Saratoga County filmmakers look to bring magic to the stage and the screen

Two Photos: Filmmakers Ryan Jenkins, left, and Spencer Sherry. And Eric Mead is seen performing on the show “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.”

Left: Filmmakers Ryan Jenkins, left, and Spencer Sherry. Right: Eric Mead is seen  performing on the show “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.”

To pull off their latest film project, two Saratoga County filmmakers are relying on the magic of famed performer Eric Mead and looking for a bit of help from the Capital Region.

Fittingly titled “Anomaly,” the 10-page script was written by Ryan “Rahn” Jenkins and inspired by Mead, a Colorado-based performer who has previously impressed Penn and Teller on the show “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.”

It follows a famous magician who is on his last string of performances and is showing off a particularly impressive illusion. A branch of the government has been sent to audit the performance and find out the method that he uses to accomplish the trick.

Jenkins sent the script to Mead last year simply with the idea of paying homage to the magician who he’d watched since he was in grade school.

“Just for fun, I shot it over to Eric and wanted to see what he thought about it and see if he had any interest in being involved,” Jenkins said.

Mead not only responded but also offered to act in the film.

At that point Spencer Sherry, a fellow filmmaker, got involved in the project, along with members of The APB, a Capital Region-based film collective. Sherry previously worked as a production assistant on films like “Set It Up” before moving to Saratoga and has been working on adapting Stephen King’s “The Monkey.” “Anamoly” marks the first screenplay of Jenkins’ to be produced in this way.

To imbue the set with the magic they’re hoping to portray on screen, they sought out filming locations with ornate and historic architecture.

The Cohoes Music Hall fit the bill. The cast and crew will be filming there from March 1-3. For the final day of filming, Mead will perform the particular trick the script focuses on and the filmmakers are looking for people to pack the theater.

“We decided that we would do a fundraiser on the final night of shooting, in which the community can come buy tickets to a show where we will be on stage, shooting Eric in character, talking to the audience and doing his illusion,” Sherry said. “The audience will get to be in the movie with Eric, get to be a part of it, [and] the tickets fund to the movie and help us make it.”

They’re hoping for around 150-200 people to pack the audience that evening. In between Mead’s performance and the filming, they also plan to have another performer on stage to entertain the audience. Tickets will go to support the film.

Managing the filming while keeping everyone entertained will be a trick in and of itself.

“The big hurdle for Spencer and I will be . . . navigating that evening, getting all the shots that we need with the audience while keeping them entertained and keeping the night flowing along. That’ll be a very complex event,” Jenkins said.

However, they hope the show — and eventually the film — will help viewers cultivate a sense of wonder.

“The theme of the story is the feeling that you had when you were a kid that’s seeing something impossible. That really magical, lovely feeling can get lost as you grow older and become an adult and more cynical. Reconnecting with that experience is the theme of the movie. We want to throw a fundraiser for the community that helps us perpetuate that in film and also hopefully, it gives people a little bit of that when they attend,” Sherry said.

Leading up to filming, they’re also raising funds through a show at the Albany Funny Bone slated for 1 p.m. Sunday. The event, titled “Illusions of Auteur: A Comedy Fundraiser,” will feature a performance by comedian/actor Matt Richards, who hosts the game show app HQ Trivia and has been on “Flatbush Misdemeanors” on Showtime, both seasons of “That Damn Michael Che” on HBOMax, CBS’ “2 Broke Girls,” and other shows. Tickets start at $25.

For more information visit

Tickets will be available for the March 3 show as the date draws near. For tickets, visit

Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts, Life and Arts, Saratoga Springs

Leave a Reply