TCFF 2014 Interview with Bradley King & George Finn for sci-fi thriller ‘Time Lapse’

TCFF14Banner

Twin Cities Film Fest picked a truly awesome film for our closing night! Time Lapse is one of those mind-bending sci-fi gems that delivers big impact on a shoestring budget. Director Bradley King and actor George Finn were in attendance and participated in the Q&A afterwards. The theater was packed and the audience gave a loud applause when the credits rolled. I thought it was really well-done, a character-driven piece with a nice blend of humor and suspense.

TimeLapse_TCFF_QA
FCInterviewBannerI was lucky enough to be able to chat with them at the Marriott Hotel in the afternoon before the screening. It was just the three of us in this huge lobby, and there was no time restriction and no other interviewer present, which was very cool indeed!

George_Bradley_TCFFInterviewThis is yet another impressive directorial debut I saw at TCFF, perhaps even the best. If Time Lapse is any indication, I sure hope this is the first of many from Bradley King. I sure hope the big studios take notice, because if he could do something THIS good on a small budget, I’d love to see what he could do with something that has ten times its budget.

This could be the big break for George Finn as well, who displays a strong screen charisma as well as acting range, seamlessly alternating between a grungy slob to a sly & sinister young man. It’s truly a pleasant surprise to see him channel his dark side convincingly, as the actor I met earlier in the day is so affable and charming … not to mention devastatingly beautiful. A native of Tbilisi, Georgia, Finn is tall, with striking blue eyes and tousled jet black hair, he looks like a cross between Cillian Murphy and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Ok I could go on but let’s get to the interview, shall we?

Ruth: So Bradley, how did you and [co-screenwriter] B.P. Cooper came up with the story idea?

Bradley: Well I wish I could take credit for it but actually it’s Cooper who came up with the idea for the machine. He actually had seen a movie where someone put a camera inside a machine. So we thought well, what if the machine and the camera were the same thing? So I kinda took that and thought well, that’s awesome but how could we do that and make it into something that’s low-budget in one location, so I guess that’s how it came out of. It’s a practical beginning really, how about if we make a low-budget sci-fi movie, I mean we both love science fiction so this is really what came out of that idea.

TimeLapsePoster

R: I know you came out from short films background… I mean you’ve directed a lot of them. So what make you decide that this is going to turn this idea into a feature film?

Bradley: Yes I’ve directed a lot of features and Cooper has produced a few features, so I guess we’re both were at a point where we wanted to make a movie together and so we’re consciously looking for a film idea that we can do with the means that we have. So once we came up with this we soon realize this would fit the bill.

R: And how was the casting come on board… I mean how did George come on board and all that?

Bradley: Well let’s hear George’s story on how he came on board and I can help fill in the rest…

George: Well, Rick Montgomery who’s the producer of Time Lapse is also a well-known casting director so I read with him a few times and he sent me a pitch packet with a script and the entire layout of what the time machine look like and kind of a storyboard almost. So I read the script and I fell in love with the character Jasper. I remember when I was first reading it, I completely understood who he was. I mean there are certain individuals who sort of resonated with me and I was really getting into it. And the more I read it I found myself getting lost in the story and was really hooked. So by the time I went to read with these guys [pointing to Bradley] I really wanted the part. I met them and in this room there were a lot of storyboards and some yarn lines kind of telling us what would happen after what … I think it was sort of a prototype of the big room. And so I met with them and luckily, it worked out.

TimeLapse_Cast
George Finn, Danielle Panabaker, Matt O’Leary in ‘Time Lapse’

R: This film reminds me a bit of Chronicle, which is also a small-budget sci-fi. I mean it’s different plot-wise but it also have three young people dealing with having some kind of superpowers, whilst the people in Time Lapse discovered a machine that’s supposedly have some kind of powers. So is it kind of a cautionary tale about when someone gets a certain power, how the human nature comes into it?

Bradley: Yeah I think pretty early on, we knew things weren’t going to end up well. I’ve always liked cautionary tales especially in sci-fis. We had other potential endings y’know, but it just, the theme of people being obsessed with the future that it sort of ruin their present is something that both Cooper and I can relate to. I think a lot about the future. I think I’d be more like the Finn character [played by Matt O’Leary], I worry a lot about what my next project’s gonna be, whether the next idea show up or whether I’m gonna sit here and stare at a blank page for y’know, however long. So yeah, I used to think that you could decide the theme first then write the story out of that, but usually it’s the other way around. You start writing the story then as you’re writing it, then you realize that ‘oh this theme seems to be strong’ and at the end, usually it becomes clear. Then you go back and see if we could adjust to make that theme even clearer and stronger. So we rewrite things a little bit after you realize the “meaning” of it is. At least for me as a filmmaker, I don’t know that everyone who watches it would take that away but for us, but for us, that’s definitely a strong theme.

R: One of the reviews of the film that I read talked about the visual and the sound kind of give the audience that claustrophobic feeling, you know, being in a small set. So can you talk about a little bit about filming in such a small space and how you got it down to how you wanted it to be.

Bradley: I’d be happy to, but I’m curious how George feels about acting in such a small set and how it affects his performance.

George: Yeah I think it enhances everything in the sense that because we’re all there and we’re kind of so close, we all fell into our roles. It was easier to develop our relationships and figure everything out. And when you’re watching the film, you mentioned the word claustrophobia, you really… umm, I’m trying to find the words on how to describe it… well the claustrophobia adds and intensifies everything.

TimeLapse_Jasper_GeorgeFinn

R: Cool. I mean you kind of want the environment to be part of the story, don’t you? 

Bradley: Yeah I was worried y’know, as a filmmaker, would it stay interesting? Would it be too claustrophobic? I mean you’ve seen some movies set in one location and you get bored, y’know and by the end, you’re like, I’ve seen this wall a thousand times already. So y’know, so it’s a challenge for everybody. We talked to the DP y’know to keep the lighting fresh, do we want to add more contrast towards the end, darker, or whatever and I think Jonathan [Wenstrup, the cinematographer] did a great job keeping things fresh. I mean yeah, we wanted the film to feel claustrophobic because they kind of trapped in this weird little bubble. Not just in the apartment but the complex itself, ’cause everything happens right there. We’re very lucky that we got this 20s-style series of bungalows that we could take the whole place over. People could do things and move around outside but they never really left, I mean they don’t even know what city they’re in. I like it as a creative limitation. Once we’re able to find the place. Cooper said it was a nightmare until we found it as we spent weeks and weeks trying to find that stupid location.

George: I think one of the coolest things about that location is the fact that where we were, right across from us you actually the camera. The location is exactly what it is. I mean there’s this one movable wall but everything that’s there is really there.

Ruth: So you don’t have to imagine things?

George: Yeah I think as an actor I feel that because of that, it made it a lot easier to understand the character and get into ’em because in that world, we got to really immerse ourselves into it and be comfortable in it and explore all the fun things that we did get to find.

TimeLapse_ConceptArt
Time Lapse Concept Art

Source: Howie Things Blog

R: So how long was the shoot?

Ah, the actual shooting was 27 or 28 days. We’ve been giving both answers during Q&As [laughs], Cooper knows exactly how long, but I think even he’s been giving both answers. So it’s like 27, then we had to add one more day, so 28.

R [for George]: You’ve done some films and a few TV work, I know you’re in The Mentalist [season 6 final episode: Blue Birds]. So is this your first sci-fi genre?

George: Yeah it is. This is my first sci-fi film. I mean I couldn’t be more proud of a film, I think [laughs]. I’m really, really happy. I mean, I got to see a lot of Danielle’s and Matt’s stuff, but there’s a lot of stuff I didn’t get to see. So when I finally got to see it, I was able to remove myself enough to really appreciate it. From the feedback we’re getting and things I’ve heard, I know I’m really proud of it.

R: Last question for you Bradley. Who’s your filmmaker inspiration?

Bradley: Oh boy, that’s tough as I don’t think I have just one and it changes depending on the project. As we got into this one a lot, now I’ve been a big Hitchcock fan and this movie has a bit of Rear Window tone to it. I certainly study him. There are so many others that the list would go on forever. I think it’s easier for me to point to movie influences in this one. We also took a look at films with relationship dynamics where there are three people who are really close and things go really bad. So we looked at Shallow Graves, that was the one we watched a lot, and also A Simple Plan. We also revisited Time Crimes, Back to the Future, and Twelve Monkeys. We just wanted to make sure just what are the rules about time travel, even though there isn’t really time travel in our movie but there is that time themes so you know, we just want to make sure we handle this in a way that’s palatable for people who like this sort of thing. So I guess those are the main influences.

But then when we get to post-production, my editor was a bit Stanley Kubrick fan and so we talked about him. I mean, we didn’t want to make this machine alive but at the same time, it is sort of this Hal-like thing across the way where he’s watching people and in the end, it’s like y’know, the last man standing. And also, once the composer came on board, we started talking about Bernard Herrmann, and sort of going back to Hitchcock and how to deal with a score that could be an old school suspense vein but also feels modern.

R [for George]: And you worked with your brother a lot … [Nika Agiashvilli] So what’s next for you? You have a project you’re working with him right now, correct?

George: Yeah we have a project that’s in early pre-production. It’s a bit of a passion project of ours. We finally getting close to how we wanted to make it. It’s called The Short Happy Life of Butch Livingston. That’s most likely going to be next. I’m also working on another one with Ron Perlman called Savage Mutts, it’s a gritty revenge thriller. It’s a lot of fun, we’re excited about that so whichever one of those shall be my next project.

Ruth: Well, thanks so much guys. I don’t really have any more questions. So do you have anything to add about the film?

Bradley: Ummm I don’t think so, how about you George?

George: Well, go see it! [laughs] Thank you for having us here.

Ruth: No thank you! It’s been fun chatting with you both and I’m super excited to see the film!

TimeLapseCameraDuring the Q&A, someone asked Bradley about the design of the Camera Machine itself, here’s his answer:

Bradley: Up front I knew that I wanted it to feel retro and a bit steam-punk-y. I worked with a concept artist named Howard Schechtman, and I made it clear I didn’t want any LEDs or lasers or computer chips etc. He started coming back with great sketches, and probably the 3rd one is the one we went with. At that point we didn’t really expect the physical machine to end up resembling these sketches (because of budget, it just seemed improbable) but then we discovered this fabricator named Dave Mendoza, and he and a scenic artist Thibault Pelletier worked together over the course of the shoot to build the machine as you see it in the movie. They were sourcing parts from all over the place – an airplane junkyard, hardware stores, some parts even came from the abandoned apartment complex itself. By the end of the shoot they had really captured the magic of the concept sketches, and I was extremely pleased.


Congratulations Bradley & BP Cooper + the entire cast for Time Lapse winning the Indie Vision: Breakthrough Film award!

George Finn & Bradley King accepting the TCFF Indie Vision Award
George Finn & Bradley King accepting the TCFF Indie Vision Award

 Check out Time Lapse‘s trailer


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me, Bradley & George!

George_Bradley_Me_Selfie


Hope you enjoyed the interview. Has anyone seen Time Lapse? I’d love to know what you think!

Advertisements

33 thoughts on “TCFF 2014 Interview with Bradley King & George Finn for sci-fi thriller ‘Time Lapse’

  1. Ted S.

    Nice interview Ruth!

    From that trailer, the movie does remind me of Shallow Graves, which I hate, but glad he mentioned that A Simple Plan is one of the influences, it’s a film that needs to be seen by more people and it was shot here in MN!

    I’ll give Time Lapse a watch once it’s on Netflix.

    1. I actually haven’t seen Shallow Graves though I generally like Danny Boyle’s work. I hope you’ll check this one out Ted, I like that it keeps me guessing and suspenseful but it’s not overly bleak, there’s definitely a sense of humor & fun and all the actors did a nice job!

      1. Ted S.

        I believe Shallow Grave was Boyle’s first film, when it came out it got so much hyped, mostly in the film geeks world that I thought it’s going to be great. When I finally saw it, I thought it’s the dumbest thriller I’ve seen up to that point. I haven’t seen it since, can’t believe it’s been 20 years! Maybe if I see it again I might change my mind but I really hated it back then, haha.

  2. I like the interview, he seems like a very communicable man.
    The trailer doesn’t interest me that much, so I think i will pass on it…sorry.

    Anyway, he does look like Cillian (in the pic) but when he is moving around he is nore like that actor playing superboy (I forgot his name)

    1. Oh really? That’s a bummer, I thought the trailer was intriguing when I first saw it a couple of weeks ago. I hope you’d still give it a shot despite that, the film is very good!

      The actor playing Superboy?? Or you mean Smallville? He does resemble Tom Welling a bit now that I think about it, probably similar age and height too.

      1. Ted S.

        Ruth, back in the late 80s early 90s, there’s a show called Superboy. It’s kind of similar to Smallville but set in college when Clark was becoming Superman and he actually wore the suit. It’s a cheesy show but I loved every seconds of it, lol. I’m sure you can find the episodes on YouTube.

        Here’s the info on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094559/?ref_=nv_sr_1

        1. Ah ok I remember now. Well it can’t be cheesier than Lois & Clark, ahah. I don’t think I’ve been a fan of any of the TV adaptations of Superman to be honest.

    1. The film is really cool, I think you’d enjoy it girl! I like that it’s unpredictable right up until the end. And yes, Finn is definitely a young actor to watch for. He’s got screen charisma, you won’t be able to take your eyes off him when you watch it.

        1. I’m glad that the director Bradley said the film would still get a limited theatrical release. I know I can’t wait to see it again when it hits dvd!

  3. Great interview!! Ooo, George Finn is super cute . . . totally looks a bit like Cillian Murphy! Nice interview, Ruth. I watched the trailer, and dang, does it look really good. Do you know if it will be getting a wide release? I’d love to see this one.

    1. Yeah he definitely reminds me of Cillian Murphy straight away, but mostly just the eyes. I don’t know about wide release, most likely limited release next Spring. Definitely worth a look, Kris!

  4. Pingback: Monthly Recap, Top 5 Picks from TCFF 2014 + Fave Movie(s) of OCTOBER |

  5. Oh, this sounds interesting, and it’s nice to see Matt O’Leary getting more work as an actor. I thought he showed promise over a decade ago in Domestic Disturbance with John Travolta.

  6. That is so cool you got to interview these two! Jasper was my favourite character. I really love low budget stuff, the creativity tends to go up when the budget goes down. I gotta watch this one again.

    You say when you saw this there was a Q&A afterwards. I’m just curious, did you have this interview set up before hand or did you approach them after the movie?

    Great stuff, look forward to the review! 🙂

    1. Thanks Jordan! Amen on what you said about the creativity of filmmakers w/ low-budget stuff. Plus the story is quite original too.

      There’s a Q&A after the film but I actually interviewed them BEFORE I saw it as that’s how the schedule worked out at TCFF. I’m the official blogger so I have access to interviews w/ some filmmakers/cast which is always a great perk!

      1. Wow that is definitely a great perk!! I wonder how I can get a similar thing for our humble little Adelaide film fest. Though your blog has been around a lot longer than mine!!

        1. Yes you should absolutely contact the Adelaide film fest and ask for press accreditation. They’re usually looking for bloggers to help spread the word out about the event so I’m sure it won’t be a problem for you.

            1. Awesome man, do keep me posted on that. You’re a terrific blogger, they’ll be lucky to have you blogging about the event!

  7. Pingback: Rental Pick: Time Lapse (2014) |

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s