In a new concept we are asking some of Manchester's great and good to tell us about their love of film and how it has impacted their life.
We call it MoviesnMe. Next up is Naffies nominee Tom Cheesewright.
Tom is an Applied Futurist, which probably means he has already seen Avatar 2 and Fast & The Furious 86.
Tell us a bit about you. Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?
I’m Tom Cheesewright, originally from Wolverhampton via London, but an adopted Manc for the last 13 years. Fell in love with the city during the 90s when I may have snuck into a few famous clubs here at a rather young age… Now an Applied Futurist, working primarily with global brands, industry bodies, and bits of government to help them to see the future, share their vision, and work out what to do next.
What is your first movie memory?
I remember my dad taking me to the cinema when we lived in Ealing to see something animated (Disney probably). Not sure what the film was but remember coming out to find his car had been broken into. I think that’s when he had this amazing gold 2.8l Granada Ghia. The back seat felt like a double bed to me then. I was maybe three or four? After that it’s all about Star Wars. I’ve no idea when I first saw the original trilogy but an AT-AT marching through the long grass of my friend’s front yard is another strong memory.
If your life was a movie, who would play you?
I’d like to say Sam Rockwell but a young Depardieu probably has a more appropriate conk for the role. Maybe Bradley Cooper as a compromise to my ego. He might have to dump some muscle but he’s got a good, strong snout.
What’s your favourite movie of all time, and how can you justify that title?
It’s a cliché but by sheer dint of my age and interests (technology) it’s impossible to avoid Star Wars ep IV: A New Hope. I’d like to be cool and say Empire, or kitschy and say Return of the Jedi, but it was the first one that really grabbed me and lifted me into a completely new place. I still can’t watch it through anything but the eyes of a ~5yo. It’s flawless to my eyes. Everything that happens in it still feels as real to me now as it did then.
What’s the most recent movie you enjoyed in the cinema OR that you’re looking forward to seeing in the cinema?
Black Panther. Watched it with the FoodnFilm crew in an audience with a big contingent of young, black, men and women. Their obvious joy at a story with a positive presentation of a predominantly black characters, a story that addressed issues of race without being about race, was utterly infectious. I can’t think of another time when noise in a cinema has made me smile so much.
There are a lot of bad movies out there. So, which character do you think you could play better than the originally casted actor did?
I’ve never seen it because I’m such a big fan of the books, but Charlie Mortdecai, from the Johnny Depp flop, Mortdecai. It gets 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. I refuse to watch it but I have absolutely no doubt I could do foppish, sleazy art dealer.
Has a movie inspired you in your work in any way?
My entire career is based pretty much on Star Wars, D.A.R.R.Y.L, Short Circuit, Back to the Future, and all the other sci-fi of the late 70s and early 80s! I have been a geek as long as I can remember, obsessed with technology and science because of these films. They didn’t just inspire my career they totally defined it!
You must cast a film character as your business partner. Who is it and why would you choose them?
Steve Kuncewicz once described me as Manchester’s answer to Tony Stark. Stark describes himself in the first Avenger’s movie as ‘billionaire, genius, philanthropist, playboy’. I’m sadly none of those things, but I’d love to be in business with someone who was.
Use a movie title to describe your business:
Simple: Back to the Future.
It’s the snowball effect- recommend someone who you’d like to see do MoviesnMe:
Andy Burnham (worth a try).