WORKING TITLE “Gadzooks!”
FILM GENRE Fantasy comedy
LENGTH 107 minutes
TARGET AUDIENCE youngsters (and their parents)
TAGLINE It’s magic when you retire.
A young boy uncovers a secret community for retired magicians in a small seaside town. By breaking their home-made invisibility barrier, he is compelled to help the residents save their building from the local demolition firm, the misguided mayor and a 100% pure evil necromancer called Brian.
THE ONE PARAGRAPH
A young boy accidentally breaks the invisibility spell that keeps a retirement home for magicians secret from the rest of the world, exposing it to the demolition firm across the road and the attentions of the local council who condemn it as unstable. Ben and his new best friend – reluctant OAP wizard Stan – lead the residents in defending their building using whatever spells they can get to work against Brian, the evil necromancer who is allergic to sunlight. A magical duel takes place between Brian and Stan, the mayor is discovered to be undead (and incapable of reasoned condemnation), and the demolition firm becomes a recycling centre, but it may all be too late to save the destruction of Gadzooks.
A young boy accidentally breaks the invisibility spell that keeps a retirement home for magicians secret from the rest of the world, exposing it to the demolition firm across the road and the attentions of the local council who condemn it as unstable.
Ben – an enthusiastic 12 year old who initially doesn’t believe in magic.
Stan – a reluctant OAP magician who struggles to tolerate most of his peers.
Maleven – a green-skinned thug who owns a demolition firm and wants to see Gadzooks “levelled”.
Ralf Malf & Daz – Maleven’s hanchman, big on strength and small on brains.
Brian – a black-clad necromancer who’s allergic to sunlight and claims to be 100% pure evil.
William Izzard – the owner of Gadzooks and the most level-headed of the magicians.
Gerry – Stan’s best friend whose magic carpet is never charged up.
Gwen – a witch who tries to look younger than her years and who intensely dislikes Stan.
Grenville – Gwen’s would-be suitor and Gadzook’s king of bling.
Voodoo Don – claims to practice to voodoo, but the only spirits he sees are in bottles.
Ruth Sayer – Gadzooks’ resident soothsayer who does nothing but predict things that don’t seem to happen.
Ayesha – Ben’s stressed-out mother who tries to balance looking after children and her poorly husband with scraping a living.
Doron – Ben’s good-natured, mysteriously ill father who once worked for the environmental agency.
The Founder – the oldest wizard who founded Gadzooks and constantly sleeps, and who has a habit of floating out of the window on the full moon.
THE ONE PAGE SYNOPSIS
Gadzooks is a secret retirement home for magicians in a small seaside town, protected behind an invisibility spell that breaks when one of them leaves. Across the road is a demolition yard run by thuggish, green-skinned Maleven who is keen to demolish Gadzooks. Ben is an excitable young boy whose family are struggling to survive with both parents out of work.
Long time resident of Gadzooks and reluctant wizard, Stan, accidentally causes the home to be visible to Ben when he goes to collect his Frisbee. Before Maleven and his henchman can get across the road, Stan takes Ben inside and the home disappears again. Stan gives Ben the tour of the building, experiencing all kinds of strange phenomenon and even stranger characters. William Izzard, the owner of Gadzooks, doesn’t approve of a “normal person” in the building and tells Ben to leave. Across the road, Maleven schemes how to break the invisibility spell and help arrives in the form of a sinister necromancer, clad in black and allergic to sunlight, known only as Brian.
Maleven’s henchman disguise themselves as Gadzooks staff and untie the rope around the ankle of The Founder – the oldest magician who constantly sleeps and has a habit of floating out of the window during the full moon. With The Founder missing, Gadzooks becomes visible to the eyes of the world and, despite the best spell-casting efforts of the residents, the local council arrive and condemn the building as unstable. Izzard takes Ben and Stan to argue their case with the mayor, but to no avail as his words and actions are controlled by Brian’s necromancy from the next room. Discovered and outnumbered, Brian flees the scene, escaping his pursuers after a chase through the town, but angering Maleven by not telling him every part of his evil plans.
Keen to make Gadzooks invisible again, the residents have no choice but to go out and search for The Founder in ”the normal world”. After causing chaos on the streets, Izzard calls them back when he receives an anonymous note requesting a magical showdown on cliffs at the edge of town. While everyone boards the bus, Stan takes the alternative route along the beach, but he runs into Brian and the two of them fight a magical duel. Though equally powerful magicians, Brian has the edge (being “100% pure evil”), but Stan is saved by Ben wielding his custom-built majik-hitting-wand, otherwise known as a big stick. Maleven arrives on the scene, keen to change his ways in light of Brian being far more evil than him, but Brian sneaks away and heads back to the deserted Gadzooks. By the time he is recaptured, his fire spells have burnt the building to the ground.
Fortunately, Izzard’s anonymous note was written by himself as a ploy to get the residents onto the bus and off to their new home on the cliff top – ‘Gadzooks-on-sea’, a converted lighthouse to which The Founder had already floated. Everyone agrees the new home is superior and doesn’t need a spell to protect it. Stan becomes more interested in magic and invites Ben over as much as he likes, though Ben also spends time at Maleven’s yard which is turned into a recycling centre in partnership with Ben’s father. As for Brian, he is magically sealed inside the lighthouse as a punishment for all his evil deeds.
TEN REASONS WHY THIS COULD BE A SUCCESS
1. Witches and wizards are always popular, but they are rarely shown in their twilight years, and never before in a retirement home.
2. It plays on the notion that such a community could be located in any town and anyone could accidentally stumble upon it.
3. The method behind all of the magic is explained in layman’s terms (to a certain extent), making it seem that much more realistic.
4. It features a wide variety of characters covering each aspect of the occult spectrum, each with their relevant quirks.
5. It has a classic partnership between young-enthusiastic-naïve boy and elderly-cynical- world-weary man.
6. It includes classic villain hierarchy, i.e. Mr. Nasty is superseded by Mr. Even-Nastier.
7. It features an environmentally-conscious angle without preaching propaganda.
8. It deals with sceptical beliefs towards magic, including the scepticism of those who claim to practice it.
9. It subtly pokes fun at the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” / “Medallion Witch” generation.
10. It creates a totally new world of magicians without borrowing from any other extremely popular franchises.