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Alex Cox on Why It’s a Great Time to Be an Independent Filmmaker

Alex Cox on Why It's a Great Time to Be an Independent Filmmaker

Iconic indie filmmaker Alex Cox, best known for his cult hits “Repo Man,” “Sid and Nancy” and “Straight to Hell,” has turned to Indiegogo to raise money for his latest project, “Tombstone Rashomon,” a re-telling of the Gunfight at the OK Corral in “Rashomon”-
style. Veteran special effects supervisor Phil Tippett (“The Twilight Saga”) and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer (“Two-Lane Blacktop”) have also signed onboard for the project.

READ MORE: Attention, Filmmakers: 4 Tips to Help you Connect with Your Audience and Build Your Brand

Cox is aiming to raise $200,000 to produce the project, which will be released as a five episode-long web series which will form a complete film.

“I was thinking it would be a conventional western, but Rudy [Wurlitzer] wants to give it a science fiction angle — from the perspective of time-traveling women historians from the future. They’ll time-travel back in time to film at the OK Corral, but they get the day wrong and they miss it by a day, so they have to interview the survivors,” Cox told Indiewire by phone. “I”m excited to see what Rudy comes up with.”

Cox said that when people think of him, “most people probably think of ‘Repo Man,’ ‘Sid and Nancy’ and ‘Straight to Hell,’ they probably think of some sort of punk rock sensibility. I guess that’s probably still there. Even though I feel like what I’ve done is quite diverse, I think I probably bring that sort of 1977 energy to this.” He added, “as long as Iggy Pop is still at it, I will be too.”

Crowdfunding has been liberating for Cox, who previously raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter to make “Bill, the Galactic Hero,” a feature-length science fiction comedy with his students at the University of Colorado.

“What’s good about crowdfunding from the filmmakers point of view is you get to connect directly with the film viewers. In a conventional search for money, you’re dealing with film financiers and studios and they’re ruled by what their marketing people think is a viable project which obviously isn’t necessarily the film that film viewers want to see,” he explained. “The great thing about the indiegogo route is we’ll have that money and we’ll go do it.”

Cox said he anticipates having a finished script by the end of the year, with casting to begin at the beginning of next year and production to start in April. 

“$200,000 is very small amount of money to make a movie, but we’ll do it,” he said. “The blessing of working on a very low budget is you get to do what you want, you get to work with the actors and the crew you want to work with. It’s very liberating.”

He said working in indie film has improved compared to just five or six years ago. “The independent thing kind of got taken over by the studios because they created their own fake independent companies like Focus Features, which were really just branches of Universal, but they took over that independent sector,” he said, “If you ever see a film with John Cusack in it, you know it’s a studio film.”

Cox added that “it’s been a very hard time for indie filmmakers until we discovered crowdfunding.”

Watch the Indiegogo campaign video below and find out more about the campaign here.

READ MORE: How Two First-Time Directors Crowdfunded a Documentary on Crowdfunding

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