Canada – WIZARD MODE is an exciting short documentary film that shares with the world the story of Robert Gagno, a young man with autism who is ranked as the fourth best pinball player in the world.
Released earlier this year, SALAZAR, the producers of the film, hope that WIZARD MODE will soon become a full length film. An Indigogo campaign launched, Sep 16, will hopefully fund the project.
The Indiegogo campaignpage states:
‘Robert Emilio Gagno has dedicated most of his young life to mastering WIZARD MODE. In professional pinball the initials R.E.G. strike fear, admiration and respect – he’s ranked in the top ten out of thousands of competitive pinball players in the world. But there’s more to him than just being a pinball wizard. At the age of three, Robert was diagnosed with autism.
With the support of his parents, Robert has practiced non-stop, developing an almost otherworldly skill for the game. Though he has many victories and the support of the pinball community, he seeks to find his independence as he comes of age. Robert tries to balance all of his real world responsibilities and still be a pinball champion, searching to unlock his own WIZARD MODE.’
The short documentary can be viewed below:
Although this documentary is only short, I wished it was longer, it deals with the sensitive subject of autism beautifully. Although obviously as story about a young man with autism, we focus upon his abilities s a pinball wizard and how this has shaped his life and given him confidence. I also feel that the film introduces what autism is to the viewer out there who has no prior knowledge about what it is.
How our readers help
The most immediate help would be to become a contributor to the film by going to the Indiegogo campaign, but a great help is sharing the campaign and awareness of the film. It’s also a really great way for people to become part of the making of the film and for people to get behind the story to help it reach a greater audience. The more eyes the better!
You can follow WIZARD MODE on social media to stay up to date with the film:
Indiegogo campaign page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wizard-mode-a-documentary
After watching the film, I wanted to learn more about Robert, his early years and more about the plans for the feature film. I was lucky enough to be able to ask questions to Robert; his mother Kathy and one of the two directors from Salazar, Jeff Lee Petry.
Next are my interviews with them, beginning with Robert’s Mom, Kathy