Technological advances move so fast today that those involved forget to think through whether their research may have unintended consequences. Director Ben Tedesco examines this notion in his just completed short film, THE CONSTANT, where a trio of young PHDs wrestle with the possible outcomes of playing with TIME. Tedesco is a commercial director represented through international production house atSwim.

Tedesco’s love for sci-fi proved catalyst for the six-plus minute short film titled, THE CONSTANT.  Co-written and produced with Nicholas Favorite, Tedesco wanted to expand his credits beyond executing someone else’s storyboard or creative. “Like many directors, I wanted to lend my own voice from beginning to end,” says Tedesco. “The genre of sci-fi has always been a favorite, in particular the Rod Serling inspired Twilight Zones episodes.”  In THE CONSTANT, three young PH.Ds Martin (Jake Bennett), Michelle, (Erica Manni), and Walter (Joshua David Bishop) debate whether to test their hypothesis.

One Loose Screw
The start of the film shows Michelle picking up a screw on the floor, while warning her fellow scientists Jake and Walter. “You don’t actually have to build this thing,” she says.  “You’ve already proven it with the math.” Her two fellow scientists stand unfazed, feeling they haven’t done anything. “Until you prove it, it’s just a theory,” replies a perturbed Martin.  Walter agrees, then admits to Michelle that they’ve already transported a coin across time. They inform her how they transported a quarter into the future, then waited a week for it to appear in the tray of the time machine. Michelle asks Walter and Jake about the dangers of messing with relativity, screwing up time as we know it. Walter admits going back in time could be bad, possibly creating a never-ending loop. Michelle asks, “How do we know we’re not now stuck in a loop?” “Because we sent the quarter forward in time, not backward,” snaps Jake.  An ominous hint that there’s trouble is revealed when Jake’s once empty garbage can is now filled to the brim with coke bottles. The debate continues unabated until another coin is transported, while a screw pops off the machine, falling to the floor. The film ends at the beginning, with Michelle picking up the screw.

Tedesco believes the biggest challenges on the film were twofold. One was being flexible with scheduling shoots days with a crew consisting of numerous production professionals working day jobs. The other involved creating a credible tabletop-sized time machine. “Something that looks home brewed, but still sophisticated,” he says. VFX house Digital Domain came to the rescue, bringing to life a key moment when the scientist’s hypothesis is tested.