Time Lapse

By Cory Haggart

Mailed on August 07, 2014


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Dear Sarah Craig
Line Producer

Dear Sarah,

I was just reading an article about what directors can learn from the responsibilities of line producers. It described how the job requires one to know the end result of the project, the path it will take to get there, how the script breaks down, and what everyone involved is capable of and responsible for.

In Time Lapse, which loops continually back on itself while somehow confining itself almost exclusively to a living room, the story breaks down while the script stays strong, and we are left wondering who isn't capable of lusty murderous deeds. It all moves quickly and deftly, and as the person whose job it was to keep up with it all, I feel sorry for you.

Also: Well done!

These kinds of low-budget sci-fi movies are all about premise and consequences. As a time-travel tale, the details, continuity, and mind-bending physics should provoke joy. In this case, a couple of friends notice their neighbor goes missing and end up discovering a camera that shoots images 24 hours into the future. As an independent production, I am impressed with how thoughtfully and efficiently you devoted your resources. This is a science-fiction thriller, and some things are simply more important than others. The setup is minimal. The design of the time device is impressive. Science-y exposition is minimal, but the pet theories of the characters are given plenty of space. The tension ratchets up steadily, with humor and character detail serving to highlight, as they should, how high the stakes have become.

Writer/director Bradley King and writer/producer BP Cooper both do a fine job, but it's good that you were there, Sarah. You can see their ambitions straining against the production constraints; they always seem to be operating at the limits of what can be done without the whole thing falling apart. Some of the actor's lines, particularly early on, fall flat. Some details get muddied, so that it's unclear whether the film is being cleverly obtuse or just a bit messy. But that's all fine. It's exactly what filmmakers should be doing in an effort like this. If they were trying to do your job, too, the whole thing might have come crashing in on itself. In a bad way.

Recently yours,

Cory

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