Friday, 6 July 2012

A New Directing Showreel

Yesterday I was asked to produce a showreel highlighting some of my drama directing work. This is by a leading film sales agent who is currently looking at our thriller script, The Final Reel, with a view to backing the project. So for me, its a BIG deal. 

However, I find making showreels of my own stuff difficult, mainly because its hard to be objective when looking through the material I've made over the years. 

Anyway, I have been working on it all day, and because The Final Reel is a tense thriller, I decided to make the showreel tense! So here it is:  

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

I was recently asked to produce a web video for a dental practice in Warwick. Cape Road Dental specialise in dental implants (a service until recently I had never heard of) and they were looking for something very different and original to promote the services they offer. They had seen quite a few video companies but were not that impressed with what they had seen. Luckily, they were impressed with our videos.

It was obvious that they are a young, enthusiastic, dedicated and annoyingly good looking team, so I felt it was important to get this across without the hard sell approach.  

This was the result...

Monday, 11 June 2012

Being Part of History

I had the honour of making a video of the Jubilee Parade in Rugby Town Centre last weekend, commissioned by the Rugby Town Centre BID.

It was a very simple job which I shot in about four hours and edited in around about a day. But it was during the edit as I looked through the rushes that I felt the great hand of history upon me. I had an incredible sense that this video would be the sort of thing that will get pulled out in the next 25, 50 and maybe even 100 years. For me it captures a very special moment in our history and even makes me feel proud to be British.

It also reminds me what a lucky man I am being able to make films and document such events.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The London 48 Hour Short Film Challenge - My Entry

This was the film I made in just 48 hours. We had locations and actors on standby and at 11.15am on the Saturday, we received a text which gave us the title, a line of dialogue and a prop that we had to use in the film. The film was then uploaded to the competition by 1pm on the following Monday. 

Sadly, we didn't get selected as there were 161 films submitted and only 10 short listed. I'm very happy with the film though. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Moment I knew I had to make films...

I was just 14 when I saw the first saw Star Wars (Episode 4 - the best one!!). And within the first 30 seconds after the rolling credits, I just knew my life would never be the same again. At the time we had NEVER seen anything like this, and even now when I watch it, it still sends a shiver down my spine.

As my sci-fi feature film, Kaleidoscope Man, moves ever nearer, I wonder if I could have that same impact on someone as Star Wars did on me. Times certainly have changed and people are used to seeing mind boggling special effects, but with Star Wars it was so much more than that. It was a story that touched the heart and soul. Will Kaleidoscope Man ever near that? Who knows, but I have put around 10 years into it now, and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have done everything I can to try!      
Kaleidoscope Man Trailer:

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Simon to Enter Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge

After attending this weekends Guerilla Film Makers Master-class run by my old buddy, Chris Jones, I committed publicly to entering this years sci-fi short film challenge. The objective is to make a 3 to 5 minute sci-fi film in just 48 hours. You are given a title, some dialogue and a prop on the Saturday morning and you must upload your film by 9am on the following Monday morning. 

So that's the entire weekend taken up writing, shooting and editing your movie. The first prize is a development deal with Vertigo Films, so there is a LOT to play for. The event runs on the 14th to 16th April 2012.

Time to get my thinking cap on...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

So Did Shakespeare Actually Write Shakespeare?

This has been an interesting time to have a film out about the life and times of William Shakespeare. The Roland Emmerich film, Anonymous, has sparked a huge debate about the authenticity of Shakespeare's work.

A few years ago I worked with British actor, Sir Derek Jacobi, and asked him about his views on the subject and I was amazed when he told me that he believes that Shakespeare didn't write the plays. 

Simon Cox with Sir Dereck Jacobi
So during the filming of Discover Shakespeare's Stratford Upon Avon, I asked Rev Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Learning and Research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, what his views were on the subject. He told me that the conspiracy theory was just over a 100 years old and that all of the writers that were suspected to have been involved in the conspiracy, (Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe and Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford etc) were all very good writers in their day, but they didn't write Shakespeare  because their works were different in style and tone. He said that if you study the texts and compare them, they are all very different.

During the making of the film I had a unique insiders view of his life and I was lucky enough to flick through one of the first folios, and to be honest, it was pretty impressive. So if Charles Dickens can be very prolific in a short lifetime, and officially be uneducated, why shouldn't a local man from Stratford Upon Avon be able to write an incredible body of work.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Simon Cox - Back in the Saddle

Okay, major apologies for the rather long delay since my last post - It's been a difficult year, mainly work wise and money seems to be a thing of the past. But alas, I have spent a lot of time and energy re-drafting my script for Kaleidoscope Man.

So what news...?

Well firstly, I have been awarded a mentorship with a top British movie Producer. This has been an extremely important learning curve and I am currently working with her on my other feature film project, The Final Reel. The plan is to make this on a budget of around £250K. Simon Bovey, the writer, is currently working on a new draft under her guidance and we expect to have around 2 drafts to do until we start approaching cast and then going for the money.

Secondly, Kaleidoscope Man. This has been a labour of love for many years now and recently I did a complete re-draft of the script. I expect there are a few more drafts to go until the new script is completely ready to shoot, but I am working hard to get it right. My mentor is also guiding me on this. 

I have also just launched a rather unusual fund raiding campaign for this called Sci-Fi It's a cranky way of raising money, but its been something I've wanted to try for a long time. I have just started running a large media campaign in the USA and Canada, so it will be interesting to see if the citizens of America will get on board with my project. 

You can read the US & Canada press release here.  

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Check Out This Rave Review!

My new film, "Discover Shakespeare's Stratfrod Upon Avon", has received an excellent review on the Anglophile website. You can read the review here:

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Discover Shakespeare's Stratford Upon Avon - Receiving Fantastic Feedback

My new film, "Discover Shakespeare's Stratford Upon Avon" has been given a massive thumbs up from people who have bought copies. I have sold quite a few on Stratford Market, even in this horrendous cold weather.

Here is the trailer:


Saturday, 16 October 2010

Alpha Star Films Wins Prestigious Award

Great news! My company, Alpha Star Films has just won the Godiva Award for "Best Business Innovation" for my film, Discover Warwickshire.

This is a very prestigious Midlands award which has already attracted a lot of press and radio. The award was presented by Andrew Didlick, Director of Communications at Peugoet, and the above picture features Andrew, my wife Angie and me.

This is all very well timed for my new film, Discover Shakespeare's Stratford Upon Avon, which will be in the shops form the 1st December 2010.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Kaleidoscope Man - Update

After months of beavering away on the script in between other productions, short films and pop promos, a new draft of Kaleidoscope Man is about to surface. This draft will be significantly different from previous drafts as I have been extremely ruthless with it.

I hope to have the new draft ready by the end of September. We are still looking to shoot in 3D for a very large budget. Will let you know when there is any more news.

Keep the faith!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Fame at Last? Or the Beginning of the End....?

I have been asked by my old Film Maker pal, Chris Jones, author of the Guerilla Film Maker's Handbook, to be a guest on his weekly internet chat show TONIGHT (29/4/10). It's a live internet TV show broadcast on-line from 7.30pm.

He is going to grill me live on air about Kaleidoscope Man and the other projects I'm up to. He doesn't pack his punches so it should be interesting...

It's called "The Production Office" and is a really good show. If you are a fan of films and film making, it will definitely be for you. Click HERE on Thursday 7.30pm to check it out.

In the meantime, I'm feeling kind of nervous...

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Kaleidoscope Man - A New Draft

A big Hollywood Producer has asked to see the script for Kaleidoscope Man - So I've just spent the last 12 hours doing a bit of a polish on it.

Yesterday, I went to a very inspiring talk by BBC Writer/Producer, Tony Jordon, the creator of Life on Mars, Holby Blue and Hustle (as well as a bunch of Eastenders scripts etc. etc). It was such an inspirational talk that I feel so fired up today it really has been the perfect day for a K-Man re-write!

If you ever get a chance to hear him talk, it would be absolutely worth it!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Kaleidoscope Man Website is Down - Don't Panic!

The website is currently down and under construction. Don't panic though, it'll be up in the next few days.

At the moment I'm focusing on my supernatural feature film project, The Final Reel, while Producer Ken Tuohy forges ahead with Kaleidoscope Man. Hopefully, one of these projects will see the light of day before too long. More news very soon...

Here are some of Matt Allsopp's K-Man concept pictures to keep you going..

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Selling My Films at the Christmas Markets – Final Analysis.

Okay, so I spent most of December 2009 at various Christmas markets around Warwickshire furiously selling my Discover Warwickshire video and my first feature film, Written in Blood. It was cold, it was often fun, it was often tough, but was it worth it?

Well, in reality I sold around 600 units, so doing the maths, this was around £6000 I walked away with. Not bad for a months work, I guess. But nowhere near what I was hoping to make, which was around 4-5000 units, which would have pretty well got things rolling on my new film, The Final Reel. But alas, this wasn’t to be. Yet…

But it’s not all doom, gloom and despair, for one, Discover Warwickshire, has had some incredible feedback. People really do love it, and I’m not just saying that. The local press have been extremely supportive, including the BBC local news. This coverage has opened a huge amount of doors, and in the next two weeks, I will be getting a load more local press which should help sales immensely.

The internet sales have been pretty good too. Since December, we have sold 52 copies on-line. Up until now, I haven’t really spent that much time pushing the on-line side, so I am fairly happy with this. I hope to bring in a lot more from this over the next few months.

As I mentioned in my last entry, Warwick Castle, are now selling the film for us, as well as the Shakespeare Birthplace Museum (In Stratford upon Avon), seven of the counties leading Tourist Information Centers have it, ten Libraries have it, Stratford Butterfly Farm have it and the Nuneaton and Coventry branches of Waterstones Bookshop have it.

Each of these are actively pushing the film for us,

some of them have the trailer running with the video (including Waterstones, who have a very impressive display with the video running right in the entrance of their store.) We are also talking to some other big shops about stocking the film locally.

So, in the longer term, I think Discover Warwickshire could be fairly lucrative. And I hope it will drip feed cash into the company, taking the pressure of the business each

month and allowing a little more freedom to raise cash for my films. Once the weather warms up (we’re inches deep in snow here), I will continue selling the film at the local markets, not quite as full on as I have done, but maybe 1 or 2 days a week, depending on my production work.

So, still some way to go yet, but loads of very exciting things in the pipeline. As regards, bringing in the big bucks to get Kaleidoscope Man moving, well, I have plans, big plans and will do everything to get it up and running this year.

To quote Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars – Revenge of the Sith: “I may be scarred, but my resolve has never been stronger…”

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Discover Warwickshire - Selling Like Hot Cakes!

Here is the sequence BBC Midlands Today did about my fund raising venture:

This went on air on Thursday 14th Dec 2009 at around 5pm and since then I have been amazed at the amount of people who saw this and bought my "Discover Warwickshire" DVD because of it. Sales are increasing as we near Christmas, but I'm fairly sure we will not have raised enough cash to shoot in the early new year as I would have liked.

However, we have had some very encouraging news. Warwick Castle (Central England's leading tourist venue) has agreed to stock the DVD from early January, Compton Verney, a leading Warwickshire Art Gallery, are going to stock it, Nuneaton Library are stocking it, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum are stocking it, and today, I was informed that Waterstones, the Bookshop, will be stocking it. This will be at the Nuneaton branch to start with and then all of the stores in Warwickshire from January 2010, which is fantastic news. In the new year I will continue finding new stockists around the county to help raise the cash I need to get Final Reel made.

I have to keep reminding myself that the film has only been finished for the last three weeks. Since then it has been a whirlwind, selling it at markets and promoting it around the region. From today I have eight more markets to do before Christmas. These are the Solihull, Stratford Upon Avon, Leamington Spa, Nuneaton and Southam markets.

And from January onwards, I will continue selling the film at various markets for two days a week (depending on my freelance work) and put this money into the Final Reel funding pot, until we have raised enough cash to shoot the movie. I'm hoping it won't take to long!

If you are wondering what to buy someone this Christmas, do consider "Discover Warwickshire". It's a lovely 98 minute film, about the home of Shakespeare, some spectacular Castles and it is warm, tender, fascinating, moving, inspiring and hugely entertaining. Not only that, it looks and sounds beautiful and Warwickshire really has never looked better - Please don't worry if you don't live here, you'll certainly want to visit after watching this and anyone you buy it for will be eager to come and see the place. (Please note: the DVD is currently only available in PAL, so right now it won't play in the US or Canada. There will be an NTSC version in the new year - sorry about this).

All of the money raised goes into the pot for getting "Final Reel" up and running and if for any reason you're not happy with it, just let me know and I will provide a full refund. Check out the trailer on the top right hand side of this blog.

Many thanks and merry Christmas - Simon

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Big Festive Sale is Now On...

It's been two weeks now since I took Discover Warwickshire on the road to sell at Christmas Markets. I have been frozen, drenched, blown over, but have so far managed to sell over 450 copies, and I have had some amazing reactions. People really do seem to like the film. In some cases, people who have brought a copy have come back the following week and bought more and more copies.

I am finding this a very special, almost magical experience. For one, it's a very cosy time of year, but I can't really express just how it feels to have worked so hard on a something and then to sell it to a complete stranger. It's very satisfying.

Of course, selling to the public is not always easy, and I am learning that rejection is par for the course. But most of the people I meet have been very endearing and supportive. In a lot of conversations I've had, I said that I've made Discover Warwickshire to help fund a bigger project, and they have just gone for it, buying it on a whim, saying that they want to support someone who is "having a go". Also, surprisingly, I have also sold quite a few copies of Written in Blood. I hadn't set out to sell this on the markets, I only put it out in case any young people wanted something a little "different".

I still have two more weeks of selling to go and will be at markets in Southam, Leamington Spa, Stratford Upon Avon, Nuneaton and Solihull.

I have sent out a lot of press releases and have started to appear in some of the local newspapers and amazingly I got onto the local news (Midlands Today) who gave me a sensational plug for my endeavours. A lot of people I'm meeting saw the programme and are buying the film just to back me.

God bless the British public!!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Discover Warwickshire - Now Available on DVD

After weeks of early mornings and late nights glued to the edit suite, I am delighted to let you know that my new feature length documentary, Discover Warwickshire, is finally finished. And I have to say, I'm over the moon with it.

It's just under 100 minutes long and looks and sounds fabulous and I start selling it at markets around Warwickshire from this Thursday. My first market is at Stratford Upon Avon and my wife and I have been running around getting DVD's replicated, posters done etc. It's been mad, but so exciting!

Do check out the trailer and please consider buying a copy - all the profit we make goes back into our next production.

You can buy the video at:

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Markets Are Booked!

Well, there's no turning back now as I have just booked up to sell the DVD of my new film, Discover Warwickshire, at none less than 15 Christmas markets around the county. I will be combining this with a massive local press campaign, which hopefully will send people to my market stall or to the website ( If this works and I can sell plenty of copies - filming of "Final Reel" begins in the new year!

The selling starts on November 26th and to say I am behind with the editing is an understatement!

The film covers 18 towns and villages throughout Warwickshire, and includes other areas of interest, mansion houses and historical venues. Each has had to be shot and fully researched. Then I have interviewed lots of people from Town Centre Managers to Local Artists to Historians. The film is looking wonderful, but to hit the deadlines (and do any freelance work that rolls in), I'm up an 5.30am and working late nights.

As this is a documentary, I am also writing the voice over and recording my own voice as a guide track until I have locked the script. Once this is done, I have a wonderful Voice Over Artist called, Paul Seed, who will perform it for real. He's got a fabulous voice (you can here him on the trailer).

Its a fascinating process building a script around the interviews and material I've shot. And I can't tell you how satisfying I am finding this. I think the people of Warwickshire are in for a real treat!

But enough chit chat - I've got some serious editing to get on with!