If you want to make a good time travel film, there are several things you should know. Whether you’re a filmmaker looking to break into the genre or an enthusiast who enjoys time travel, some key elements can help your film stand out from the crowd.
Get the Mechanics Right
If your movie is about time travel, it’s worth spending some time to make sure the science behind the technology is sound. This will ensure that your audience understands the physics of what’s happening on screen, as well as how it might affect them. For example, if you’re planning on using a time machine to send a woman back in time to kill her husband, you need to be sure that your character has a clear understanding of the implications of that decision and why it will affect them so much.
Use a Sense of Humor
One of the best ways to bring a cynical, skeptical tone to a time travel movie is to let your characters do things they would never dream of doing in real life. A great way to do this is by letting your characters waste time and having them bumble through historical moments that they might otherwise find too serious for them to enjoy fully.
Alternatively, you can take a more serious approach to time travel and ask what it means for a person to be sent through time, as seen in Shane Carruth’s “Primer.” This film, which centers around two engineering students who accidentally invent the time machine, focuses less on the technicalities of how the time machine works and more on the implications of sending someone into the past or future.
Get the Characters Right
Another great way to make sure your characters are believable is to make them as likable as possible. This will allow your audience to form a connection with them, regardless of what their circumstances might be. This is especially true in the case of time travel movies, where people are often swept up into events that they might not have otherwise been able to experience.
For this reason, choosing the most likable of your time travel heroes as your lead is a good idea. This will also allow your audience to be invested in what happens to them, which is a necessary step for any film that features time travel.
Make It a Kid’s Movie
If you want to make a family-friendly time travel movie, look no further than Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It’s got a strong sense of satire, which works well with the time travel conceit and some great comedic performances from George Carlin and Ted Knight.
To sum it up
In the end, though, your goal should be to create a movie that everyone will enjoy and can stand up to repeated viewings. This can be tough, but if you follow the tips above, you’ll be on your way to making an outstanding time-travel film.