Movie Review of “TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX” @ Dances With Films Film Festival Starring Sam Dunning

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The Sci-Fi Comedy Time Travel movie: TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX, had it’s Southern California premiere on Tuesday, June 25 9:15 PM, at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Hollywood, as part of the Dances With Films Film Festival. 

This interesting movie stars: Samuel Dunning (Blue Bloods), Co-Starring Felicia Day (Supernatural, The Guild), Special Appearance by Keith David (They Live, The Thing): With Joel McHale (Community, The Soup): and Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn): There was a sold out audience to see this fascinating Sci-Fi Time Travel movie- where everyone gave a great response during the movie, and during the Q & A with the cast- after the movie. Those that were there for this premiere were: Stimson Snead (Director/Screenwriter/Producer)​, the star lead Actor: Sam Dunning on the left with Entertainment Today TV Producer: Steve Taylor: and Actress/Producer: Felicia Day with Steve on the left: 

Cast members Nicole Murrey (3rd from left in below photos), and David Babbit (on the extreme left in below photos); Stimson Snead (Director/Screenwriter/Producer)​ – 3rd from the right in the below photos, and Producer Ben Yennie (2nd from left in below photos). The Cast, Producer, and Director gave interviews and happily posed for photos on the red carpet: 

My favorite Sci-Fi topic has always been “Time Travel” – going all the way back to the 1960 movie “The Time Machine” using the science of H.G. Wells, and other movies like: 12 Monkeys (1995), Arrival (2016), Primer (2004), The Terminator (1984), Back to the Future (1985), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Interstellar (2014), Avengers: Endgame (2019); and the late 1960’s hit TV series: “The Time Tunnel.” 

In this movie they cover that topic very well, and they drew from some current scientific Cosmos theories of our universe: a Multiverse with an infinite number of universes. Multiverses are theoretically possible within our understanding of physics. It’s highly unlikely that real alternate universes match most pop culture multiverses. Our planet is part of a discrete solar system in an arm of the spiral shaped Milky Way Galaxy. Our galaxy is only one of billions of other galaxies that exist within the universe. The multiverse is the hypothetical set of all universes. Together, these universes are presumed to comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, energy, information, and the physical laws and constants that describe them. Modern proponents of one or more of the multiverse hypotheses include Lee Smolin, Don Page, Brian GreeneMax Tegmark, Alan Guth, Andrei Linde, Michio Kaku, David Deutsch, Leonard Susskind, Alexander Vilenkin, Yasunori Nomura, Raj Pathria, Laura Mersini-Houghton, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sean Carroll and Stephen Hawking. The other theory that this movie uses is that we are all living inside of a giant Simulation of our universe, that is not real and created by a being that is far more advanced than we are. The simulation hypothesis proposes that what humans experience as the world is actually a simulated reality, such as a computer simulation in which humans themselves are constructs. There has been much debate over this topic, ranging from philosophical discourse to practical applications in computing. From a physics standpoint, some theorists point to limits on our ability to probe reality at microscopic scales as possible evidence that we are in a simulation. The quantized nature of fields and particles, discreteness of spacetime, and the uncertainty principle may emerge naturally from a simulated reality. Elon Musk previously stated that there’s a “billion to one chance” that we’re living in a simulation, citing Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom’s 2003 paper, titled Are You Living in a Computer Simulation, as evidence: 20 years ago from today, Oxford Philosopher Nick Bostrum first proposed the argument that “we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation” introducing several topics of intellectual debates, many of which are still ongoing to this day. From technicians in the natural sciences to philosophers and ethicists, multidisciplinary perspectives from esteemed intellectuals can be seen from just a few clicks away from your search bar, thanks to the universalized distribution of the internet. “Mathematicians have proved that a universal computing machine can create an artificial world that is itself capable of simulating its own world, and so on ad infinitum – “to infinity.”In other words, simulations nest inside simulations inside simulations,” wrote cosmologist Paul Davies in 2003.

In this movie the above theories of our universe, and Time Travel formats(and others) are explored, showing the risks, and the good and bad effects of traveling through time. Time Travel is the hypothetical activity of traveling into the past or future. Time travel is a widely recognized concept in philosophy and fiction, particularly science fiction. In fiction, time travel is typically achieved through the use of a hypothetical device known as a time machine. The idea of a time machine was popularized by H. G. Wells’s 1895 novel The Time Machine. It is uncertain whether time travel to the past would be physically possible. Such travel, if at all feasible, may give rise to questions of causality. Forward time travel, outside the usual sense of the perception of time, is an extensively observed phenomenon and is well understood within the framework of special relativity and general relativity. However, making one body advance or delay more than a few milliseconds compared to another body is not feasible with current technology. As for backward time travel, it is possible to find solutions in general relativity that allow for it, such as a rotating black hole. Traveling to an arbitrary point in spacetime has very limited support in theoretical physics, and is usually connected only with quantum mechanics or wormholes.

However, in this movie the Time Traveler: Tim Travers- that is played excellently by Samuel Dunning, makes a very serious mistake, and takes a big risk by shooting himself in the head to test out his time travel theory- which could have got himself killed – BUT this is a comedy- so this movie is more about comedy entertainment – rather than a safe and serious test of time travel, BUT it does an excellent job to cover the points of what would happen in theory if you could travel back threw time- and does keep you on the edge of your seat, to find out of he can achieve his goals of time travel, creating the paradox to meet God, and/or the creator of the Universe, and ultimately finding out what exactly our universe is, and what is the meaning of life. Which are all topics that we are all hoping for answers to, so this movie gives us one possible version for all of that!

Samuel Dunning is a New York-based Actor, writer, and producer from Brunswick, Maine. His recent performance work has seen acclaim on both major network television (Fox, AMC, Netflix), online press (Pitchfork, Spin, Stereogum), and film festival circuits (Screamfest, NYC Horror Film Fest).  He is best known for his roles as Tim Travers in “Tim Travers and the Time Traveler’s Paradox” (currently in festivals, 2024), Rick in “Rick and Ruby” (2019), and Ryan Heide on CBS’s “Blue Bloods” (2020). Most recently Sam has begun touring festivals with “Tim Travers and the Time Traveler’s Paradox” (Winner of “Best Comedy” at Cinequest, 2024) as the lead, starring alongside Joel McHale, Danny Trejo, Keith David, and Felicia Day, based off of the award-winning short film of the same name.

In the course of his adventure, Tim Travers will take on the mercenary gang whose stolen plutonium powers his machine, challenge an Alex Jones esk podcaster to a battle of wits, create a black hole, meet the one woman alive crazier than him, clone himself, destroy the universe, make a new one, and maybe-just maybe- learn to love himself at last.

Sam Dunning: Yeah. I mean, there was basically no time I was not on set. There was one of me everywhere at all times in this thing, and most of the time I’m acting against myself, or I’m acting against Babbitt, my wonderful body double, who’s doing his best to keep up. But it’s not totally his job, but he’s still doing everything he can, or I’m acting against nothing. Our script supervisor doing his best, from 50 feet over there yelling, “What do you mean by that?” Me reacting to that as if I’m saying it to Felicia right now. It’s just that… yeah, so very different from most things.

It was a lot of fun, but what I tried to make it most similar to in my head, as it’s like when you’re a little kid. I was an only child growing up, just making up playing by yourself, and so you’re making up characters and situations, everything, and so it’s akin to that feeling, in a weird way.

I don’t think I was doing that intentionally. I wasn’t like, “Ah, I’m going to be this.” It was just like a, “Well, I have to imagine all this shit is happening around me, plus all the visual effects we don’t have going on, so I’m fully in.” Yeah. I imagine it’s similar to what everybody goes through on big green screen productions where they’re like, “The Dragons coming now.”

Felicia Day: I mean, it’s crazy what he had to do, because he’s acting with 20 different versions of himself, and it’s just pretty phenomenal. I mean, again, I haven’t seen it, but when I read the script I was like, “I don’t know how this guy’s going to pull this off.” From all the other reviews, and the people who’ve seen it, I’m like, “It got pulled off,” and I’m really excited: This movie is all about a classic Sci-Fi theory called the Time Traveler’s Paradox, in which a reclusive mad scientist: Tim Travers creates a Time Machine and kills his younger self. So now a man who should not- can not- exist, somehow does. That is the Paradox, and Paradoxes are impossible! Therefore, Tim creates the paradox over his ability to exist, so that he can fulfill his stated mission in life: “to stand alone with God at the end of time, and tell the bastard off.”

Felicia Day: Yeah, I did. Oh, yeah. I wasn’t just going to fly. No offense, but I mean, I’m from the world of red video. I’ve seen badly edited things. I’ve seen badly executed things. I’ve done badly executed things. You’ve got to be careful. But at the end of the day, yeah, it is a trust call, because you can make or break anybody’s performance, good or bad in the moment, with editing, and you can… production value, CGI, everything. The director and the post team really have a lot of control in making actors look good or bad, and you just have to be like, “I think this person doesn’t have a vendetta against me. I think they’re going to make me look good.”

Sam Dunning: My advice to filmmakers, well, as someone who went to film school and got absolutely nothing out of it, don’t do it. Just make a movie.

I’d say, I mean, I got into making things, because I was an actor and I wasn’t getting the roles that I wanted. My advice usually goes to other actors who are feeling beholden to the industry, but I think it’s the same for filmmakers, especially if somebody’s waiting for a directorial project, or something like that. It’s like, don’t fucking wait. Just go fucking make something. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do it.

Because the only reason I am on this movie, is because I made a short, because I was tired of waiting around for roles. This man saw it, at a tiny little first year festival that there was more people on our panel than there were in the fucking crowd. He was like, “This is the guy to play Tim in my short that I wrote,” and now we’re here. It’s just like, that’s my advice. It doesn’t matter if you’re neck, or doesn’t matter what part of the field you’re in, just make stuff, because you never know where it’s going to launch you to.

Felicia Day: I mean, that’s great advice. I mean, I’m here the same way. I wasn’t getting the roles I wanted, and I started making web series back in the day, and it really was my excuse to make television, that no one else would let me make. Right? I guess given that is my background, I would say the best thing a filmmaker can do is to put themselves in everybody’s shoes, like work on another short as Kraft service, work on another short as a DP, work on a short as an actor. That’s going to give you a lot of empathy for the process, and be able to let you see everything from everybody’s point of view, and make you a better leader. I think everything trickles down from the person who has that vision, and yeah, it’s really important to get your vision out, but you have to be sympathetic to everybody in your filmmaking, but also in your writing.

As a woman, I have a lot of auditions that I turned down, because I’m just like, “This is trash. This guy obviously doesn’t think of women as people.” I think half the time it’s just not putting themselves in somebody they consider, others’, shoes. When you’re writing, you’re already creating roles. Put yourself in the mindset of the cashier, and the girlfriend. Is it fun? Is this a real person?

That empathy behind the camera, before it’s even rolling, I think it really goes a long way, and it makes you understand yourself as an artist more, too.

Stimson Snead: Yeah, I love that you took that actually into writing advice as well with empathy, because honestly, I’m just going to be echoing the two of them for this. Don’t wait for permission, because no one is going to give you permission, and unless you’ve got some insider connection, you’re probably never going to get it. Just find a way to do it. One of the traps I would avoid, is don’t wait for someone to tell you you’re talented enough, or good enough, because a bad movie that exists is better than a perfect film that doesn’t exist, and if you keep at it, you will get better. If you’re kind to the people you work with, if you consider yourself lucky to have the opportunity to work with others, even when you’re doing the little non-pay projects, people will want to continue working with you, and that can turn into something down the road. Just don’t fall into the trap of waiting for outside approval, and definitely don’t think you’re upgrade, you’re a diva.

Felicia Day: Don’t be a diva. Yeah, it trickles down. It definitely… both of my assistants I ever had in my career are both executives now, and they’ve both gotten me jobs, because I’m nice to them. I was nice. I treated them like people. I’m like, “Woo, I passed the test.” A lot of people probably wouldn’t. You never know.

TIM TRAVERS AND THE TIME TRAVELER’S PARADOX was written & directed by Stimson Snead.  The film was executive produced by Ben Yennie, Stimson Snead, Felicia Day, and Rich Cowan, and produced by Kylie Walchuk and Casey Cowan.  The film has a running time 104 minutes and is available for sale in all territories.  The film had its World Premiere at 2024 Cinequest where it won Best Comedy Feature.  It also just screened at SIFF, BIFFF and Phoenix International Film Festival, where it won Best Science Fiction Feature.

Our News Team of Entertainment Today TV Producer: Steve Taylor, TV Show Host: Margie Rey, & News Reporter: Matt Segal at The Opening Night of the Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood, at The World Famous Chinese Theatre: Among DWF: LA’s lineup of 232 films, including 38 narrative features, 17 documentary features, 25 television and streaming pilots, and 152 short films (101 narrative and 20 documentaries, 13 KIdz section, 18 Downbeat/Music), are an impressive number of films (117!) making world, international, North American, or U.S. premieres. That number includes 24 narrative features, 10 documentary features, 69 narrative shorts, 22 documentary shorts (including Downbeat), and 15 pilots which will have world premiere screenings at Dances With Films.

The Dances With Films Festival is a Star-Studded 11 days, with Both A-List stars, and several recognizable faces and names that include: Norita” that is Executive produced by Jane Fonda, Russell Goldman’s Burn Out, which is executive produced by Jamie Lee Curtis and stars Tommie Earl Jenkins, Eli Vidis Newman’s Concrete, which stars four-time Oscar nominee Ed Harris, Kestrin Pantera’s Dr. No Means No, which stars comedy duo The Sklar Brothers, and Breeda Wool (The Walking Dead), Mike Harris’ Mecánica, which stars Haley Joel Osment, Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers), and Olivia Sandoval(Fargo), and Danny Farber’s Thoughts and Prayers, which is executive produced by Amy Poehler, Tim Travers & The Time Travelers Paradox” Stars: Samuel DunningFelicia DayDanny Trejo, and Keith David, Mindy Cohn the Co-Star on “The Facts of Life,” and finally: the World Premiere of “Max Dagan” which stars: Rob MorrowZachary GordonMichael MadsenRob BrownsteinLindsey DresbachLisa Roumain, and Comedians and Actors Jeff Ross and Jay Mohr! 

So stay tuned and thanks for watching Entertainment & Sports Today TV and Entertainment Today on Time Warner/ Spectrum. To watch other shows go to: EntertainmentandSportsToday.com  Celebrating 30 Years being Broadcast on TIME WARNER / Spectrum!

 

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