Yesterday saw the release of Interview with a Time Traveler, a new short directed by James Cooper and starring Eric Johnson and Elias Toufexis. Written by Peter Rowley, the film focuses on a time traveler who meets with a journalist in a hotel room under the guise of sharing their story for an article, but what the journalist doesn’t know is that the time traveler has an ulterior motive for inviting him that will change his life forever. A fruitful premise that opens the story up to a number of directions. Where Cooper and company decide to take the tale is one that is grounded in character and proves to be more powerful than an action-oriented outcome could provide. While the concept of this tale is nothing new, the short presents its story with a passion and vigor that allows the viewer to absorb and believe in it’s back story and create the world in their own imagination. With a modest budget (which was partially procured through crowd funding) the movie transcends it’s financial limitations and presents a believable science fiction story that feels very realistic in it’s approach.
This short is a true testament that story, character, performance and direction (with the accompaniment of proper production values) can trump special effects any day of the week. When we look at films that hit the cinemas these days, it seems as though all the time and effort is given to CGI and visual distraction while no time is given to the actual story. This indie short shows that you can have a strong basis in science fiction with minimal effects and still tell a story that hard sci-fi. Eric Johnson (as the Time Travler) and Elias Toufexis (as Paul, the reporter) make you believe in their characters and each bring a unique performance. Both men get to show off their range a bit as each plays a character that is different than those they usually play in their various television or video game roles. The story by Rowley is one that builds a world with very little visual aid yet still feels more real than if we actually saw it. Connecting to history in a way that makes the tale more dire, the viewer learns everything we need to know with limited exposition. There’s an economy of language used that shows faith in the viewer. The atmosphere created by Cooper is one that gives off an immediate uncomfortableness that puts the viewer in the right mindset for what they are about to see unfold without tipping its hat on what is to come next. My only real problem with this film is that it ends. I could’ve easily watched this journey continue to unfold. Thankfully, with a film such as this, the viewer is open to interpret the story however way they wish and can imagine the infinite number of scenarios that could follow.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi, time travel or just strong characters and performance, you will want to check out Interview with a Time Traveler. Check out the video below.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!