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MAY 11-17

7 Questions with Kim Risi, Director of Disillusioned

Director Kim Risi

1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here?
I was born in Orlando, Florida but my family moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas about 10 years ago. This is essentially where I grew up. I moved to Conway when I graduated High School to enroll in the Digital Filmmaking program here at the University of Central Arkansas.
2. What is the inspiration for your film?
I’ve always loved magic. When I was younger I attempted many tricks but just couldn’t get the hang of it. I was destined to be the admirer of greater magicians and not a great magician myself. Magic tricks dropped off my radar until the summer of 2010. I was struggling to come up with an idea for a short film when I overheard a coworker taking about a terrible magician she got for her child’s birthday party. Bingo! I even had experience being a bad magician. It was a perfect fit.

3. Can you give us a brief synopsis of your film?
Daniel is a young magician who believes that only the best magicians do flashy tricks. When not stocking shelves at the local magic shop, Daniel is worshiping his idol Ace Manhattan, a hot-shot performer who’s all smoke and mirrors.
The only thing stopping Daniel from reaching magical greatness is himself.
No matter how hard he tries, Daniel cannot perform big magic. His boss tries to teach him the importance of classic subtly but Daniel refuses his advice. Daniel must learn that sometimes the smallest magic is the most powerful.

4. What were the biggest challenges and successes you faced on set?
The magic tricks gave us the most trouble. All the tricks in the film are real and were performed on set. We didn’t want to use special effects to manipulate the tricks because we wanted it to feel genuine. Luckily, one of our supporting actors, Derrick Rose, is a professional magician based in Little Rock and was able to help out our lead Seth Savoy who was new to the magic craft. Our other supporting actor, Mark Cluvane, is also a skilled magician and was able to make up for our inexperience. The takes were numerous but we all had a great time.

5. What is the festival strategy for your film?
We plan to submit the film to family friendly, comedy, and shorts festivals.

6. Does your film have a Arkansas/Southern theme?
Southern hospitality revolves around the selfless act of making others happy. The aims of magicians are the same. Daniel has to learn this southern value before he can be a great magician.

7. What changes have you seen in the local film community in the five years since the LRFF was launched?
I’ve noticed that the quality of Arkansas films has been increasing, no doubt because of the friendly competition spurred on by the LRFF. We are constantly pushing ourselves to be better. It’s exciting to live in a community where student filmmaking is not only accepted but celebrated.

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