We discover the magic of cinema with the writer and star of a new film raising funds for the NHS.
A new film will be hitting the screens, based on book one of ‘The Adventures Of Sleepy The Magical Bear’ written by D.M. Rivers, also know as David Cohen. The film will be released on YouTube in the hope of raising money for NHS Charities Together. The project has some big names behind it, including Richard Armitage (The Hobbit), Eddie the Eagle (playing an eagle, of course!), Sylvester McCoy as Knibbles the beaver, and even a member of the royal family, Ella Windsor.
The project came about out of a desire to do something to support the NHS, as David explains: “Back in March 2020, just before the pandemic started, I wanted to do something for the NHS, through my books. I put a post out on a casting site, and so many people applied, from all over the film and TV world. We had enough people then to give it a go.”
Due to the pandemic, the filming and audio recording for the project wasn’t done in the most traditional manner: “It was hard, because all of the filming took place in people’s homes using greenscreens and on mobile phones. Filming was really tricky, but with some very talented editors and animators we made it as good as we could. I’m happy with it anyway!” To get a perspective on the process of recording, we also spoke to well- known Jewish voice actor Jay Simon, who voiced several characters in the film, chiefly the role of King Magic. While he was born in the UK, Jay now lives in New Zealand and it was from his home studio that he spoke to us: “I have my own studio here in Wãnaka, and David would Zoom me and direct a session and see if he likes what I’m doing. This technology wasn’t there a while ago, but now it’s almost like we’re in the next room, instead of a thousand miles away.”
Jay also has a personal reason that drove him to become involved in the film: “When I heard about this project, it was particularly poignant for me because I owe the NHS everything. I had surgery on my feet as a young child in the Great Ormond Street Hospital. I literally had my ankles rebuilt. It was the first operation of its kind back then, and the surgeons said: ‘We’re going to make you walk properly, but you’ll never climb mountains, and you certainly won’t do musicals.’ Well, I’ve done nine musicals and I live in the mountains. So, I’m indebted to the NHS, as I understand many people who have been through the difficult period of COVID are.”
The Adventures Of Sleepy The Magical Bear will become available to the public on Christmas Eve on YouTube, completely free of charge, and a Just Giving donation page will be available from 10am that morning. David is also giving the Adventures Of Sleepy The Magical Bear eBook away free of charge at Sleepymagic. co.uk