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GENERAL MAGIC – The Real Story Of Silicon Valley + How One Small Team Changed Life As We Know It Celebrates Its World Premiere

07 March 2018



Spellbound Productions is thrilled to announce that its new documentary General Magic will celebrate its World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2018 on Friday 20th April 2018.

Directed and produced by Sarah Kerruish and Matt Maude, General Magic is a feature documentary about how great vision and epic failure changed the world as we now know it - from the smartphones that sit in our pockets to an array of technologies we now take for granted today.

Many of the ideas that now dominate the tech industry and our day-to-day lives were born in 1989 at a Silicon Valley startup no one has ever heard of - General Magic.

The first smartphones. Social media. E-commerce. Touch screen. Even the beloved emoji.



But this was before the Internet, before 3G, before Google, before most people had mobile phones. The world was not ready in 1995 to hold the world in its hands. Fierce competition, incredible hubris and heartbreaking betrayal dominated behind the scenes of General Magic. While some never recovered from the failure that accompanied its downfall and bankruptcy, others went on to soar. The lessons learnt at General Magic were instrumental in the creation of the iPod, iPhone, Android, eBay, even in the corridors of President Obama’s White House. And although General Magic died, those concepts and the people who pioneered them went on to change how the world connects today.



Described by Forbes as “The most important dead company in Silicon Valley” and combining rare archive footage with contemporary stories of the General Magicians today, this documentary tracks the progress of anytime, anywhere communication from a thing of sci-fi fiction to our modern day reality.

Executive produced by Michael Stern, Reynold D’Silva and John Giannandrea, General Magic features members of the original Mac team and the creators of the iPhone, Android and eBay; designers, engineers and entrepreneurs who saw the future twenty years before it happened and help create the future we use today.



● Marc Porat - An incredible visionary who had the right idea but the wrong timing.

● Tony Fadell - The college kid turned co-inventor of iPod and iPhone, founder of Nest, inventor, designer, entrepreneur and angel investor currently heading up Future Shape.

● Andy Hertzfeld - One of the world’s greatest software engineers, member of the original Apple Macintosh team, co-founder of General Magic and co-creator of Google Circles.

● Megan Smith - Brilliant engineer, humanitarian, former VP at Google, Chief Technology Officer to the Obama Administration, co-founder of The Malala Fund and shift7.

● Joanna Hoffman - Member of the original Apple Macintosh team, Head of Marketing at General Magic and the woman who famously stood up to Steve Jobs.

● Kevin Lynch – Former CTO of Adobe, creator of Dreamweaver, lead engineer on Apple Watch and current VP of Technology at Apple.

● John Sculley - Former CEO of Apple (1983-1993)



“We’re thrilled to host the World Premiere of General Magic at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. We feel Tribeca’s reputation of showcasing breathtaking documentary films and its support of the latest filmmaking technologies in VR and AR makes this the perfect home for our documentary General Magic. We’re honoured to be part of an exciting lineup of an amazing slate of documentary World Premieres at this year’s festival.” - Matt Maude, Director / Producer - General Magic

“Making this documentary has been an incredible and very long journey. Back in 1993 I was part of the team that filmed the early days of General Magic, one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting and secretive startups. It was easy to see then that this was a unique group of engineers and visionaries, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted the success and size of their collective impact on the world today. As a result, I became haunted and fascinated with the role of failure in bringing ideas to life and I hope this documentary will inspire anyone who is on that path." - Sarah Kerruish, Director / Producer - General Magic



General Magic will have its World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival on Friday 20th April

For more information visit the Official Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Sarah Kerruish
Director, Producer, and Writer
Before moving back to London, Sarah Kerruish lived in Silicon Valley for 15 years where she worked as a filmmaker with some of the great inventors of our age. Her films have been distributed worldwide and won many awards, including a Peabody and an Emmy nomination. In 2017, she made a short film about the last few days of the tech team at the White House under President Obama. Sarah is currently Chief Strategy officer at Kheiron Medical, working with an incredibly talented deep learning team to improve the detection and treatment of breast cancer. In 1993, she worked with a documentary crew filming the team at General Magic. As a former Magician herself, Sarah’s unparalleled access to the subjects in our film allows her the greatest insight and intimacy to the heart of our story.

Matt Maude
Director, Producer, Cinematographer and Writer
Matt Maude is an award winning filmmaker, writer and producer. After starring in the UK ITV soap Crossroads during his teenage years, Matt moved to working behind the camera, directing and producing adverts, promos, music videos and narrative shorts. As a screenplay writer and director, Matt won the Kirin First Press Award for direction and the Epic Award for Best Screenplay and was nominated for the Virgin Media Shorts Award. He is a member of a UK’s regional screen agencies ‘Super 8’ - one of eight filmmakers to watch. In 2017, he joined Sarah Kerruish in creating a film about the last week of the Obama Administration. General Magic is his first documentary feature film.

Michael Stern
Executive Producer and Story
Michael Stern is senior counsel in Cooley’s technology transactions practice in Palo Alto. A former English professor and newspaper reporter, as General Magic’s general counsel, Mike saw the cracks before they came through the ceiling. As the film’s executive producer, Mike connects the legal dots with the financial tees.

Reynold D’Silva
Executive Producer
Reynold D’Silva founded Silva Screen Records in 1986. Since then, he has been instrumental in growing the company’s repertoire of original soundtracks including Crocodile Dundee, The Wicker Man Batman Begins, The Departed, Iron Man, A Single Man, Dear John, The Expendables, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Project X and Gravity. Silva Screen Records are also the exclusive worldwide partner for BBC soundtrack releases, working alongside the likes of Hans Zimmer.

John Giannandrea
Executive Producer
John Giannandrea left General Magic to become one of the first employees at Netscape. He now works at Google as Senior Vice President, leading the Search and Machine Intelligence teams.

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