keep up with our progress and see what we're up to!
- We will be initiating the members-only section of our website for donors at $20 and up soon - and you'll be able to an inside view of our progress there!
- Donors will be getting surveys to confirm your rewards selections, mailing addresses, etc., so keep your eyes out for them!
- For anyone who might not have had the chance to donate but who would still like to help us, please do! We will be offering many of the same great rewards for donations at our website, www.anhonestliar.com
- You have our deepest gratitude. We are honored and humbled at the response we've gotten, and at all your generosity, enthusiasm, and kindness. We can't wait to bring you the finished film!
Justin Weinstein & Tyler Measom
Watch Penn & Teller talk about James Randi
An Honest Liar profiles the colorful life of famed magician turned professional skeptic James “The Amazing” Randi as he embarks on a series of public crusades to expose America’s psychics, faith healers and con artists with religious fervor. But you never know whether to trust a master deceiver - and there's more to Randi's life than meets the eye.
Thanks for checking out our project! We've spent over a year working on this film, but we need your help! Randi is a fascinating, funny, and brilliant man with a great life-story to tell, and it's still unfolding. We're honored to be making this documentary about Randi and his great accomplishments, as well as about the dramas and behind-the-scenes stories of his life.
You can help fund our film and spread a call for reason and critical thinking and save the world from falling back into the Dark Ages!
If you'd like to see more of what's to come, you can view an extended trailer here.
We need your help!
The funding of this campaign is essential to enable us to: finance the filming of multiple important upcoming events with Randi (5-6 separate shoots) as well as a number of key interviews around the country that still need to be done, cover the costs of filming of key cinematic recreations of events, pay for a composer to score the film, and hire an archival researcher to help find and gather all of the great archival footage we need.
Of course, our goal is the minimum we need to proceed, but more than that will help us to go further in completing the film. Additional funding would allow us to continue into post-production and would contribute towards the very costly needs of audio mixing, color-correction, and the final online. Additionally, exceeding our minimum goal would allow us to increase the quality of the production values in the film (animations, recreations, music, title graphics, and more). Every little bit counts, so we really appreciate whatever you can help us with!
Our heartfelt thanks for your interest, and please consider supporting us in other ways as well. One of the BEST WAYS to help us spread the word is by posting a link to this Kickstarter page (http://kck.st/W3RVWs) on Facebook! You can also spread links to our facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/AnHonestLiarDoc), and our website (www.anhonestliar.com) to everyone and everyplace you can!
Justin Weinstein & Tyler Measom
We are so grateful for all your support and encouragement and have come up with a series of great rewards show our sincere thanks! Below is a visual breakdown of the descriptions to the right, followed by a more detailed description of the film.
An Amazing Life Story
For every magician that uses the powers of conjuring for entertainment, there are scores of fortune tellers, psychics, cardsharps, faith healers, and scam-artists that use those same powers for evil.
But in the epic battle against the misuse of magical thinking, a hero has emerged: a small, aging, gay magician with wizard white hair and a Santa Claus beard; James “The Amazing” Randi.
As a teenager, James Randi did what most kids only dreamt of, he ran away from home to join a traveling carnival - and he never looked back. Over the decades, his astounding feats of magic, escape, sleight of hand, and acts of mentalism made him an international celebrity.
At the same time, however, he saw some of those same powers of deceit being used by con men, faith healers, psychics, and scam-artists for thievery. Knowing that it takes a thief to catch a thief, Randi dedicated his life to expose these charlatans. Today, at the 84, with a vaudevillian’s wit and the boundless energy of a teenager, Randi continues his mission - which has only grown more intense.
An Honest Liar is a feature length documentary that will reveal the colorful life and escapades of James Randi, explore the dangers of magical thinking and deception, and follow Randi and his partner as they risk being separated after 26 years due to a very personal deception.
Through first person accounts, rare photos and footage, An Honest Liar will chronicle the story of how a curious child rose to the ranks of showman and then advanced to become a renowned demystifier of paranormal claims. The film will tell the inside tales of Randi’s investigations and adventures, including his discovery of the tricks of the faith-healer Peter Popoff and exposure of the techniques of “knife-less surgery”. The film will bring to life such Randi-led schemes as “Project Alpha”, where two magicians pretending to be psychics fooled a scientific research study on paranormal powers, and the famous “Carlos Hoax” in which Randi exposed the gullibility of the public by unleashing a fake mystic upon the people of Australia.
The film will also reveal the discovery of a very personal deception in Randi’s life. Randi came out of the closet as a gay man only a few years ago at the age of 81, though he had been living with his partner, Jose Alvarez (who played “Carlos” in their great “Carlos Hoax”) for decades. Recently, Jose was arrested when it was discovered that “Jose Alvarez” is not, in fact, his real name. Now the couple is at risk of being separated after 26 years together as “Jose” faces possible deportation to Venezuela, his country of birth.This story is still unfolding in front of our cameras.
Speaking with experts, and Randi cohorts, such as Penn & Teller, Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and Adam Savage among others, the film will explore skepticism, illusion, reality and how easily human perception is fooled, and will show the significant harm that can result from unfounded beliefs.
With a biographical style similar to Bill Cunningham, New York and Being Elmo, but capped with a twist akin to Exit Through the Gift Shop, An Honest Liar will be an historical biography, a call for reason and critical thinking, and a magic act in itself.
Justin Weinstein (Director/Producer) has been making documentaries for broadcast, theatrical release, and commercial clients for over 10 years. Most recently, he wrote and edited BEING ELMO; A Puppeteers Journey, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011, and for which Weinstein and fellow writer/editor Philip Shane were nominated for The Humanitas Prize which honors "film & television writers whose work explores the human condition in a nuanced, meaningful way." Prior to that, Weinstein produced Face Off at Coal River Mountain for Al Jazeera English, and Dirty Business, produced in collaboration with Peter Bull and Alex Gibney. Earlier, Weinstein produced numerous projects for ABC News, Peter Jennings Reporting, and PBS, including Hot Politics for Frontline and the ABC special, Last Days on Earth. He resides in Brooklyn, where it seems like everyone and their dog is a documentary filmmaker.
Tyler Measom (Director/Producer) is the co-director/producer of the documentary film Sons of Perdition, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by the Oprah Winfrey Network. Measom is the producer of the feature film, Take, starring Minnie Driver and Jeremy Renner. He has written, produced and directed nearly one hundred commercials, short documentaries and industrials for a wide range of national and international clients. He recently directed and produced a documentary on the history of alcohol in Utah for a PBS Station. Measom currently lives in Salt Lake City, and no, he’s not a Mormon.
Duane Andersen (co-producer) produced Dave Boyle’s award winning films Daylight Savings and Surrogate Valentine, which premiered at SXSW Film Festival in 2011 and 2012. He and Boyle previously collaborated on festival favorites White on Rice and on Big Dreams Little Tokyo. He has previously produced Kevin Barker’s Last Kind Words (starring Brad Dourif), Moon Molson’s Sundance short Crazy Beats Strong Every Time, Rich Wong and H.P. Mendoza’s Yes, We’re Open, and Juan Cardarelli and Eric Levy’s Congratulations. In the works is the drama Facing East and his feature film directorial debut The Pretenders.
Risks and challenges
If documentary filmmaking wasn't a risky business, more people would be doing it! We are at a point on this project where most of the challenges that face filmmakers are behind us... though that isn't to say we're out of the woods.
The most common challenge we might encounter is that additional funding is needed to complete the film. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as: editing takes longer than anticipated; unforseen events require additional filming; additional recreation filming is needed, etc.
There is still a good amount of filming that needs to be done. It's possible that could take longer than we expect, delaying the completion of the film. However, in our past we've always met deadlines, and we've been entirely on-schedule for this production as well.
We honestly don't foresee any reason this film won't be completed (and done well!) but nothing in life is a sure thing. Ya know, except death & taxes.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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