“(K)nox” Q&A Sheds Light on Knife Crime and Rob’s Generosity
CONTENT WARNING: This article contains mentions of knife violence and family loss that may be distressing to some readers.
We previously announced that (K)nox: The Rob Knox Story, a documentary detailing the life of Rob Knox and raising awareness of knife violence, would premiere at the London Independent Film Festival (LIFF). Rob Knox played the character of Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before his tragic death at the age of 18. An exclusive Q&A with director Aaron Truss, father and producer Colin Knox, executive producer Joe Acres, and actor Ray Winstone (The Departed, Black Widow) is included with the ticket purchase.
The Q&A sheds light on the purpose and intent of the documentary. Truss described the film as a “lighthouse” for parents. He says that it is not designed for kids who carry knives; it is designed as a warning for parents. He and Knox aimed to show the real Rob and his story, because while it happened to Rob, “the story can apply to anyone.” Truss wanted to weave Rob’s personality into the film, including home videos and personal footage to showcase who Rob was during his life. Knox says his intention for the documentary was to create something that discussed knife crime but also showed the love he has for his son and what the family went through after Rob’s passing.
Knox shared an anecdote that provides more perspective into the kind of person Rob was. He described giving Rob a gin bottle full of coins and telling him to spend it how he wanted. He thought he would spend it on “Nikes or whatever it is,” but instead, Rob took the bottle to the bank and put the money in an account to help children in Africa. Knox also detailed one of his last conversations with Rob, only two weeks before the tragedy occurred. He spoke of warning Rob about people carrying knives and to be careful when he went out to the pubs. Knox never imagined that knife violence would be how he lost his child.
Winstone also shared personal anecdotes to explain why the film and its purpose are important to him. He sadly had a nephew who was the victim of knife violence. Thankfully, his nephew survived, but this event was a catalyst in Winstone’s life to advocate for more to be done to stop knife crime on the streets. He stated he is afraid for his daughters when they go out and that that is not a way he wants to live, calling on Parliament to discuss this issue more and enact change.
Additionally, Truss provided insight into the creative process. Knox came to him with an initial rendition that was produced by a different director. While Knox initially liked this version, he felt something was missing from it. After discussions with a colleague at the BBC who echoed his sentiments, he sent it to Truss. Truss felt he “could do something” with it and wanted the chance to try. He sent Knox a three-minute edit of what he felt he could do, and Knox gave him the green light.
Though Acres was an executive producer, Truss approached his band Taxi Joe about writing music for the documentary. Acres discussed his inspiration for the piece that plays during the hospital sequence in the film. “He’s Gone” was designed to start as a single voice that was built on, meant to represent everyone finding out about Rob’s passing. He and fellow Taxi Joe member Louis Morgan provide the vocals for the piece. Acres wanted the piece to be “visceral” and something that could be felt in the listener’s core.
When discussing the future of the film, Truss says they are in talks with a distributor and that it is their goal to distribute the film to an international audience. He recognizes that the documentary may not be as “formulaic” as other documentaries but feels they produced the documentary how they wanted to and that it is an honest discussion of knife crime and violence.
(K)nox: The Rob Knox Story and the accompanying Q&A are available to stream through LIFF until April 18, 2021. With distribution talks in progress, we hope to see the documentary have an international release in the near future.