Event 16 (2006)

One of the biggest mistakes first time filmmakers make is that their ambitions overwhelmingly exceed their capabilities.

Fortunately, no one ever warned Derek Pearson about this.

Pearson spent five years and about $60,000 creating his backyard movie.  An inventor, struggling to recreate something that happened in his lab earlier, is unaware that his girlfriend is about to leave him – and that a team of time agents are watching him to make sure events follow the exact course they are supposed to follow.  Before long, he ends up in 1893 Wellington and a dangerous lunatic has escaped into our world.  Exactly the way it’s supposed to happen

Technically, the film is quite accomplished:  Pearson manages to create a mostly believable set of past and future worlds, some very impressive aerial shots of the real world and a lot of clever gadgets and effects.  Most of it looks quite good, although in places his digital effects let him down – particularly in the scenes of people running through the streets in 1893, and a singularly unrealistic car explosion.

What is more he uses it all quite well, creating an entertaining and well made film, better than some films that cost many, many times more.  Perhaps it doesn’t mark out any radically new territory for time travel films, but then I really don’t see that it has to, either.  It provides enough twists and turns, enough sudden revelations and secret identities to ensure that it remains interesting throughout.

Which is rare enough.

I’ve long had a weakness for independent films like this because, in the end, what they lack in professional polish is usually more that made up by the love that’s been poured into them.

And that certainly is the case with Event 16.

(Film available here.)


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