Hello! If you're reading this, I'm going to assume you have no clue what Fontaine is, or who I am. My name is Zach, I do cardistry. It's kinda like yoyo tricks with cards. These are my cards:
They are called Fontaines.
I made this deck in 2013, just for fun. I love old school casino decks like Jerry's Nugget and Wynns, and wanted to make my own deck with similar vibes. I ordered 1 prototype deck, and I posted this instagram.
I started using this deck in my YouTube videos, which were mostly my original sleight of hand magic. The more I used this deck, the more people I had asking to buy one. I kept using the deck in my videos and kept building the hype.
I put all my original magic and cardistry into a trailer, and made an indiegogo campaign for the Red Fontaines. I launched the campaign, then immediately went to sleep, because I was too anxious that nobody would pledge. You can watch the trailer here:
The next morning my mom woke me up, yelling, "YOU'VE ALREADY RAISED $5,000!". I was 17, so that was crazy for me. At the end of the campaign I had raised 21k, I printed 2500 Red Fontaines, and shipped them all out myself, with the help of my mom and dad.
After the success of the Red Fontaines, I knew I had to make a second color. People wouldn't stop asking for the next edition. About a year later I made a Kickstarter for the Blues. I was starting to become more into cardistry than magic, so I got all my best cardist friends to be in the trailer with me.
By this time, the Red Fontaines were going for as much as $50/deck on ebay, so when people had a chance to grab the Blues for only $12/deck, things went wild.
We raised $67k. Insanity. So, I had a talk with my parents, and they and I realized maybe this whole Fontaine thing could actually be a super viable way to make a living. Over the next year, I moved into my own place, shipped out over 1,000 packages from my new home, created a website where I sold my remaining decks, and started to sell my cards to wholesalers. I had, with the help of all my friends, fans and backers, created my own job.
In addition to making the decks, I also made videos. I knew I had a captive audience of young people across the world who either did magic, cardistry or both, and I wanted make the dopest videos for them to watch. So, while the Fontaines were paying the bills, I had the time to make a ton of cardistry videos.
The more videos I made, the bigger my audience grew. I started with around 6,000 subscribers on YouTube when the Red Fontaine Trailer came out, and by the end of 2014, I had around 33,000.
But I couldn't stop at Blues. In fact, I was so excited for the Black Fontaines, that I put 1 Black Fontaine card in the middle of every Blue Fontaine deck. I'm sneaky.
In December of 2014, I launched the Black Fontaines on Kickstarter.
The Black Fontaines went really well too. We raised 61k.
After realizing shipping 1,000 packages from home takes over 3 months and sucks all of your time and energy away, I decided I wouldn't repeat that. So I partnered with Art of Play, my homies in San Diego who are true pros at shipping playing cards. They made shipping Black Fontaines much easier.
I sold around 7,500 decks on the Kickstarter, and about 7,500 here on my website. We sold out of all 15,000 decks in September of 2015.
As I made more cardistry videos the Fontaines started to become synonymous with cardistry. I quit my magic career to focus fully on cardistry. My 2 goals at the start of 2015 were to get Fontaines seen by as many people as possible... and to get hired to do cardistry for a commercial.
This meant getting one of my cardistry videos to go viral. My homie Eliot Slevin gave a very insightful talk on viral videos at Cardistry-Con, and I used all the advice he offered.
My first viral video was Blackbelt. Check it out:
It got featured on sites like Laughing Squid, Devour, Boing Boing, Digg, and got featured in UK TV show, Rude Tube. YouTube tweeted it, Dynamo posted it, and it was on morning news in chile.
Then, I collabed with Status Silver, a finger-tutting and dance channel, to make Floating Cards.
Floating Cards blew up - my first video to hit 1,000,000 views on YouTube. It's been ripped and re-uploaded to so many different Facebook pages and instagram accounts that I've lost count. Even just a gif from that video got to the front page of Imgur. I made it onto the Phillip Defranco show (my 14 year-old self's dream), onto UNILAD, iFunny, and got interviewed about it on the Science channel show 'Outrageous Acts of Science'.
Then I started hanging out with more dancers and tutters, because they think about movements in ways I never have. I became friends with this guy Hok, and I collabed with him and his company AXYZM to make TWOHANDS.
After that first collab with Status Silver, I was able to collab with bigger YouTubers. KumaFilms hit me up, and we made Hypnotic Cardistry Kid (I know, the name is pure click-bait and cheesy, but this is the world we live in).
Then, something super wild happened. A friend of a friend named JD asked me to get coffee, and he pitched me the plot of a movie he was making. It was called SLEIGHT, and was about a drug-dealing 20 year old who does magic and cardistry... and has super powers. His sister gets kidnapped by his drug boss, and he has to use his magic, wits and powers to save her.
The dude was way cool, and he asked me to teach the main character some cardistry. Of course I did, and after a few sessions with the kid, JD asked if he could use Fontaines exclusively in the movie. I said yes.
Then the movie gets filmed, and I watch it on a private link on my laptop. And it's insane. It's a dope story, amazing acting, is WAY darker and realer than I expected, and Fontaines are everywhere. I didn't think it could get better, but it did.
SLEIGHT gets accepted into Sundance Film Festival. JD asks me to come, and to bring my homies to do magic for the premiere.
Premiere was amazing. Reviewers loved it. 6 days after the premiere, Sleight got purchased by BlumHouse and WWE, and will now be released in movie theaters nationwide this Summer.
As in, if you live in America, you'll be able to go to your local movie theater and see Fontaines on the screen. And also see a dope movie. JD - you the realest in the game.
But... I still had no commercial.
...Until Japan Airlines saw my videos, flew me to Japan, and I finally crossed another goal off my list.
Right now, my life is in such a strange place. Black Fontaines, which only just sold out at $15/deck in September, now go for $25-$30 on eBay, Blues go for as much as $80, and Red Fontaines now sell for as much as $200/deck. Fontaines have been viewed over 20 million times on Facebook, 3 million times on YouTube, and have been featured on all these outlets.
As all this craziness was happening, I realized I had no idea what the next Fontaine deck would be. Some people wanted green, some wanted gold, I played with a bunch of different colors, but nothing felt right for the next deck.
Until Franco Pascali, the homie of all homies, suggested "What about pink?". To which I said, "Nah, I've tried pink, it looks weird." I showed him the photoshop mock-up, and he said, "No, not like bubblegum pink, like light pink. Like those breast cancer wristbands."
I played with the colors,, and there it was. We knew instantly - that was the next deck.
So, I made a prototype, and it looked too good. I made pink clothing to compliment the deck, and they also looked dope. Then, I worked on my new moves, and made the trailer for Pink Fontaines - PASTEL PAPER.
I dropped the video and Pink Fontaines same day without any prior notice.
And now, you're all caught up! If you read this far, holy shit! Thanks. If you've purchased a deck, or even just watched one video, you are supporting my work, and I can't thank you enough for that. Because of that support I am able to live the weird, sometimes scary, stupid fun, rad rollercoaster of life that I'm living.
My future goals are to keeping getting better at cardistry, create even crazier moves and routines, push my cardistry onto platforms it's never been, make more dope Fontaines and dope clothes, travel with my homies, make more videos, more tutorials, more projects and explore new skill cultures to adopt new ways of thinking.
Thanks for reading. You can cop the new Fontaines here.