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Thursday
Apr262012

GLENN TRIGGS: HOTEL ROOMS AND TIME TRAVEL 

A few short weeks after delivering his film's final edit, Melbourne-based multi-hyphenate Glenn Triggs talks to SCREEN-SPACE about his time-travel feature, 41.

 

Where did the idea for 41 come from?

The idea for '41' came from trying to source a project that really interested me and would hold some gravity of drama to it. Time travel has always been a fascination of mine, especially growing up with George Pal's The Time Machine film. I'm not exactly sure where the idea for using a hole in the floor of a motel to travel back 12 hours at a time came from, but it was manifested on paper and became the film. I wanted '41' to have an extreme realism to it, so absolutely no special effects. I really wanted the element of time travel to be a naturally occurring black hole - as boring as walking through a door!

What are the inherent anomalies associated with time travel stories you had to face in the scripting stage?
 
Continuity in the script was very difficult, as I was dealing with sometimes many different versions of the same event seen from different perspectives. A lot of those issues were ironed out in the script and editing the film itself presented problems that were almost impossible to see in the script yet were fixable with re-shoots and editing. The '41' script was just an idea in my head for about 2 years. I would tell people about it - "It's about this guy, and he tells himself not to go to this particular Motel but he goes there anyway and finds a time portal and then has to stop himself from stopping himself" - and I would be talking about it for 30-40 minutes. All these layers presented themselves and it continually sparked my filmmaking interest. So I sat down one day and wrote it. A year later it was finished and year after that if was shot! 

What films and filmmakers have inspired and influence your work in general and 41 in particular?

Films such as The Time Machine was where the passion for this film came from. I used Field of Dreams as a template, to deal with almost paranormal themes in the film in such a realistic fashion. Ron Howard's 'Cocoon' was a great example about dealing with death and old age which are themes in the film. I'm a huge fan of a lot of the big directors that consistently bring marvellous films to the cinema like James Cameron, Peter Jackson and Mel Gibson. 

With your first film Cinemaphobia getting festival play, was getting 41 off the ground easier?

A little bit. It was easier to deal with the whole low budget element - and realise that you really can get anything on screen if you put your mind to it. Cinemaphobia was a large ensemble horror film that I really had to get out my system, but '41' has really turned into something I hope to one day be remembered by, if anything! 

The thrill of shooting vs the constant struggle to fund - with the power of hindsight, describe the life of the independent filmmaker over the course of a production like 41?

There is a large scale of freedom when making an independent film which I am in love with. Sure things are sometimes harder to get sourced and completed and most stuff takes a lot longer to get done with the majority of people involved having to deal with full time jobs outside of the film. I wouldn't say '41' was difficult to make - it was actually a lot of fun. We spread the shoot out over about 8 months with around 30 days of filming involved in total. This is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is you have alot of time to organize during shooting what will be shot next. With limited crew this is very useful not to burn everyone out and keep funds flowing from a normal everyday job. The bad side is people change over 8 months, they get haircuts, their clothes wear out. So continuity can be an issue yet we managed to work through all those things. 

What is the distribution strategy for a film like 41? Will you go to market (Cannes, AFM, etc) or focus on Festival exposure, or both?

Festivals, festivals, festivals! Going to get the film out there internationally in a big way and really believe it will find an audience. Then hopefully we will be contacted to get the film distributed around. It could be a long or very short process - all about timing. So the post office will be my good friend for the next few months! 

What is next for you and your production company, Dark Epic?

There is a script in production at the moment. A very epic piece I've been thinking out for a few years. It will most definately require a budget so I'm keeping that one away for a another day. In the meantime I'm working on a documentary about a filmmaking friend of mine and will most likely be shooting another low budget feature in about 6 months.

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