A few weeks ago we ran a story about an intriguing new science fiction movie, which was in development and looking for crowd funding via Indigogo.
The movie was titled ‘Godmachine’ and has the intriguing premise of an android that possesses a virus, which can potentially create another Big Bang. The film has a pretty impressive list of genre names behind it and is headed up by none other than Robert Leeshock, who many fans will remember for his role of Liam Kinkaid in Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict.
We recently caught up with Robert, who is a keen fan of science fiction and asked him a few questions about Godmachine.
SciFiPulse: First off where did the idea for Godmachine come from and how much did you contribute to the story?
Robert Leeshock: The idea was conceived after the head writer, Richard Cranor fought a battle with cancer and was forced to face the challenges accompanying his ‘Kundalini’ awakening! As I understand it, he was wrestling with some unconscious demons and was using his ‘trauma’ to mirror the script’s use of Post Taumatic Stress Disorder as a vehicle to uncover obstacles to transformation.
I read the first draft of the script through the suggestion from a mutual friend. The ideas the script first presented to me: a Chinese corporate takeover of the southern US, Eastern metaphysical philosophy, martial arts, combined with echoes of the Big Bang and a provocative android comfort model who can channel the frequency of the Big Bang… I was hooked!!
At first, I was just giving notes. Then I realized we were desperately lacking structure for the story. A third writer contributed to the typical three act structure. I offer more of an emphasis on character, which is why I am obsessed with getting John Lee, the main character’s journey humanistic enough to complement both the science and the fiction.
SFP: In the film you have the android lady who is carrying the virus for the Big Bang working at a brothel full of beautiful android women, which is kind of ironic in a sense that you’d think you’d be safe having nookie with an android right. But not with this lady. Was it always a part of the script having the android work in a seedy kind of brothel to transmit the virus that way?
Robert Leeshock: If you watch the short film, you realize that John Lee contracts the virus while on his mission in the Forbidden Zone. In its first conception, he is infected while undergoing a moment of human vulnerability and how that interfaced with his implant technology…. Sort of similar to ‘catching a cold’ when you’re body is run down.
The suggestion of having John contract the virus while in the brothel was made by a seasoned director of Earth: Final Conflict who read the script and found it more plausible that John catch the virus while ‘hanging around’ with comfort models. If it’s indeed the oldest profession, then it’s plausible it’s the surest way to catch an STD, but with evolutionary ramifications!
SFP: One thing I did rather enjoy was seeing the scene between yourself and Von Flores at the very start. It brought back memories of some of the exchanges you had with him on Earth Final Conflict. Did you find that the chemistry just flooded back when you did that scene?
Robert Leeshock: Von has been through many changes in his personal life, becoming a father and traveling the world. To be honest, he’s been through so much turmoil, that I didn’t quite know what to expect. Bald guys scare me, in general! So I guess he had that going for him in the scene. I couldn’t even see a glimpse of the old character he played on E: FC, Agent Sandoval. It was a real treat to see how he has matured as an actor and as a human being.
SFP: During your scene with Von Flores at the start he references the fact that your character is a descendent of civil war General Robert E. Lee and kind of laughs at you for it. What is your take on your characters feelings with regards to his ancestor and all. Is it a feeling of pride or is it mixed?
Robert Leeshock: Definitely it’s a mixed bag. Trying to live up to family expectations, having the legacy of such an exalted general in his lineage and yet… the stigma of losing the greatest battle in our nation’s short history causes John to want to redeem himself and perhaps part of his family’s legacy by following a higher purpose. The landscape to achieve that is difficult since Jon Lee is essentially a ‘hired gun’ in the corporate controlled army of the future. It’s the virus that decides John’s fate… choosing both him and Grace to figure out the intricacies of this Kodamaha ‘God Virus’!
SFP: Having watched the 20 minute short all the way through I can see why you guys want to make a full scale movie from it because although it ended. It sort of seemed to be too good to be true as an ending for me. In that your character sees off the bad guys and begins the process of helping the android come to terms with some latent human traits. SO i guess am trying to ask where do you see it going from that point?
Robert Leeshock: Think Apocalypse Now meets the Wizard of OZ… John heads ‘up the river’ so to speak searching for the source, the guru hacker who conceived the virus in the first place. The master hacker, the Omega Man becomes witness to his own creation, the perfect host in Grace. The journey to the Omega Man is filled with moral and physical challenges as well as human obstacles thwarting John and Grace as they attempt to discover their purpose. As Chairman Fong, Von Flores monitors their progress through the use of various technologies, John and Grace run the gauntlet to save the dignity of the human race!!
Thus far Robert has managed to recruit a fair few well known genre names to the cause. These include Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Jason Carter (Babylon 5), J.G. Hertzler (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Von Flores (Earth: Final Conflict)
You can learn more about Godmachine in the recent crossover episode of SFP-NOW and GenreTainment here at scifipulseradio.com and you can also donate to the cause at: www.indiegogo.com/projects/godmachine-feature-film-in-development