Dan Sheldon Discusses Time Travel, Fate.
Dan Sheldon spent the past eight years developing his career in film. Sheldon honed his craft in acting, writing and producing. His feature film debut is the drama science fiction thriller Fate.
In our exclusive online interview, Dan Sheldon offers his opinion on ideas behind his film. Fate centers on the much debated and popular topic, time travel. Made on a small budget Fate weaves a tale of a scientist trying to prevent the death of his girlfriend. Added to the problem is the Government’s nefarious plans to secure the scientist’s time machine.
Thank you in advance Dan Sheldon for taking the time answer our questions. The questionnaire was composed by Stacy Cox.
DecayMag: Time travel films have been on the rise as of late. Why is this subject of high popularity?
Dan Sheldon: I think time travel is a concept that appeals to everyone because who hasn’t at some point of their life wondered what it would be like to go back in time and change something from their past. Time travel films can explore all those possibilities that could happen if time travel were possible.
DecayMag: What is your stance on this subject? Is time travel possible?
Dan Sheldon: The age old debate. Well, I often stand behind the theory that if time travel were possible, wouldn’t we have experienced a visitor from the future by now? Or maybe it is possible and we just don’t know it yet because our previous reality has been changed.
I look at time travel theories like winning the lottery… I know it will never happen but it’s fun to imagine if it did.
DecayMag: Time travel seems like a complex topic that requires extensive research and study. What research prepared you for this film?
Dan Sheldon: I then studied books, articles, and theories on quantum physics and quantum theory to try and explain it in my film that a layman like myself could understand.
I researched and watched as many time travel films as possible to see which ones best explained the science
DecayMag: How did the story for FATE develop?
Dan Sheldon: My friend and fellow “FATE” producer once created a TV pitch about a man who could travel in time for only 60 minutes. I thought the idea of a time restraint in time travel was interesting so I spun the story out of that original idea.
DecayMag: What are some challenges or complications you had while on the set or in post production?
Dan Sheldon: Post production was hell. Trying to make a low budget film with 150 VFX shots proved to be a challenge I had never imagined. We went through half a dozen VFX artists before we were able to find the team that could deliver a product close to my vision. In the end, I am thrilled how it all turned out but there were times during the process I was nervous I had bit off more than I could chew.
I wanted to explore a lot of camera tricks and low budget effects in this film to show what was possible with little money.
DecayMag: The poster art is fascinating, were there other variations of the poster art before this final version?
Dan Sheldon: The best part is the light reflection on the ground of the time machine created a very cool image that almost resembled letters. It was then I got the idea to tweak that reflection to create the title “Fate”.
When I first saw the final image of the time machine after the visual effects had finished I knew that image was going to be our poster.
DecayMag: Will FATE come to other streaming platforms, such as Netflix and Hulu?
Dan Sheldon: Over time the plan is to bring the film to Netflix and Hulu but that is a couple of years away. We are currently experimenting with a distribution strategy that has proven successful for other indie films like ours.
DecayMag: The website features a bonus short film. THE WAY IT MELTS. Can you elaborate a little on this film?
Dan Sheldon: “The Way It Melts” was another collaboration by myself and lead actor, Daniel Bonjour. Daniel was such a talented actor and such a wonderful person to work with I always wanted to do another project with him so I approached him with this idea. After I wrote the script, I sent it to Eric Roberts, who I had met on a commercial audition, and he liked it and agreed to play a role. With those two on board and a great location locked in I knew I had to make the film.
After finishing Fate, I wanted to direct another project to show the progress I had made as a film maker.
DecayMag: Was The Way It Melts an experimental film? Will there be a full-length feature in the future?
Dan Sheldon: It is very much experimental. I really wanted to make something eerie and esoteric. Something that got the audience thinking. This is based on a feature script I have developed that delves into the world of a paranoid schizophrenic struggling to cope with his illness and lead a normal life.
I am hoping someday to make the feature if the right backers came along.
DecayMag: What other projects are you working on?
Dan Sheldon: Right now I am currently very focused on writing and just finished two new scripts. Next, I am working on some experimental new ways of film making that could change how independent films get made and financed in the future.