Entertainment production company Free Reign Media recently partnered with Discovery Channel to produce the new reality series Warlocks Rising, which enters the secret brotherhood of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club, a notorious nationwide group with a stronghold in Florida. The series premiered Friday.
Warlocks Rising follows one of the country’s most infamous “1 percent motorcycle clubs,” which are considered outlaws by law enforcement agencies and the government. The four hour-long episodes follow this group of bikers as they struggle to balance their family and often-violent club life.
Likened to the real-life version of Sons of Anarchy, Warlocks Rising was co-created by Cameron Casey and Stuart Schonfeld of Free Reign Media in association with Discovery Studios. Casey and Schonfeld also served as executive producers along with Eddie Barbini and Brian Knappmiller.
Casey says that gaining unprecedented access into and trust from the Warlocks was a yearlong process. “It’s a private, dark world, one that the Warlocks are very proud of. It was important to them to have someone understand and tell their story the way they wanted it to be told. Many of their members are decorated vets, having served in the Armed Forces, yet they’re considered unpatriotic, non-law-abiding citizens by the government. At the end of the day, they’re proud Americans and pretty darn good guys with a strong brotherhood, but they do live and die by this violent subculture.”
Casey and Schonfeld spent a year developing the storylines of the seven Warlocks members featured in the series. This included hours of journalistic research and interviews with the bikers to flesh out and document their personal stories and family relationships. For example, one storyline follows a member named Contender and his conflicting identity as an outlaw and as a father to an 18-year-old daughter.
“These are the kinds of stories that you’d expect from a film or narrative piece,” said Casey. “Until now, we haven’t had access to the one-percenter lifestyle, so it’s the first time we’re seeing these real characters in their real environments on camera. There’s no script or fake drama here. This was definitely the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on in my career.”