A controversy has erupted over Discovery’s new biker reality show, Warlocks Rising. The argument is loudest and most heartfelt within the Warlocks Motorcycle Club and it is about one of the unwritten rules of the outlaw world, which is don’t use the patch for commercial purposes.
Numerous members of the club, including entire chapters, wanted nothing to do with the four-hour series. “The club didn’t want to be sensationalized,” a source said. The club contracted to participate in the production more than a year ago. The president of the club at the time the contract was signed has since stepped down but, according to the source, the change had nothing to do with the current argument.
Free Reign Media
Discovery Channel has previously said the show was produced by Discovery Channel Productions. That is true in a technical, legal sense but the show was actually researched, photographed and assembled by a company named Free Reign Media LLC which is two guys named Cameron Casey and Stuart Schonfeld and a pigeon hole at the Mailboxes Etc. at 1158 26th Street in Santa Monica.
Free Reign issued a press release last week that stated, “Casey and Schonfeld spent a year developing the storylines of the seven Warlocks members featured in the series. This included hours of journalistic research and interviews with the bikers to flesh out and document their personal stories and family relationships.”
The release describes life in the Warlocks as “a private dark world, one that the Warlocks are very proud of. It was important to them to have someone understand and tell their story the way they wanted it to be told.”
“These are the kinds of stories that you’d expect from a film or narrative piece,” explains Casey. “Until now, we haven’t had access to the one-percenter lifestyle, so it’s the first time we’re seeing these real characters in their real environments on camera. There’s no script or fake drama here. This was definitely the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on in my career.”
The Aging Rebel submitted four questions to Casey by email. Those questions were:
1) First and most important, the show as aired includes the closing credit: “Special Thanks The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.” Why? To what extent was the ATF involved in the production and post production of this show? Are you aware of the implications of that credit?
2) Is this show journalism or entertainment? Who controls the outtakes?
3) I have been told filming on the show began in September. Did it? I know filming continued on the show throughout last fall.
4) Will the show mention the deadly shootout between members of the Chester faction of the Harpy Warlocks and members of the Warbird Warlocks?
“Good to meet you and thank you for your interest in the show. We are aware of the controversy and understand the Warlocks’ concerns. We are proud of the show and tried to tell the Warlocks story by focusing on Love/Respect and brotherhood and tried to stay true to the characters, club history and real stories of the club. As story tellers/documentary film makers we take our jobs very seriously and wanted to maintain respect and consideration for Warlocks on all levels. Warlocks are proud Americans and as you know many fought for our country in war and are living patriotic lives and live by principles that at the core are truly American principles.”
“I’d be happy to answer your questions. I’ll review these and get back to you with answers.”
When he does, this page will print his replies.
Couldn’t Be Stopped
A source with knowledge of the production described the ATF credit as an ironically intended “flip-off credit.”
Another source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the club “did try to stop this legally but to no avail.” The source said that pursuing legal action against Discovery would cost “more money than we could ever hope” to collect. He said he believed the show had also cost the Warlocks “dignity” and that after the first airing last Friday the club may never again “be the same.”