TIME TRAP - PRODUCTION NOTES
Paladin Films and Giant Interactive time travel adventure flick, Time Trap, hybridizes the kids-go-missing-in-the-woods premise with Spielberg’s science fiction wonder years.
Starring Andrew Wilson (Bottle Rocket, the Royal Tenenbaums) as a dilf archeology professor to a group of students led by Reiley McClendon (Pearl Harbor, The Fosters) and Cassidy Gifford (God’s Not Dead, The Gallows) who trace the professor to a mysterious cave in central Texas where time passes differently underground than it does on the surface.
When the students become trapped inside the cave, they find themselves caught in the crossfire between two eras of humans battling for the most coveted urban legend in human history: the Fountain of Youth.
Time Trap is directed by Mark Dennis and Ben Foster, from a script by Dennis. Foster, Dennis and Zachary Matz produced under Foster/Dennis’ Pad Thai Pictures banner.
Following the release of their first feature, indie drama, Strings, Dennis and Foster found themselves anxious to shoot something more like their own favorite movies Terminator 2 and Back to the Future.
Dennis wrote the Time Trap script based on his childhood growing up in central Texas and exploring the abundance of underground caves in the Hill Country. Several of these caves were scouted as potential locations for filming.
Time Trap was originally intended as a found footage movie that the directors would shoot and turn around quickly before beginning a larger project with Matz as producer.
Using equipment they already owned, Dennis and Foster planned a low-fi and very different style of movie from what Time Trap ultimately became. After Director of Photography Mike Simpson encouraged the directors to shoot it cinematically (alt/traditionally), the narrative was changed to abandon the handheld style but many of the found footage elements were included and worked into the plot.
Principal photography took place in Austin, Georgetown and Sonora, TX with additional stunt sequences filmed in Hollywood’s Bronson Canyon where the filmmakers used the famous Bat Cave from Adam West’s Batman series.
In an era where indie films’ shooting schedules last for 2-3 weeks, the Time Trap filmmakers opted for an extended shoot to get things right. Much of post production budget was spent on more shoot days and the directors had to dig into a vault of low budget tactics to complete the movie. “They always say ‘you need twice as much money and twice the time’” says Foster (who also acts as post production supervisor) “ but when money ran low, we wound up doing a lot of the effects ourselves just to finish the movie. We learned from our previous shorts and our first feature that we could accomplish anything 80s movies were able to do so we committed to keeping most of the visual effects simple. We used every trick in the book and even made up a few more just to get to the finish line.”
Time Trap’s premise and aesthetic pay homage to classic 80s movies like E.T. and The Goonies while expanding the cerebral scope into high concept contemporary blockbusters like Interstellar and Avatar. Foster’s directing partner Dennis, who also penned the script, adds “We really wanted to make the kind of movie we watched a million times as kids. I don’t know if it’s because we’re in our thirties now but I just can’t watch many modern blockbusters over and over like I can Spielberg and Cameron movies. If I walk into a room and Terminator 2 is playing on a TV, I am committed to finishing it because 10-year old me still gets hooked”
Time Trap’s world premiere was held opening weekend of the Seattle International Film Festival where it was met with positive reviews from local critics. (Add quotes from Escape into Film, Film Jabber, Ain’t it Cool News)
Following Seattle, Time Trap screened at the Woodstock Film Festival and the directors’ hometown Austin Film Festival.
Time Trap played to sold out shows at Geena Davis’s Bentonville Film Festival, as well as Breckenridge Film Festival and the inaugural Mammoth Film Festival founded by Tree of Life Executive Producer Tanner Beard.
Time Trap won several festival awards, including a special jury prize at Houston International Film Festival, the audience award at the Hill Country Film Festival, and the Hollywood Film Festival’s Most Innovative Feature award. The festival run concluded with Foster and Dennis winning the Producer award at the inaugural El Paso Film Festival.
Time Trap will hold its Los Angeles premiere on October 30th, presented by The Hollywood Film Festival, at the TCL Chinese Theater. Red Carpet at 6:30, screening at 7:00.
Time Trap will begin its theatrical engagement on. November 2nd, followed by a digital and VOD release on November 13th.
TIME TRAP (2018)
A group of students become trapped inside a mysterious cave where they discover time passes differently underground than on the surface.