Interview With “Very Little Time” Directors Todd and Tim Wynn
With very little money and very little experience, brothers Todd and Tim Wynn wrote, produced, directed, edited, and starred in the independent feature film “Very_Little_Time.” The Wynns originally intended the 80-minute movie as a personal hands-on learning experience to help jump-start their film careers. Their original intention was just to go through the motions – from start to finish – of making a movie.
Although they didn’t plan for other people to watch their work, “Very_Little_Time” was such a successful experiment they released it on DVD along with a behind-the-scenes version.
“For a long time we’ve been writing scripts and wanted to come up with a small project that we could film right now,” Todd Wynn says. “The idea was that we would practice making a film, maybe just a 30 second commercial, but then we decided that the only way it would really do us any good would be to actually tell a story with it. We looked around and saw what we had to work with and based the story on that.”
The story centers around Ryan Telnifer, an Australian product tester who discovers a mysterious box buried on his property. Strange things start happening – or rather stop happening – as the box’s contents throw Ryan into a seemingly inescapable time loop. His best chance of returning to his normal life appears through the Internet when a stranger identified as “very_little_time” contacts him with advice.
Working with virtually no budget, the Wynns used a digital home movie camera, home appliances, home-made props, and shot (where else) in their family’s Florida home. They decided to make the character a product tester so they could save money by using everyday household items as props.
They also built their own equipment to keep costs down, such as using a ladder as a track for rolling the camera. They also built equipment out of PVC pipes and wood, constantly experimenting with new ways of doing things. In fact, the brothers claim they didn’t use anything in the movie production that was actually made for a movie production.
“Normally you come up with an idea first, but in our case it worked the other way,” Tim Wynn says. “We didn’t go to film school, but we had wanted to make a film for a long time and put a lot of mind power into it…We avoided outside influences because we didn’t want to study the way that other people do it. We didn’t want to go down a path that had already been set. We had everything shot-for-shot before we actually filmed the movie.”
The Wynn brothers, through their company Pretend Pictures, are developing new projects and are circulating two new scripts, the slightly racy “Pants” and a tamer family film “Inventor’s Day.” One completed film and a couple of finished scripts certainly make the next project easier to envision, but there’s no magic formula for finding investors in independent films.
“It still leaves us searching for the right investor, but it seems that our little DVD Very_Little_Time” is helping in that search,” they say. “We’re looking forward to using some real equipment in a real studio this time.”
More information is available on their website: http://www.toddandtim.com
Copyright 2006 Leslie Halpern
Central Florida entertainment writer Leslie Halpern is the author of more than 1,600 articles in trade and consumer magazines. She wrote the books “Reel Romance. The Lovers’ Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies” (Taylor Trade Publishing), which reviews movies for couples and suggests romantic ideas inspired by these films, and “Dreams on Film: The Cinematic Struggle Between Art and Science” (McFarland & Company), an analysis of representations of sleeping and dreaming in more than 125 movies. Visit her website at: http://home.roadrunner.com/~lesliehalpern