You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Annecy: Felix Massie Talks About ‘Super Special (Best Friends)’

Project reps one of two Massie productions with London’s Nexus seen at Annecy

Pitching “Super Special” and presenting Google Spotlight Stories’ “Rain or Shine,” Felix Massie is one of this year’s young stars at Annecy. Variety talked to him about “Super Special (Best Friends),” a super hero project with a social resonance.

The title, “Little Idle Hands,” undoubtedly brings children to mind, but what is the meaning behind it?

That was a working title. The title is now… “Super Special (Best Friends).” It plays on the idea of each character having a superpower (which they don’t necessarily think is a good thing). The two main characters are best friends who live next door to each other. As a collective, the characters are super special best friends who are also superheroes. This title is a shorter way of saying it though!

Where did the concept and inspiration for this TV series originate?

The concept is partially inspired by two books I’ve had published where the kids have physical manifestations of psychological traits. For example, in my book “George Pearce and His Huge Massive Ears,” George has (you may have guessed) huge massive ears. His superpower is that he is able to hear everything everybody says. But it also means he listens to everything everybody says and so gets very confused about who he should pay attention to and what he should think. Each episode of the TV series would be a little lesson based around these kinds of quirks.

Why did you want the characters depicted with over-sized heads and ears and other features that might be considered abnormal?

I think it’s a really simple way of showing a child how everyone is different. Understanding what is going on inside people’s heads is quite a hard concept for even adults to understand. By showing a physical manifestation of it, hopefully it’s clearer (and also more fun!)

The synopsis says “every fantastical “problem” is a visual metaphor for something real. Is “Super Special” intended to send a message to children?

Yes, we wanted to show how everyone is different and everyone has strengths. No one person is always right, even if their approach to life has been right before, it doesn’t mean they know it all in every situation.

How is “Super Special” different –or similar- to other content your team has produced?

As a filmmaker it’s a lot less dark from things I’ve made before! I won an award in London with my last film and was contacted by a publisher about doing a children’s book – which seemed odd at the time. But I’ve really enjoyed trying to make ideas I’m proud of into things that children would enjoy, without losing the little idea that made it interesting to me in the first place.

How did the team  come together?

I met Nexus’ Chris O’Reilly at Sundance when we both had films there back in 2008. I have since moved to London and we’ve been working on things since then. I’ve worked with Claire Cook, the development producer at Nexus, on several projects including “Wilderness Wiggle,” an interactive installation at a children’s hospital and our brand new 360 VR short “Rain or Shine” for Google Spotlight Stories, which we are previewing here at Annecy,  so it made sense to carry on together.

More Film

  • Emma Thompson

    Emma Thompson Exits Skydance Animation Movie 'Luck' Over John Lasseter Hire

    Emma Thompson has dropped out of the voice cast of Skydance Animation’s upcoming film “Luck,” a spokesperson for the actress told Variety. The beloved British star did some recording for the project, but dropped out in January, following John Lasseter’s hire to the top animation job at David Ellison’s studio, an insider close to the [...]

  • Daniel Kaluuya Lakeith Stanfield

    Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield in Talks to Star in Film About Black Panther Party Leader

    Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are in negotiations to star in the historical drama “Jesus Was My Homeboy” about Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton. The project is set up at Warner Bros. with “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler producing along with Charles King through his Marco production company. Executive producers are Sev Ohanian, Zinzi [...]

  • Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue

    Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue Biopic 'The Dirt'

    Netflix has dropped the first trailer for its Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt” — based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling history of the legendarily bad-behaved ‘80s metal icons — and it looks like the film pulls no punches in terms of the band’s famously sordid history. In this two-minute trailer, we get glimpses of singer Vince [...]

  • ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the

    MyFrenchFilmFestival Prizes ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the Right Shape’

    Actress-director Noémie Lvovsky’s “Tomorrow And Thereafter,” a heartfelt homage to the director’s own mother, and Fabien Gorgeart’s “Diane Has the Right Shape,” about one woman’s surrogate motherhood, both won big at the 2019 UniFrance MyFrenchFilmFestival which skewed female in its winners and viewership, making particularly notable inroads into South East Asia and Latin America. Opening [...]

  • Vue International Chief Slams BAFTA For

    Vue International Chief Slams BAFTA for Awarding Prizes to 'Roma'

    Tim Richards, the founder and chief executive of Vue International, one of the largest cinema chains in Europe, has slammed the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for awarding prizes to Netflix’s “Roma.” Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white film, which is also up for several Oscars, won four BAFTAs at the awards ceremony in London on [...]

  • Oscars Ultimate Party Guide

    Oscar's Ultimate Party Guide 2019

    Welcome to Oscar week. It’s the time of year when Hollywood’s film industry celebrates all things movies. But it’s certainly not just the big show everyone is looking forward to. With voting closed, it’s all about the parties now. Who’s doing what and where and when are they doing it are the questions everyone is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content