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I operate an Internet radio show that seeks to help independent entertainers and artists promote their projects.

Monday, 16 June 2014

CRF Chats with Filmmaker Simon Cox

Editor’s Note: Those who follow my show and blog regularly will tell you that occasionally I’ll get involved in promoting “one more” project regardless of how busy I am just because I believe in the concept so strongly. Such was the case with writer/director Simon Cox’s compelling sci-fi yarn “Kaleidoscope Man” (currently in the crowd-funding stage). It boasts a driving plot line, stunning visuals and really talented cast of actors – all of which point to it being one hell of a movie when it’s finished.

I only found out about the project a couple of weeks ago when mutual friend Lynnaire MacDonald suggested that one of the film’s producers, Heidi Hitchcock, get in touch with me. We quickly whipped together a plan where Simon would first answer a couple of questions on my blog during the last days of the campaign and then make an appearance on my show later this summer.

That said, we offer up the following…


How were you inspired and/or how did you come up with the concept of Kaleidoscope Man?

When I first saw the original Star Wars I knew then that I wanted to make movies and that one day I would make an epic sci-fi adventure that would leave people feeling as I felt when I saw Star Wars. It wasn’t just the great special FXs and action, it was the emotional story about Luke Skywalker’s journey from farm boy to saving the universe from the galactic empire.

I spent a lot of years analyzing this magic element and why some movies leave you elated and not wanting to leave the cinema and why other did not. Kaleidoscope Man came about during this process. I really liked the idea of the ‘unwilling hero’ where a normal man who struggles with his mundane life is thrown into an adventure and ends up being the one to save the human race. 

What will you tell us about the character of Thomas Dunn and how does he become Kaleidoscope Man?

There is no caped crusader in this movie. Kaleidoscope Man is the lead character in an old TV series, which Tom watches when we meet him as a boy. This has a huge impact on the impressionable young boy and deep down all he wants from his life is to be like his hero. However, real life throws him many challenges and he finds himself unable to live up to this high expectation of himself. This, of course, makes him very unhappy and with no ending in sight, his life is going nowhere.

That is, until an alien mother-ship arrives at the planet…

What do you think the audience will take away from seeing Kaleidoscope Man and/or what would you hope they would take away?

I’m hoping they will feel elated, excited and just generally blown away. The thing is, there are a lot of movies out there and more video content than ever before. Throw in social media and people nowadays have very little time to consume things. I believe this movie will feed the soul as it touches on some very deep and moving human issues that a lot of us don’t have time to consider.

Without trying to sound pretentious, I have spent years trying to make this an event movie. Obviously, I don’t have anything near the budget of a Hollywood movie, so my time and effort has gone into the story and I am confident that it will resonate with people and capture their imaginations.

Writer/Director Simon Cox

What are some of the major challenges and what have you learned from this and past projects?

When I made my first movie, Written in Blood, I had a lot of people meddling with the story and the production in general. The money had come from the UK Film Industry and being slightly less experienced, I believed this input would help the film and the process of making it, even though deep down I had a sinking feeling that some of this wasn’t helping me.

The final film ended up being a compromise on what I believed was originally a strong idea and one of the lessons I learnt was that as the writer & director of a movie, you are the one left holding the baby. Therefore, I would say to anyone making their first movie, follow your gut instinct – if you’re going to mess something up, it’s better that you do it rather than let someone else do it for you.

As regards the production of Kaleidoscope Man, I have to say I am enjoying the experience immensely. The biggest challenge over the years has been trying to get the movie funded and I spent a lot of time speaking to people from the industry and private investors. This was incredibly frustrating and always ended the same way – with no movie being made. Therefore, when crowd funding came along, for me it has opened the door to fantastic film making opportunities, not just for me but all creative alike.

What is your favorite part of the film making process and why?

I love the editing of the film. Seeing sections that you have spent years dreaming about coming together and actually working is just magic. I also love the way you can build up the soundtrack with sound FXs and how each small element or subtlety you add enhances the story.

You are currently crowd-funding for your Phase 4, how are you feeling about it?

As I write this we have just under 2 weeks left of our Indiegogo campaign and to be honest, it is a little nerve-racking. On this particular campaign, we still have a long way to go to reach our target but I am optimistic. We have put an awful lot of work into engaging with our audience and providing them with lots of behind the scenes videos of the journey so far, so people really are coming on the journey with us. The last two weeks of a campaign are always the most exciting.

Do take a look: www.igg.me/at/KMan4

What is something interesting about you that you have not mentioned before?

When I was 22, I had an evening job in a pub in the Central London (I was a runner in the day for a film company and the money was terrible). One evening, Oliver Reed (one of the stars of Gladiator) came in; he was as drunk as a skunk. After a little banter behind the bar, he grabbed hold of me, pulled me close to his face and threatened to punch my light bulbs in. This was all because I had served him a drink in a glass that was a little warm. Not a pleasant experience, but one I shall be telling my grandchildren for sure! 

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