Tue

05

May

2015

Writing from Truth - by K-Man Writer & Director Simon Cox

One of the things I tried to do when I was writing the script for Kaleidoscope Man was to create characters that were real. This took me a long time and to some pretty dark places.

 

 I wanted our lead characters, Tom and his wife Mandy, to be coming to terms with a tragedy that had happened a few years earlier. This was to provide an anchor that is holding them both back at the start of the story. Doing this enables the potential for interesting character arcs as they move forward through the film.

Thirteen years ago, my wife and I lost our first child during the 42nd week of her pregnancy. This hit us both very suddenly and very hard – and we never really knew why our baby died. Now, I had never planned to use this type of tragedy for my story, but as I was developing the characters, it just sort of happened. Losing our child was such a moving experience I just felt so compelled to draw from it.

  

For the story, I changed the actual details, Tom and Mandy lost their child at the age of three and although they were both counselled very well (as we both were), they never really get over it, they just have to come to terms with it. When my wife became pregnant again, I was haunted by a strange nagging question; how could we ever replace our first child? Of course hindsight has shown me that the two daughters we now have are not replacements, just sisters to their bigger sister who they never saw.

At the start of the movie, Mandy tells Tom that she is finally pregnant again and that at last they can move forward from the tragedy of the past. Great news for them both. But Tom is troubled by the same question I was; how can a new baby ever replace the first? Once I decided to use this as his back story (which believe me, was unsettling), it suddenly gave him real depth and a real purpose. He is a man lacking hope and needs to find it again. 

A few weeks ago, we finally shot the scene where Tom visits the grave of his daughter. He knows that Mandy is pregnant again but he is seriously struggling to hold things together. The scene was beautifully performed by Simon Haycock who plays Tom and Ian Brooker who plays Father Robert, the vicar who buried their daughter. 

Shooting this scene was quite moving and yet it gave me a sense of hope. Bad things happen to good people, but in time we are able to learn from it and move forward. What was really odd (and this wasn't planned), the day we shot these scenes was the actual 13th anniversary of the day we lost our first baby.


Strangely, I think it was meant to be that way.  

 

Simon

Writer & director – Kaleidoscope Man

Write a comment

Comments: 5
  • #1

    Mark (Tuesday, 05 May 2015 23:55)

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us bud.

  • #2

    Sean Chriscole (Wednesday, 06 May 2015 14:47)

    Thank you also for sharing this blog and your incredibly difficult experience, Simon. I was very moved by it and particularly related to the end paragraph; "Bad things happen to good people..." I look forward to seeing the final cut, particularly the opening of the film, now knowing how personal it is for you.

  • #3

    David Chriscole (Wednesday, 06 May 2015 15:00)

    From a tragedy comes life, in film. I read this passage and think "your unborn daughter has always been with you, and now guides you to a place you need to be". It is a very touching blog, and shows the deep passion you have for making this the best movie it can be. Knowing this, it will make the scene even more powerful when we finally get to see it. Thank you Simon.

  • #4

    Betsy Mullenix (Wednesday, 06 May 2015 19:07)

    Wow! Simon I had no idea!!And, you are right, it does help to heal by pouring out our own experiences into the characters we wish to come alive. When they are larger than life, and we harness them, and conquer them, there must be a certain sense of calm, that perhaps all will be better once again!

  • #5

    Tamima (Sunday, 23 August 2015 10:51)

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience with us. I was moved by it. Your passion for the project really shines through. Drawing from our personal experiences makes compelling storytelling. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece. I wish you the best with it.