Personal Project: Obsessed & Scientific

obsesseddvdcover_sm.jpgAfter reading some of the suggestions in my earlier post about what people would like to see on The Documentary Blog, I think i’m going to start taking the time to irregularily post updates on my personal projects. I’ve sort of been uneasy about getting into this territory. I don’t want the site to be overrun by my own personal posts, but they will be so few and far between that I don’t think it will hurt in the long run to keep you guys updated on what i have going on. (which isn’t much at the moment) Afterall, it may be a fun look into the process of VERY low budget documentary filmmaking.

I’m a recent graduate from the prestigious Niagara College Broadcasting: Film and Television program located in the booming metropolis of Welland, Ontario. Although it’s a smaller town, the College actually offers a decent filmmaking course with a great amount of hands-on experience and a staff of great profs. As a third year final project, I had the opportunity to direct a short documentary film on the subject of time travel. The idea was simple: examine the possibilities of time travel from the persepective of three levels of interest, the hobbyist/sci-fi fanatic, the scientist, and the self-proclaimed time travellers. To my suprise, it was actually easier then i’d expected to find subjects to fulfill these three roles. Here’s the synopsis:

Is time travel possible? In this fascinating short documentary, director Jay Cheel explores the real-life theories behind the science of time travel and the strange subculture of enthusiasts who are obessed with it. Meet Michio Kaku, world-renowned theoretical physicist and author of the book Hyperspace. Meet Rob Niosi, a hobbyist building his own full-scale home replica of H.G. Wells’ time machine. Meet Larry Haber, the entertainment lawyer representing the family of John Titor, an alleged time traveller from the year 2036. Do these people know something about the world that the rest of us don’t? Obessed & Scientific is a quirky look at the intersection of science-fact and science-fiction.

Although I was pretty happy with the final product, I still feel that the film is somewhat limited. The story just isn’t given the time to play itself out in the detail that I would’ve liked. The editing was rushed, there was barely a budget, and the post-production was so stressful that I got shingles. I’ve always wanted to revisit this idea and see how far I could take it. I’ll try and post some detailed stories about the making of the film and i’ll eventually get some clips up on the site in the near future. Until then, I think it’s time to start working on my proposal again and we’ll see where it goes. Feel free to share any criticisms, suggestions, personal stories, advice, connections (*wink wink*) or what-have-you in the comments section as we go!

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