ORGAN THING: That Robert Calvert film Mirror Mirror is standing on the runway waiting for take off…

That Robert Calvert film we brought you news of earlier this year looks like it really coming together now, looks like they need a little help getting things over the line, it is looking rather good though, the on-set phots look intriguing. You can participate in a Kickstarter campaign and in bringing the late Robert Calvert (he of Hawkwind of course) back to life through AI voice cloning software In a screenplay adaptation of his work. Bob himself would have loved that idea of voice cloning and being brought back to life, he probably wrote a Hawklords song about it somewhere around 1978, or maybe Tom Mahler did? Is’nt there one on that bootlag from the Music Machine or was that imagined?  

MIRROR MIRROR: A surrealist short inspired by Robert Calvert

Participate in bringing Calvert (of Hawkwind) back to life through AI voice cloning software! In a screenplay adaptation of his work. There are some rather tasty goodies on offer if you do get involved with the Kickstarter funding, we’ll let you go look rather than listing them here, the ticket deal for the for  the first screening of the film looks good. You can get a taste in the form of a short video on the kickstarter page

Here’s what director Katya Ganfeld has to say about the film –

“Hello, I’m the director of this film, and have been working hard the past two years concentrating all my efforts into this film and carrying Calvert’s legacy in the best light. We are so near the finish line and need some help. This is the first of his works to be adapted for screen – and hopefully the first of many. All shot on 16mm in Margate, we have worked closely with Calvert’s estate and anthology writer Chris Purdon to include Calvert’s songs and have the right audio excerpts to recreate his voice from. He will play the charachter of the Mirror in his own film. The way this technology works is learning the intonation of two voices (one being Calvert’s, and another being an actor saying the line. It then merges the intonation of the actors voice with the likeness of Calvert’s). It’s eerie how accurate it sounds If we can reach 220 people to contribute £100 each – we will be well on our way. We have some exclusive Calvert themed gifts on there – with more coming soon…”

The story… It’s the late 1970s. But this is far from the world we know.  A grief stricken woman battles with her sanity as her carefully constructed fantasy comes crumbling down in this retro-futuristic exploration of identity. Computer babble. Brutalist architecture. A future reimagined by the seventies. A dangerous world of technology confronting mankind.Think: Brazil, Enter The Void, Neon Demon, Mandy, Blade Runner, High Rise, Elizabeth Harvest.

WHY NOW – “We grapple with technology every single day. It’s a love hate relationship. But have we ever looked beyond the here and now to think about tomorrow and the future – where will it go? Where will it leave us? How will we survive? With popular examples of technology and it’s side effects (Black Mirror, Highrise) laying the groundwork and exemplifying interest, the themes and subjects Mirror Mirror hopes to challenge will resonate with audiences around. There are some important questions to answer and some relevant conversations to have”.

It took many people believing in the project enough to help bring it to life on set. This was being planned for two years. Lighting was an important part of creating the look

“This is only the beginning”.

ORIGINS: “Known from his Hawkwind days, Robert Calvert is a singer, writer, poet and the founder of this fantasy.  From his earliest works for cult publication, New Worlds, to his stint as front man for space-rock band Hawkwind, science fiction featured heavily in Calvert’s writing.  Mirror Mirror began life as a stage play in 1979, some could call it prophetic art. Fast forward 40 years to a revival on the London Fringe and a chance meeting between lead actress Andrea Furlotti and writer Chris Perera.  A screen adaptation soon followed with the blessing of Calvert’s estate and with film director Katya Ganfeld taking the helm and bringing in fresh ideas, the project soon gained momentum. For Calvert and Hawkwind fans alike, there is an added poignancy. With the aid of AI voice-cloning technology, Robert Calvert’s voice will be brought back to life to play the ubiquitous Mirror of the title”.

Using specialist equipment like the probe lens – only 4 exist in the UK!

VISUAL EFFECTS: “To set the scene, post visual effects will play a huge part in Mirror Mirror. Immersing our audience in this other worldly landscape will help to double Eleanor’s distraction and hysteria as she sinks to despair in this retro-futuristic dystopia. We’re working with TK FX”

FINANCING: “With 70% of the film already funded, we’re looking for that last 30% to push this film to new heights and reinforce the already very strong vision we’ve set forward for the film. We’ve done all the hard work, most of the film is ready to go. We need this final bit of help to see it to the finish goal! This will go towards additional VFX costs, 16mm Film Scanning, AI Voice cloning technology, Sound Design Composition, Film Festival Submissions, Marketing”

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK THIS FILM:   “Most people know Robert Calvert as the lead singer of hawkwind, but there was so much more to the man. He was an extraordinary performer, artist, and writer of plays, poetry and prose. We want to bring Robert Calvert’s  captivating unseen work to life, for his fans and to attract a wider audience giving him the recognition he deserves.   In the first of his plays brought to screen, Mirror Mirror, Robert Calvert plays the lead role of the Mirror. He’s brought back to life with the creation of his voice by using samples from the Centigrade 232 reading (AI Voice Cloning technology, by Respeecher).  This film will be entered into the top film festivals with additional help from Film Festival Strategist: Dr Rebekah Louisa and help it get seen worldwide and submitted to Cannes, Toronto Interational and Sundance to name a few. This is the chance to be part of something huge and exciting. Next up is the feature! This will be combining Calvert’s works and expanding the world created in Mirror Mirror. This will begin contributing towards the creation of that”

on the set

Katya Ganfeld is an artist and award winning filmmaker from London with work premiered in both the UK (BFI / ICA) and across seas. Starting off at Dazed in 2010 at the start of more widespread video channels, she has since worked on 100+ music promos and commercials through different roles as Director, Producer, Editor, Creative Director, AD and DOP. Most recently, she had her debut short film OTHER CONSPIRACIES produced in collaboration with Random Acts (CH4) and the ICA, premiered as a NOWNESS pick.

Robert Calvert

Previously on these pages

ORGAN THING: The shooting of a Robert Calvert biopic film based around Mirror Mirror?

ORGAN THING: List time, our top albums of 2021, who made it? Gazelle Twin & NYX, Peter Hammill, Michael J Sheehy, Black Country New Road, Robert Calvert, Flying Luttenbachers, Deerhoof, Van Der Graaf, Alex Ward, Charlotte Greve, the Commoners Choir and…

ORGAN THING: A collection of Robert Calvert remixes? A new album, the Hawkwind legend’s work revisited in just the right way, the right stuff indeed, The Last Star Fighter flies again…

ORGAN THING: Hear a just released remix of a Robert Calvert classic from Rat Scabies here. He of The Damned and he once of Hawkwind of course…

ORGAN THING: A Flock of Seagulls release a remix of a rare track from Hawkwind’s Sir Robert Calvert…

ORGAN THING: Hawkwind? At the London Palladium? Don’t be silly, that didn’t just happen…

ORGAN THING: Nik Turner releases best Hawkwind album in years, The Orb dub up Sontaag’s Silver Machine and…

ORGAN THING: Celebrating the subversive with the Neo Naturists…

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