Building Spaceships & Living in Star Wars Land - Sort Of!

Having just seen Rogue 1 - A Star Wars Story, I feel somewhat blown away and in awe of the spectacular special effects and the sheer ambition of the film. Even though I’m very lucky to be making my own sci-fi movie, looking at what Gareth Edwards and his team have pulled off has left me feeling slightly shell shocked. What it must feel like to have megabucks to make a movie like that with some of the best creatives on the planet helping you must be mind blowing. 

I’ve learnt so much about practical effects and CGI over the last few months, even on the budget of a small house in suburbia, we’ve done some really great work which I am very proud of.

First of all, Huw Bowen (our wonderful 2nd Unit director on our resent tank shoot) has been carefully adding laser and gun fire to the tanks vs alien battle scene – a painstaking job to say the least, but the results… wow! 

Huw is now testing out backgrounds for our interior mothership scenes. These are some ideas we are working towards.

Above - Some early interior mother-ship CGI atmosphere tests.

Below - Original concept design of the interior mother-ship by Matt Allsopp.

Once we have the backgrounds for this scene sorted, Huw will be able to get rid of most of the greenscreen which currently fills nearly a sixth of the movie. I can’t tell you just how excited I am about finally doing this. (Green is no longer my favourite colour!!!) 

One of our greenscreen scenes - Simon Haycock, Julie Hoult, Sophie Anderson and Danny Steele ready for a laser battle inside the mother-ship.

Lukas Remis is still working hard on the space station scenes and is now nearing completion. He has been working on this for months and months and I know it has been a mountain of work for him. 

But again… wow, the scenes are looking completely flawless. A far cry from the cardboard sets Mark Robbins and myself built nearly 4 years ago. 

Then there are the Harvester spaceships…

Ian Whiston has been slaving away with the harvester ships and placing them into the street background plates we shot. It’s great to finally be able to see tanks and soldiers firing at the ships and people running from them. For ages the spaceships have just been red blobs crudely animated by myself to give the idea of what they will eventually be doing. 

Seeing the work that Ian is doing and the many hours he’s putting into getting this right is very inspiring. It’s a technical and time consuming process and after seeing the scale of FX’s in Rogue 1, I can’t imagine what it must be like to have an army of ILM animators working away for you. 

There are some really great shots in our battle scene and I feel genuine exhilaration and excitement when I watch it – especially with the John Williams music which I currently have over it (Minority Report “Everybody Runs” for all you soundtrack buffs out there).  

Talking of music, I had a great meeting with a top film composer last week and we sat in a Beefeater restaurant in Hereford watching the movie on my laptop (not something I would ever recommend!). He’s very excited about the movie and will be starting work on it in the New Year. More news on this soon… 

In the meantime, I personally have been editing like never before. We have the movie together and it’s looking great but I wanted to try some crazy ideas out which meant some serious and brutal cuts. This has worked a treat and the movie feels very slick and fluid. It’s quite a complicated story which movies along at a fairly rapid pace, these new cuts help to keep you engaged with the characters more which in turn will create more intrigue and excitement for the audience. I’m very excited about this latest edit.


So, as we wrap up on 2016 it’s been a good year for Kaleidoscope Man. To see the movie in its current shape is just great and to be honest, a bit of a relief, especially as this time last year we had about 65% in the can but absolutely no idea how we were going to finance the rest of it. We still don’t have all the money we need to finish it, but I have a feeling that will sort itself out soon, as this movie seems to have a way of getting itself made.

Thank you to everyone who has supported and backed us so far - Kaleidoscope Man may not be Rogue 1, but I think you’re going to love this movie. It’s very moving, exciting and inspiring.


By the way, if you haven’t seen Rogue 1 yet, get down to your local cinema to see it, it’s bloody great!!


Love to you all.





Simon Cox - Writer & director – Kaleidoscope Man

Write a comment

Comments: 21
  • #1

    Mike (Sunday, 18 December 2016 10:06)

    Pictures look amazing. Here's to you and your team for 2017. Thank you.

  • #2

    Sarah Fox (Sunday, 18 December 2016 11:42)

    Thanks for such a comprehensive update. Can't wait to see the final movie but fear I msy have ended up on the cutting room floor! Have a great Christmas. Sarah x

  • #3

    Jacob (Sunday, 18 December 2016 11:51)

    Brilliant blog Simon! Wish I'd seen rogue 1 last night...Busy week...drinking my tea just now and great reading. It is an amazing production and myself and all those involved I'm sure have found it inspiring and heartening what you have created! I'm picturing all of us getting together again for the premier!! And it works out too in Lanzarote, I'm sure locals and visitors will love it!

  • #4

    Vera Mark (Sunday, 18 December 2016 11:59)

    K-Man already looks absolutely awesome - don't let a billion dollar movie like Rogue One shock you! Just think what you will be able to do in your next film, when the bucks come rolling in after K-Man... ;^)

    Seriously, although I look forward to seeing Rogue One, I look forward even more to seeing K-Man because of all the passion that is behind this. And hey, so far the FX and all that looks cool!

    Big Hugs

  • #5

    Graham Sclater (Sunday, 18 December 2016 12:48)

    Hi Simon

    It gets better every time I see the latest updates. I'm so excited to have been part of your dream and look forward to being there when we can all see it together...

    Happy Christmas and wonderful editing 2017.....


  • #6

    Phil Taylor (Sunday, 18 December 2016 13:32)

    Awesome stuff Simon , fantastic update and great to be part of the team and helping your dream come true .
    Best wishes

  • #7

    Jamie lee (Sunday, 18 December 2016 16:44)

    Good to see it coming along hope it carries on going well, hope everyone involved has a nice Christmas. :)

  • #8

    simon oneill (Sunday, 18 December 2016 17:05)

    Simon, you deserve n Oscar for keeping the project going with such limited funds and although having a producer hand over millions to make K-Man, you would probably not be in the enviable position now where you have control over this much-anticipated scifi extravaganza. Kudos dude!

  • #9

    Steve Price (Monday, 19 December 2016 00:57)

    Hi Simon
    Love what you do! Love the passion! Love being part of your movie! Proud that it's happening in my home town of Birmingham.
    Agree about Rogue One and Star Wars in general. I was at the cinema at 6:30am on the day it came out. I don't need to explain why! :)

    Have a great break - you deserve it

  • #10

    Manoj Anand (Monday, 19 December 2016 02:35)

    Great work Simon. It was a brilliant experience working with you on the Birmingham shoot with so many of the other Supporting Artist. Science Fiction at it's best. Keep up the good work and have a great Christmas and New Year. Looking forward to Kaleidoscopeman release in 2017.

  • #11

    wayne (Monday, 19 December 2016 13:14)

    Hi Simon, forget multi milion pound films Rougue One and Star Wars, your film is a
    multi million pound winner on its own merits, watch out Stephen Speilsburgh, Simon Cox
    is coming for you big time, cannot wait for my new four by four Range Rover, K- man
    has winner writen all over it, people like you Simon deserve to be WINNERS.

  • #12

    Julie Hoult (Tuesday, 20 December 2016 11:47)

    I cannot express how I have loved every moment assisting on Kaleidoscope Man and be surrounded by the absolute passion from Director Simon Cox and from everyone in the team - (To me that was worth a million dollars in being in the presence of) I can't tell you how excited I am to one day sit down and watch Kaleidoscope Man - knowing the absolute journey from everyone in getting it on the screen.
    WELL DONE!!!!! (oooo I'm all goose pimply with passion!!)

  • #13

    Marc Crowhurst (Friday, 23 December 2016 08:34)

    It’s always easy to see what films with big budgets can do, but behind the gloss, they too had cardboard/wooden sets & borrowed discarded props from old films.

    There’s certainly a renewed appetite for sci-fi films over the last couple of years, so I look forward to seeing Kaleidoscope Man joining the club.

  • #14

    Lance Nielsen (Saturday, 24 December 2016 12:19)

    Proud to have been part of it and big TANKS (See what I did there...) for my acting cameo and letting me direct a second unit. Tremendous fun!

  • #15

    Elaine Jackson (Saturday, 24 December 2016 13:58)

    Great to hear the latest news, Simon - it all looks brilliant! What a very exciting time for you and everyone involved. Merry Christmas & all the best for 2017! :-)

  • #16

    Herbert Eder (Saturday, 24 December 2016 16:12)

    Excited! Looking so much forward to seeing the finished movie!
    Merry Christmas and may 2017 be the year of Kaleidoscope Man!

  • #17

    Ngozi Enumah (Saturday, 24 December 2016 19:00)

    Simon, your film looks very good and I'm looking forward to seeing it. Merry Christmas.

  • #18

    Ian Miller (Monday, 26 December 2016 13:04)

    It has been fantastic to have been involved right from the start, The effects work looks fab the harvester ships look amazing and the interior of the mother ship looks very errie, cannot wait until I get to see the finished film .Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • #19

    David Hardwick (Thursday, 05 January 2017 15:44)

    Simon, I wish you a successful 2017 with the film and glad I am participating, although I joined a little late (better late than never as they say ;-). Only REAL aliens landing can get in your way now!

  • #20

    Steve Such (Sunday, 15 January 2017 23:05)

    Simon and everyone involved,
    There's so many movies that pop up on twitter and that try to gain your attention, but nothing has truely engrossed me as much as following K-man! Congrats to everyone involved it looks like a fantastic project. Pulling all the green screen and CGI together like this now must be such a buzz!
    If there's anything else you need actors for in the final sprint, I'd love to get involved. Otherwise can't wait to see the final product! Cheers Steve

  • #21

    Lessette Kornegay (Wednesday, 22 February 2017 12:38)

    You are so awesome. I was looking at some of your special effects and wow. MUCH success.