Jul 15, 2009

The Other Time Machine (2006)

What can I say about a project that came together largely by chance? Early in the fall semester of 2006 I was taking an experimental production class. One of the first assignments we received was to create a found footage project using the old video edit suite at the university. Right away I was convinced that I was going to do this project using my own equipment, because scheduling and planning around the university was continually a hassle - however, and mostly because my friend Tyler and I had discussed editing our projects at the same time, I ended up working at the school.

Not every project can be a masterpiece. This was the idea I had in my mind prior to pulling my project together. I had no VHS tapes to work with, I was completely willing to pull something together using the old tapes in the suite - a true experiment/found footage project if you will.

That night Tyler and I were hanging out in the suite and Tyler was the first to edit his project - which you can see here. He seemed to have a rough idea of what he wanted, but I'm sure he was winging it too. When he finished it was probably around 9 or 10pm, which strangely enough is what I consider to be the best time to work at school. I have a number of memories surrounding late night projects and wandering the hallways in the middle of the night - I also lived at the dorms so part of the wandering was about finding my way home sometimes, haha. Anyway, the point is that the editing became a mix of running for slurpees, watching old Weird Al clips, and catching up with Tyler - who at this point wasn't much more than a familiar face from first year.

Tyler had a copy of The Time Machine, Death to Smoochie and Back to the Future which became the basic elements of my edit. The dread of doing the assignment turned into the excitement of things falling into place. I genuinely had a lot of fun pulling random clips, working on the old VHS equipment, and dubbing audio from old tapes. The whole time machine element seems kind of funny now because this was all before my Buick to the Future series was even a consideration.

While The Other Time Machine is a flawed video, it's always made me laugh. Despite being crude both in content and construction, it was the inspiration behind a lot of other experiments that followed. The most notable being Space Drama in 2008, which was a much more intensive, personally motivated editing exercise. The Other Time Machine is significant mostly for the history and time it marks in my film school career, but I won't make too many promises. Some people love this, some people hate this - it's a lesson directly from Film 100 (or technically Film 400 something). Enjoy!

The Other Time Machine (2006)
Found Footage Edit by Luke Fandrich

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