Perplexed Music – a Film Project from Mark McGann

Anyone involved in the film business has no illusions as to how difficult it is to get a film project off the ground. At CELLOPHANELAND* we are big supporters of the arts and are therefore delighted to be involved in bringing Mark McGann’s latest project; Perplexed Music, featuring his brother, Paul McGann, to the big screen.

Perplexed Music Film Mark McGann Paul McGann

Funding for this project is being done entirely via Kickstarter (direct link here) a method that has not only funded smaller projects like Mark’s, but for example, has proved successful in raising huge amounts for substantial films – a massive $5.6 million was raised for a Veronica Mars movie and over $1.4 million for Spike Lee’s latest offering.

Asphodel Cottage Perplexed Music Film Mark McGann Paul McGann

Mark has told us that it is due to be shot entirely on location during the summer of 2017. He is still scouting potential locations, but we understand that some key scenes will be shot in Frome, Somerset, Cornwall and  others near Cirencester at the gorgeous looking Asphodel Cottage in the hamlet of Tarlton.

Perplexed Music Film Mark McGann Paul McGann

Perplexed Music is inspired by a poem of the same name, written by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and is about the cycle of devoted love, loss and rebirth. The poem explores many of the themes that are conveyed within the film as Mark explains:  “It is essentially a story about the cycle of long term devoted love, loss and rebirth, and how the temporary madness caused by the loss of a loved one can leave us suspended between this world and beyond. It’s addressing all those irrational thoughts we have when we’re trying to reconcile unknown aspects with the reality of life itself. It’s not a million miles away from what happens when we’re grieving”.

Mark notes that mortality and loss are two subjects that are almost taboo in modern Western civilisation, unlike in ancient eastern and central American cultures. He feels that this is a major problem for Western culture, as we “miss out on the essential lessons and rewards of empathy and continuity… and which greatly reduces our effectiveness as progressive beings.”

Perplexed Music Film Mark McGann Paul McGann Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Together with his brother Paul, most famous of course as the 8th reincarnation of Doctor Who and as having ‘gone on holiday by mistake’ with Richard E Grant in Withnail and I, Mark spent long hours seeking a suitable lead actor.

It was only after realising that none quite ticked every box that Paul jokingly said “you’ll be suggesting me next”. Mark observed that “we both stopped, realised, laughed and started to entertain what is now so bloody obvious I’m surprised it took me so long”.

Perplexed Music Film Mark McGann Paul McGann

One of Paul’s great skills as an actor is his great skill with silences. Mark agrees and says “time and again [Paul] has proven that he understands perfectly the unique balance between drawing an audience in out of curiosity, and then allowing them enough leeway to see and feel a personalised identification. This skill cannot be underestimated and I think it’s the most difficult challenge of film acting, he’s brilliant at it.”

Perplexed Music is a result of all the things I love about film. I really wanted to explore something where the silence was the main narrative. The central character remains silent throughout. It’s about that juxtaposition between the outside world and his own internal state. I can paint different pictures – with music, of what he’s seeing, and how people see him”.

We cannot wait to see the finished film, but meanwhile Mark has put some great rewards out there for those who want to become involved. There are signed scripts, photographs and DVD’s for example, but we think the best by far is a pair of invitations to the premier, a drink or two with the cast and production team and, no doubt, a bit of a celebration party. We hope to see you there!

Be a part of Perplexed Music via Kickstarter

CELLOPHANELAND* recently interviewed Mark as part of the Conversations series – read the full interview here

You can find out more about the film in the Perplexed Music promotional video

Listen to Mark and Paul discussing the project during an interview with BBC Radio Merseyside:

For more information on Mark McGann’s Acting Masterclasses visit Drama Direct

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