When I saw the video from this Kickstarter campaign I was intrigued. This is the story of a nerdy, insecure people-pleaser named Adam who finds out in the worst way possible that his boyfriend is cheating on him: when his doctor tells him he has chlamydia. Unsure what to do with his shattered life and venereal disease, Adam turns to a magical Magic 8 Ball that seems to have all the answers.
But as Adam’s hurt turns to H8, the ball takes on a mind of its own—manipulating Adam’s broken heart and pushing him down a dark path. Wanting to get back at the person who hurt you is something common to many LGBTQ people.
I interviewed writer, director and stud-muffin Dan Hass about what inspired this story of a boy who found out he was being cheated on through his doctor. Hass said he had had relationships in the past that he drew from for this story. In his first couple of relationships, “I tended to over-invest myself,” Hass said, which made the heartache more intense when they ended. Adam getting chlamydia was, “a physical way of expressing that shock you get of finding out someone cheated,” Hass said.
Hass said he had had a bunch of stories rolling around in his head. But it wasn’t until the death of his father that he realized that that life is short and he didn’t want to leave any regrets behind. He started writing his story ideas out, and “Magic H8 Ball” was his favorite.
The press release about the film said Hass had reached out to his connections in the film gayborhood for a predominately LGBTQ+ cast and crew. I was impressed by the line-up. It includes the Emmy-winning Ramy Romany as director of photography. Jason Stamey, who has helped cast Marvel features such as “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War,” is casting director. The film’s star is Nathan Mohebbi (“Masters of Sex,” “Chasing Life,” “Child of God”).
So what is this Kickstarter campaign going to pay for. Hass says it will cover the whole kit and caboodle — permit costs, cast and crew salaries, pre- and post-production work and more.
What does Hass hope viewers will walk away with after seeing his film? “We have all been there,” Hass said, referencing romance and betrayal, “and I hope people are able to relate with Adam to come out better … and come out with a better perspective on the other end.”
As a press release about the film puts it: “Magic H8 Ball is about more than being funny, more than being gay, more than breaking up, and more than challenging the stigmas around STDs—although those are all huge, important parts of this story. But more than anything, this is about freedom and expression and self-love. Even when we deserve to hate the most.”
I’m excited about this project because it is Hass’ first ever as writer, director, producer, aka “the Boss,” although he has been involved in commercials, musicals and film productions.
What advice does Hass have for anyone who might be looking to do something similar? What’s most important, he said, is to “work with friends and have a team behind your back.” With only a couple weeks to go, go to MagicH8Ball.com and help support a film I feel we will all be able to relate to. Watch