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The creator of Repo Man and Sid & Nancy directs a feature comedy based on Harry Harrison's classic anti-war science fiction novel
The creator of Repo Man and Sid & Nancy directs a feature comedy based on Harry Harrison's classic anti-war science fiction novel
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1,106 backers pledged $114,957 to help bring this project to life.


Posted by Alex Cox (Creator)

... and I'm pleased to report that another fantastic producer, Margaret Matheson, has offered to mentor our troops when production begins. Margaret was the executive producer of SID & NANCY, also produced the amazing ANTONIA'S LINE, and is probably the most highly-regarded independent producer in Britain.

Things look very good as we have passed our goal. But I would be remiss if I didn't ask for yet another push! Some supporters may drop out at the eleventh hour; some credit cards will be maxed out and won't deliver; you know the drill.

And BILL THE GALACTIC HERO is going to be quite something. Even a part of film history. I certainly hope Kodak emerge from bankruptcy and keep making 35mm stock. But how long will the company continue to manufacture monochrome film? Perhaps not for much longer. So my first act - if our Kickstarter succeeds - will be to buy sufficient black and white stock to cover the entire shoot. And my second act will be to put it in the refrigerator!

Why not shoot video and desaturate it so that the colours disappear? Some have suggested this. Well, there is a reason. Film looks better. It isn't the same. Don't take my word for it - you can read a fascinating interview with Vittorio Storaro (cinematographer of THE CONFORMIST and APOCALYPSE NOW) here. Storaro talks about lots of things, including his belief in 2:1 as the perfect film ratio. But he also discusses pixel counts (no matter what the video format, we are limited to a finite number of pixels) versus the infinite, mysterious, chemical nature of film emulsion...

Anyway. That's enough tech stuff. Our local lab in Denver currently processes 35mm black and white, and Alpha Cine in Seattle have promised to process the material as long as it exists. So - please tell your friends about this genuine chance to participate in a part of film history, and, if you haven't backed us yet, please consider doing so! Even a modest pledge will keep you in the loop with 18 months of backers' updates...

Many thanks again.

Troopers to the Skies Avaunt!

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    1. Dave Hyde on

      I saw somewhere that cinemas are being pushed to switch to digital projection. Is this true and if so will it affect the number of cinemas to show this fantastic film of Bill, The Galactic Hero?

    2. Alex Cox Creator on

      I agree - HD technology is much more readily available to filmmakers than 16mm and 35mm cameras ever were. But the image quality is very different. On the distribution end, though, audiences, exhibitors, and filmmakers are being sold a bill of goods. A 35mm print still costs about $1000. A "Digital Cinema Package" - basically a cheap little hard drive laden with encryption - costs between $2000 and $4000. And a DCP projection system costs tens of thousands of dollars more.

    3. alx on

      Film does offer a look that's unique, yes indeed. So if you can use celluloid, use it. But there's something wonderfully democratic about digital. More people have access to it today than had access to film when film was the main workhorse of the film industry.

    4. euansmith

      Monochrome film? Wonderful! :D