According to Cameron Casey, a producer on the Discovery Channel reality series Warlocks Rising, Discovery is demanding that this page “take down,” its stories about the show. Cameron says lots of things and The Aging Rebel smells blood. This is how we got here.
The Aging Rebel has published five stories (which is probably at least two more than ideal) about this television program in the last three weeks. On June 21st, this page ran an announcement titled “Warlocks Rising” that the show had been produced and was going to air. That advance was followed by “Warlocks Issue Press Release” on July 4; a favorable review of the show titled “Watch Warlocks Rising” on July 5th; and a story about a growing controversy surrounding the show titled “Warlocks Rising Controversy” on July 9th. In researching the controversy story this page solicited a brief written interview with Casey who replied obliquely:
“…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 truly American principles.”
The controversy story transcribed the written questions Casey had been asked, noted that he had not answered those questions and promised “When he does, this page will print his replies.”
The next morning, at 11:01 a.m. Pacific Time, Casey did answer those questions and The Aging Rebel, as promised, ran the questions and Casey’s verbatim responses at 2:54 p.m.
The Aging Rebel: 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?
Casey: ATF were not involved with us but they did let us dig into files they had on the club and give us information from their perspective on the club. We are documentary film makers and wanted to look at the story from all angles. We thought having the story told from their point of view (as limited as it was) would be beneficial for viewing audiences to get a full and true picture of what the Warlocks world is all about. Information flowed in one direction only – from them to us. We in no way ever got involved in their investigation processes. (If any were going on at the time or not) We had nothing to do with law enforcement investigation issues.
TAR: Is this show journalism or entertainment? Who controls the outtakes?
Casey: Documentary Film making is by nature a journalistic process of story telling from a fly on the wall perspective. Meaning that we try and be observers as much as possible and not manipulate the situations letting real life happen. Our job was to tell the true Warlocks story as it unfolded in front of us. In capturing real stories and real characters in real situations we can only hope that audiences will find the material worthwhile, valuable, informational and above all exciting and entertaining. THE OUTTAKES ARE CONTROLLED BY DISCOVERY. But most of the extra material not used in the show are discarded.
TAR: I have been told filming on the show began in September. Did it? I know filming continued on the show throughout last fall.
Casey: RESEARCH for the show started over a year ago with interviews, phone calls and emails. The shooting started in August and lasted for the entire rest of the year.
TAR: Will the show mention the deadly shootout between members of the Chester faction of the Harpy Warlocks and members of the Warbird Warlocks?
Casey: Due to the sensitive nature of the shooting and the trial there will be little or no mention of the shooting at this time. We did in fact do an episode of the shooting that may or may not come out depending on how popular the show becomes. Tell everyone to watch the show and hopefully we can continue to tell the Warlocks story in subsequent episodes and seasons. They are an amazing – exciting and meaningful brotherhood with legendary stories to tell. Their story should be told.
In addition to answering the questions in writing, Casey suggested, “Let’s do a few more stories as an ongoing account of how the show got made etc. If that’s of interest to you.”
Free Reign Media
The Aging Rebel’s reporting on the production used, in part, a Free Reign Media press release issued on July 5th. Among other things that release states:
“Entertainment production company Free Reign Media recently partnered with Discovery Channel on its upcoming Warlocks Rising series, which enters the secret brotherhood of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club, a notorious nationwide group with a stronghold in Florida.”
“Likened to the real-life version of Sons of Anarchy, Warlocks Rising was co-created by Cameron Casey and Stuart Schonfeld of Free Reign Media in association with Discovery Studios. Casey and Schonfeld also served as executive producers along with Eddie Barbini and Brian Knappmiller.”
“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.”
At 3:14 p.m. Pacific, 20 minutes after the most recent story was published, Casey wrote, “Can you hold off printing any more information about Warlocks. The Club is not happy about the information being sent out and it’s causing problems for all of us. I’ll be in touch once I can clear this from the Warlocks.”
At 3:19 p.m., 25 minutes after the interview with Casey ran, he emailed this page to explain that he had misspoken. He wrote “ATF gave us some photos from their archives only. It is standard for Discovery to say thank you to all parties who help in the production.”
At 4:46 p.m. Casey wrote, “Discovery Legal department is very angry and we need to take down the articles that you wrote – First off ATF did not let us into their files – I was wrong. I thought they gave us some reference photos but that’s not the case. And I was not the only person that produced the show. Discovery had an entire team producing this show. So what you wrote is not true. Please take down the articles ASAP.”
The Aging Rebel stands by the stories as currently written. This page has not been contacted by Discovery’s legal affairs department. The, now, six stories this page has published about the show were all intended to either alert readers to the cablecast of Warlocks Rising, fairly and sympathetically review the show or give an equal voice to members of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club who think the show crassly commercializes the Warlocks patch.
Now, or at least real soon now, back to the real news.