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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor.   [May 28, 2006]





[]..Star Trek's Nichelle NichoIs is playing a brothel owner in Lady Magdalene's, a new film she herself is co-executive producing with Prometheus Award-winning science fiction author J. Neil Schulman (the film's writer and director).

Shot entirely in Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada, Lady Magdalene's is the tale of a Homeland Security officer booted off the force by political correctness, who then stumbles onto an Al Queda plot partially set in a legal brothel owned by Lady Magdalene (played by Nichols).

During an on-site interview with the Hollywood Investigator, Schulman explained that inexpensive access to "great locations" was a major reason for choosing.Lady Magdalene's for his directorial debut. "A couple of years ago, I first saw the Front Sight training center in Pahrump, which I like to describe as Disneyland for SWAT commandos. I've talked to people who've gone through the federal law enforcement training centers in Georgia and New Mexico, and they say the facilities that federal officers trained at have nothing to compare to what they have here at Front Sight. When I saw the extent of the facilities a few years ago, I said, I want to do a movie here.

Front Sight doubles as a training centers for both terrorists and federal officers in Schulman's film -- as does Pahrump itself. The desert community's surrounding area can pass for the Mideast.

"I've a house in Pahrump," said Schulman. "This beautiful country with mountains on all sides and great vistas, is stupendous from a cinematographic standpoint.

Apart from location, Schulman's script was also inspired by a true story. "I heard a funny story how, back in the late 1980s, the Mustang Ranch went into federal tax receivership. Because it's a legal business, the federal court appointed a federal agent to be the tax receiver for the Mustang Ranch. I thought, that's the funniest fish-out-of-water idea I've ever heard. A federal agent given the job of managing a legal brothel in Nevada.



Schulman has known Lady Magdalene's star Nichols for some thirty years. "I met her at a Star Trek convention in the 1970s, which I was covering for the National Star," said Schulman. "She was in one of the suites where a party was going on at night. She was lounging on one of the beds, and I went up to her with my recorder and lay down on the bed next to her, and I interviewed her.

"She maintains to this day that she remembers me doing that, which I find astonishing. I was one out of several thousands of reporters that interviewed her.

"I met her again a few years ago regarding the script adaptation of my novel, Escape from Heaven. She and I began developing that together as executive producers.

"I decided that I could have only one madam for Lady Magdalene's, and that was Nichelle Nichols."

Schulman found the rest of his cast and crew, "referral to referral to referral. One person gives one person, that person gives you a third person.  Some of the actors I already knew. We listed the film with Breakdown Services. That got me some. We did an open call here in Pahrump. I've now hired four speaking roles from those Pahrump auditions. We have one actor out of Las Vegas. Four from Pahrump. Several from the East coast. Lots out of Los Angeles. And one from Manchester in the UK. Mark Gilvary, a graduate of the Drama Centre of London. One of the finest, most versatile actors I've ever met."

Apart from Nichols, the lead roles are played by Ethan Keogh (Homeland Security officer Jack Goldwater), Susan Smythe (Goldwater's partner and love interest), and Alexander Wraith as lead Al Queda terrorist, Yassin. "Keogh was a direct referral from Susan Smythe," said Schulman.





Lady Magdalenes is being shot with two HD digital cameras, a Panasonic and a Canon, at 24 fps. As for how Schulman raised financing for his film, he says, "It's a secret. I managed to tap into financial resources that have faith in me."



Schulman will begin looking for distribution in late June at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where he will pass out a DVD trailer. He also intends to submit his film to studios and film festivals, including Sundance and Cannes.

J. Neil Schulman has written for the Investigator about Scott Peterson's possible innocence and libertarian science fiction icon Samuel E. Konkin III. He has spoken to the Weekly Universe about his 'Vulcan mind-meld with God' and a miracle cure for cataracts. He may be contacted at:
Be sure to follow Lady Magdalene's progress at the NRA test screening.

Copyright 2006 by


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