By Hugh Hart | Wired
Inspired by maverick genius Nikola Tesla, Wil Cashen invented an electric pickup truck. Now the Los Angeles-based engineer and entrepreneur wants to pay homage to his role model by making a docudrama about the eccentric Serbian-American inventor.
Cashen’s film project Electricity: The Story and Life of Nikola Tesla, which is currently up for funding through Kickstarter, would help educate mainstream audiences about the brilliant scientist whose system for distributing free wireless electricity got squashed by established business interests led by Thomas Edison.
Writer Carol Bourgeois, who began researching Tesla 12 years ago and finally completed her final script early this year, told Wired by phone that when she interviewed people on the streets of Los Angeles, nine out of 10 drew a blank at the mention of the Tesla name.
“It’s time for him to shine,” she said, citing several incidents in which the obsessive-compulsive Tesla got cheated out of profits and patents. “This is a dude that got screwed and didn’t get a penny for any of his patents. That’s where our passion comes in.”
The movie will feature dramatic re-enactments, interviews, vintage film sequences and archival photographs filmed in slow-panning “Ken Burns style,” according to project rep Zach Taiji. Kickstarter funders can snag cool swag including Nikola Tesla action figures.
Before its fund-raising launch August 9, the proposed docudrama had already attracted support from magician Marco Tempest, who allowed the filmmakers to embed his Sound and Light TED talk video and making-of companion piece on their Kickstarter page.