Indie Film Focus: Director Simon Cox Shoots “Kaleidoscope Man” Star Lucy Drive’s First Scene
KALEIDOSCOPE MAN is an indie science fiction thriller — which involves an alien invasion of Earth — currently in production by its writer-director-producer, Simon Cox, via his UK-based Alphastar Productions company. This is a film that Simon has been working on for quite some time. He is currently in Phase 4 of shooting, having gotten about 35% in the can so far. The production is practically 100% crowdfunded — the current Indiegogo campaign aims to fund the remainder of production, including (if possible) scenes on an alien planet (to be shot on location in the Canary Islands).
Director Cox has been shooting scenes with the funds raised in his Phase 3 crowdfunding campaign. A recent shoot took place at a café, the Home is Where Deli, in Birmingham, UK. This third-act scene was the first to involve starring actress Lucy Drive. Also a screenwriter, Ms. Drive has built up quite a filmography, including the lead role in thriller/ horror Dead End and the character of Erica in comedy/drama Outside Bet (with Bob Hoskins and Jenny Agutar). She also appears in horror film Crypt, which will be distributed worldwide in 2014 (according to Turnabout Media — read their interview with Ms. Drive). She recently completed her first project as a film-maker, a 30-minute short called Our Time, which she described to Turnabout Media as “a coming of age fantasy drama set in 1987 about a 12-year-old aspiring filmmaker called Paul.” Her partner on this project was David Irons of Magpie Film. The short just screened at Cannes.
In her first scene in Kaleidoscope Man, Ms. Drive’s character, Mandy, comes to the café to meet her husband, Tom. Mandy walks into the café, but her husband is not there. Along with the other customers, she is drawn to a video screen that the café’s manager (played by Cameron Moon) has set up in response to rumors of a disaster in New York. The crowd hears a news bulletin that New York has been “hit” with big explosions. As she rushes to the door with the crowd, she sees a large, alien object in the sky. Noticing that she has missed a call from her husband, she listens to his desperate message on her voice mail. Cut.
A unique aspect of this shoot is that it was attended by many of Simon Cox’s friends and supporters, many of whom were extras in the scene. In the video above, many of the supporters expressed a deep attachment for Mr. Cox and his film. So I asked some of the participants about their experiences with supporting the film. Here are the questions and a sample of the responses:
How did you find out about Simon and his film?
“Read it in our local newspaper.”
“I found out about Simon and the Film solely through FB and Indiegogo campaign site.”
“I recall a call-out being posted via social media requiring extras for crowd scenes and as one of the first scenes was being shot in the city I work. I jumped at the chance.”
What about Simon and his film drew you to support his work?
“Type of movie, as we are sci-fi fans. Also he is a local man.”
“The script, quality of production, level of support already gained, Simon as a brilliant guy himself and cast and crew involved with K-Man made it an easy decision to get involved with.”
“I really liked Simon’s attitude and enthusiasm for his project. It’s what we need more of in independent film-making which is so infectious!”
What keeps you excited about Simon’s film?
“He constantly updates his website/Facebook with his future plans plus clips of the movie. Can’t wait to see the pod.”
“Video updates, FB and social media updates are second to none and keep us long term supporters fully in the loop of progress, also Simon himself is an extremely likeable and approachable guy.”
“I think what excites me most about K-Man is the ambitious scale of the project. It’s being crafted to look like a huge blockbuster which is really appealing!”
One person in the video (interviewed by co-producer Richard Wood) said that being an extra in this scene fulfilled “one of my life’s ambitions”. What ambitions or goals are you fulfilling or pursuing by your involvement with Simon and his film?
“To see and experience how complicated it is to make a movie. Scenes have to shot and reshot again and again as the camera sees everything. No smiling in the background as an extra when doing a serious scene.”
“I’m an actor, film producer (15 films), and music producer, so I guess with K-Man it’s a different genre of film for me, which always makes things a little more exciting — but the best part of this for me is having my children being on set for the café scene, Simon was brilliant making everyone so welcome and feel so special whilst we were all together.”
“I’ve always thought of being involved in film (on camera or off) was just a pipe dream, so to be given the opportunity to appear in something like this is a dream come true! At this stage in my career is just does not get any better!”
Ian Reed [associate producer] stated that he has met many “wonderful people” via his involvement with KALEIDOSCOPE MAN. Whom have you met? Anyone you never expected to meet? Have you made new connections, friends, or something even more?
“Met lots of like-minded people with whom we had an enjoyable time on set. Lots of people were coming out of the sci-fi closet (all ages).”
“For me I love to meet new friends on each set. The extras, cast and crew, Simon, Mr Dangerfield, Robbins, CLF, Cameron and Lucy all made our day.”
“As Ian Reed stated, I too met some wonderful people including Ian himself. I also finally got to meet Mark Robbins,the good folk from Charmed Life films and also the wonderful leading lady Lucy Drive. All of whom I’ve stayed in contact with. Forgive me if I’ve missed anyone! There were so many friendly folk there!”
If you were allowed only one sentence, what would you want to tell those who do not yet know about KALEIDOSCOPE MAN?
“Kaleidoscope Man will be a truly wonderful Sci-Fi Blockbuster feature film.”
“Get involved with a film with a great twist at the …….saying no more!!”
“One sentence – ‘It’s the mothership of sci-fi movies!’”