I first saw Mike Hodges' Flash Gordon when I was around eight years old. From then I was hooked. The colors, the magic, the fact that there was just this ordinary Quarterback who could go on to save the world. It captivated me. It drew me into the magic of movies. I went on to spend the next year attempting to convince my sister to dip her hand into holes in the garden to see what would bite her, and make green concoctions from the cupboards and try and get her to drink them.
Over 20 years later and I have learnt that Flash Gordon has had an impact on just about everyone who has seen it. It's not a film that people find "okay". It's a film that "blew your mind". If it didn't, you simply hadn't seen it.
I find myself now about to embark on a project that revolves around this incredibly iconic film. Life After Flash is a documentary that is currently sitting on Kickstarter, anxiously awaiting that campaign closing date (March 8th) to see if we can raise the funds to produce this feature.
The central axis of the film is the life of Sam "Flash Gordon" Jones, to see what his life has been like since he first graced our screens as that romantic renegade. The film has had an impact on the fans, but how did the film change the life of the main star? Did it lead him down a path of film star glory with fans by his side? Did it lead him down a path of always being known as Flash Gordon, hindering that film career he had always dreamt of? The title Life After Flash lends itself to not just Sam, but the whole cast, the fans, and the globe: How can one film influence, impact, and change the lives of those whose paths it crossed?
Recently in Texas I was shooting with Sam for a sizzle to use as part of the campaign. It was here he told me that his appearance in Ted and now Ted 2 came about with a phone call from writer/director Seth Macfarlene. Seth had seen Flash Gordon as a nine year old boy, and it changed his life. It was at that moment he knew that he wanted to do something creative with his life.
What is it about that movie that can have such an impact?
To make a film like Life After Flash to me is a personal passion project and journey through my childhood, as much as it is what I believe a culturally important film to make.
What is it about any movie that can have such an impact?
What Flash Gordon is to me, Star Wars is to someone else, and Aliens is to another. The sci-fi genre in particular seems to have fans falling, and falling hard. Once they cross into the world of sci-fi they are hooked.
The genre is an escapism for people who want to be someone else for 90 minutes. They want to forget their troubles, their everyday lives, and journey into a world where anything is possible. On fan we interviewed in Texas hit the nail on the head: "There are good people in this world, people who help someone across the street, people who hand in a wallet. I'm a good person. I can be my own Flash Gordon. He didn't have super powers, yet he saved the world. I may not be able to save the world, but I can make a difference and be a Flash Gordon to those in my life?
With a surge of superhero movies coming out since the acquisition of Marvel by Disney, the world in inundated with super heroes with incredible super powers out to save the world. I want to make Life After Flash to bring back the kind of super hero people can really relate to - the one they can really be.
Anyone can be their own Flash Gordon. So for those who have encountered this brilliant cult classic, how have their lives been like after Flash? That is what I hope to find out.
The Kickstarter campaign is live until March 8th, at www.lifeafterflash.com