The People Behind MagicHouse Productions
Mark Racop's father says that even when his son was only two, he was asking, "How did they do that?" The elder Racop answered, "Trick photography." Over the years, Racop decided to find out what his father was talking about.
In 1980, Mark borrowed a Super 8 camera and produced a 60-minute film. The movie featured a car chase, and laser beam special effects. The Caped Crusader won awards in high school, and was shown in drama classes.
Racop's second movie was a 30-minute feature called The Phantom, completed in 1982. The titles, camera work, and sound were far superior to the first, and a well-choreographed martial arts fight scene was the highlight of the movie.
Racop majored in film at Ball State University. He built a customized Batmobile, a presumably "stately" Wayne Manor set with a sliding bookcase, and a Batcave set for Eyes of the Cat. The movie featured a car chase, miniatures, explosions and terrific fight scenes. Mark won a $3,500 David Letterman Scholarship Contest in 1986.
Racop worked as an intern on Terror Squad, a low-budget action film made in Kokomo, Indiana. "I spent most of my time helping with stunts, the art department, and special effects, but I did learn a lot in the production office as well."
The next production was the ultra low-budget Rock N Roll Starship. "My friends and I were watching a batch of bad movies," Racop says, "Like Hardware Wars, Dark Star and Galaxina, and we thought with today's computer generated effects, we could do them both better and cheaper." It didn't take long for the script writing and casting, and set construction followed. Racop assembled a cast and crew of 75 people. "We began shooting on March 4, 1991." The November 4, 1996 premiere was sold out in Anderson, Indiana. "We were on the front page of the Lifestyles section of the paper, we were on the radio, and we started receiving invitations to be guests at dozens of science fiction conventions." Starship has sold over six hundred VHS copies.