There's a prepper friendly movie in the works called Jack Phoenix set in post-nuclear -- you guessed it -- Phoenix.
The titular hero is a CFO turned "doomsday survival expert" who finds himself, his daughter and small film crew, forced to fend for themselves in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Arizona desert. The movie is being shot here, the Salton Sea and even Alice Cooperstown.
We sat down with Manny Edwards and actor Kenny Jezek to talk about their a Kickstarter funded project which recently met it's $10,000 funding goal.
Manny says that the basic idea for the character of Jack Phoenix came from his own experience running the prepper friendly Survival News Online blog and Youtube channel. He focuses on "survival skills" videos that range from food preservation techniques to the weapon reviews.
He says that Jack Phoenix, who will be played by Jezek, is largely drawn from Manny's online persona, the SNOman. He says that he was interested in telling the story about what a self-styled survivalist might if he was confronted with the very scenarios he supposedly teaches other to survive.
Manny says that his overall desires is to educate people on survival skills and that he knows, through his own experience in the movie industry, that the best way to accomplish that is through telling an interesting story.
While Manny was somewhat reluctant to divulge and huge spoilers he did say that the nuclear holocaust visited upon Phoenix is in some way directly related to Jack Phoenix himself.
He suggested that part of the movie would be devoted to unraveling that particular mystery and confronting the perpetrators. Woven withing that would be practical lessons on self-defense, desert survival and general preparedness. Despite the tongue-in-cheek tone of the early trailers, Manny says that people who watch should be able to pick up some real survival skills.
Both Manny and Kenny expressed shock at how generous and supportive people have been towards their project. In addition to their $10,000 goal in Kickstarter, they've also received substantial donations of time and equipment. Manny ball parked those additional donations, which included camera lens and a charted flight to scout out filming locations on the Salton Sea, as being worth at least $12,000.
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What's interesting, especially for Jezek who makes makes his living working several jobs including martial arts instructor and adjunct professor at Glendale Community College, is that neither man appear to have quit their day job. Jezek says that he's rearranged his schedule to allow for filming, which is expected to take more than a month. But by doing so he's also going to be working or filming everyday of the week. Despite that, both men were excited to start filming later this month.
"If this doesn't kill me, it'll be so much fun," he says.
Here's producer Manny Edwards outlining his project: