Saturday, September 23, 2000

Interview w/ Project Almanac Cast


Moderator: Sophie Krall
January 13, 2015
8:00 p.m. ET

(Maria): Great.  Thank you.  Hey, guys.  So I have the cast of Project Almanac.

Male: Hello.  How you all doing?

Female: Hey.

Female: Hi.  

(Maria): On the phone, we have Jonny, Sofia, (inaudible) and Virginia.  And I'm going to go one by one, calling you by your school.  You can ask your question and we’ll see how many we can get in.  Cool?

OK.  Let's start with the University of California.  

(Diana): Hi, guys.  This is (Diana) from USC.

Male: Hi.  

Male: Hi.

(Diana): My question is – this is for every one of you.  I was wondering if in preparing for your character you drew anything from your personal high school experience, because it starts off with what prompted them to use the time machine in the first place.  

So, like, for example, when Jonny, like your character is trying to flirt with a girl and it all just go to what your high school group was like in general.  So, yeah, I was just wondering if any of you was – if that can relate your personal high school experience.  

Jonny Weston: All right.  Can you hear me?  Can you hear me all right?  

(Maria): We can hear you.  

Jonny Weston: Oh, great.  It's funny because in high school, I was kind of a – I wasn’t a nerd by any means but I was definitely a kind of (inaudible) that I had like – I just kind of (anchor) around people when (inaudible).  

What I really want to put in the character is not to just be like the nerd or something.  I wanted him to be somebody that somebody can relate to.  

And in terms of like (inaudible), I think that the character became addicted with the time machine, you know.  And (inaudible) control that, you know, addictive, people can become addicted (inaudible).  So that’s about rationalizes (inaudible), you know.

(Maria): Sorry.  Sorry, I'm hearing a lot of echo.  

Female: So are we.

Male: Yes, I was too.

Female: (Inaudible).

(Maria): For the students on the call, please take your phones off of speaker phone.  That’s where all the echo is about.  

Male: All right.

Male: OK.  Go ahead.

Jonny Weston: All right.  Wait, can you hear me?

(Maria): Yes, go ahead.  

Jonny Weston: Well, I was just doing (inaudible).  Oh, I would say the way that I rationalize that the time machine for my character is kind of connected that my mind was that David got sick through the time machine and travel.  

The control that way that people get addicted to anything in life, you know.  So that’s how I kind of rationalized such (inaudible) idea of a time machine where I think of this addiction to whatever.  So there's that.

(Maria): Thanks, guys.  If you could introduce yourself before you answer each of your questions so the students know (inaudible).

Jonny Weston: Great.  No, that was Jonny.  Someone was asking me about that (inaudible).  

(Maria): OK.  Do any else – does anyone else have anything to say?

Sofia Black D'Elia: This is Sofia talking.  I think that (inaudible) that I was creating was (inaudible).  And so when she sees that David (inaudible) and so it was really easy for me to relate to my own life because I think our writers, Andrew and Jason, did a great job of finding an actual (inaudible).  (Inaudible).
(Diana): All right.  Thank you.  

(Maria): Great.  Let's go to Pepperdine University.

(Madison): Hi, guys.  I hope you can hear me through the static.  I’ll try and repeat what I say, though, if it doesn’t come through.  

OK.  This is (Madison).  Hey, guys.  So this is an open-ended question.  So whoever, who picks the short (inaudible), feel free.  

I understand the film is at least partially presented in sound footage format which have been used in movies like “Cloverfield” and “Paranormal Activity.”  

My question was how was filming of that different from any format that you’ve (used) this in previous project?

Jonny Weston: How was what?

(Madison): How was the format different using the partial sound footage format?

Male: This is (inaudible) speaking.  The sound footage is really different for all of us.  We had never done anything like that before.  But it’s cool as an actor that you kind of break the fourth wall and you hear echo direct from the camera.  

And it was just a cool learning experience because there's no hookup and (inaudible).  But we think that (inaudible) around movie and it’s been a great way.  So, I love doing sound footage.  

(Maria): Can you clarify (inaudible)?  Great.  Next, let's go to the California State University.  

(Zach): Awesome.  Thank you.  Hey, can you hear me?

Male: Yes.  

(Zach): Awesome.  So, this is (Zach) with the “Daily Titan.”  My question for you all is what was it like working with your producer, Michael Bay?

Jonny Weston: Well, what's – this is Jonny, by the way.  The thing with Michael Bay is that he's kind of like a father when it comes, when you know that someone like that is (inaudible) and watching over, and watching every single cut after the day it’s been filmed is that you know, you know.  You're just comforted that you know this film isn't going to turn out crappy.  

You know what I mean?  Like you know that he's going to let you know what's going right and what's wrong in order to make it an amazing film.  So we all kind of rest, you know, and do our job without having to worry about like the end product, you know.

Ginny Gardner: Michael, he makes some really incredible movies and I think that having his support – oh, my name is Ginny, by the way – or Virginia.  

So, he just makes some really incredible films.  So having his support on our movie really means a lot to us.  So I think we all knew that it was going to be really special movie because he was involved.  

Sofia Black D'Elia: This is Sofia.  I think we also went a little (inaudible) at times because our movie, (inaudible) a lot of other Paramount films can feel like a baby, you know, learning to crawl or walk or whatever.  

And it was truly nice to know that there was this guy always kind of there even if we didn’t see him on the set or speak to him directly.  We knew that he was always going to watch over the film in every way that he could and make sure that we got every chance we could get to make it the best film it could be.  

So, we are all very grateful and he gave us all jobs, and that’s really nice.  So we didn’t have much contact with him.  We’re all just very grateful for the opportunity.

(Maria): Let's go to NYU next.  

(Zach): Awesome.  Thank you, guys.

Female: Oh, yes.  What's up, NYU?

(Maria): Hello?  NYU, are you on?

Male: (Inaudible).  

(Maria): We can't hear you at all.  

Male: (Inaudible).  

Male: Let's try this again.  Can you hear me?  

Male: Yes.  

Male: OK.  See a lot of a Chronicle or Primer.  So my question is what movies, be it a time travel or other, do you think had the most influence on the film?

Allen Evangelista: This is Allen.  We (inaudible) all of the stuff that movies does which had been tested before (inaudible), whether it would be like (Luther) and (inaudible).  (Inaudible).  But those are the (inaudible) much to do all of them, you know.  

Sofia Black D'Elia: This is Sofia.  We never tried to pretend like we’re the first time travel movie that’s ever been made.  And I think what's been, have been (smart) about is to acknowledge the past behind us and embrace it, and use it as a positive in our film because I think it is a great genre.  

Or, you know, our spin on it is obviously that in high school, A, and B, it’s sound footage.  I think it’s, I think it’s quite different than Chronicle.  Obviously, they're both sound footage so you could just say that they're similar in that way.  But Chronicle is I think a much darker film that ours.  

Project Almanac is kind of a fun ride for the most part.  And it’s a – it’s a great group of friends.  And much more, I think it have relationship stories than anything else.  So I wouldn’t say that that’s a heavy influence but, you know, I think we all wanted to make a very realistic look at teenage kind love story and friendship.  

So, maybe something more like great 90's rom-coms (transformation) for me than anything else.  I'm constantly trying to bring it (back) if I can.  

Jonny Weston: Yes.  

Sam Lerner: And this is Sam.  No doubt we’ll be compared to Chronicle because of, because of the sound footage aspect.  But we’re happy to be compared to Chronicle…

Female: It’s a great movie.

Sam Lerner: …because Chronicle was such a great movie, and so we feel kind of honored by that, But they're not, I mean, other than the sound footage, they're really not alike at all.  But yes.  

(Maria): Great.  Next, let's go to University of Illinois-Chicago.

Female: Hi, guys.  So, most of you have worked on TV, TV shows before.  So I was wondering what's the biggest difference routine that in working on a feature film?  Any preferences?

Sofia Black D'Elia: I think the biggest difference – this is Sofia.  Hi.  

Female: Hi.

Sofia Black D'Elia: The biggest difference between working on a television experience and the film like this is that we don’t have as much time to get to know each other, you know.  Because on a series, we typically have about five months to shoot a season, and on a film of this size you have about six or eight weeks.  

So, you know, you're kind of all put into this this crazy situation together and you want to make the most and the best of your time.  

But we do have like, Allen made a great point earlier, that if you're shooting an hour's worth of television, you have about six days to do that.  So, we have more time with each scene on this film.

And we have more freedom with the dialogue because in television, by the time the script comes to you it’s been through the network, the studio, and the writer's room, so you can't really change it too much.

But when you work with people as lovely as Andrew and Jason, our writers, they're really comfortable with you, taking it out for a spin, rehearsing it with your screen partner, putting your own twist on things, and making it as real (cue) as possible.  So, it’s kind of a blessing in that way.  

Jonny Weston: Yes, this is Jonny.  Actually, it’s crazy because our writer could come to like our rehearsals.  I mean if we have something like goofy, hilarious line that we just made up, they would – we go home and write it in the script and then it would be there the next morning, you know.  That’s the uniquely a film thing.  

Female: And as far as – this is (inaudible) – as far as preferences are concern, I think we’re all really happy anytime we get to ask (inaudible) so we don’t have (inaudible).

Allen Evangelista: Agreed.  

(Maria): Great.  Let's go out to Drexel University next.  

(Roy): Hello?

Male: (Inaudible).

(Roy): Hi.  How is it going, ladies and gentlemen?

Jonny Weston: Good.  

(Roy): My name is (Roy), and I'm trying my best not to fan-girl a little bit here, so please bear with me.  

So, one question – let me get creative with this.  How…?  Let's say this is the plot in the movie is real life, what would you guys – and I'm pretty sure you guys have been asked this question before, but like what would you guys do if you guys did have the ability to time travel?

Jonny Weston: This is Jonny.  Man, I would be completely selfish and I would go back and grab a (baby blocks) and raise it myself.  I'm dead serious.  

(Roy): (Inaudible).  

Male: (Inaudible).

(Roy): Yes, right.

Sofia Black D'Elia: Because he was saying he was like (inaudible).  

If I – this is Sofia – I would go back to when (inaudible) in (2008) and relive that for as long as I possibly could because it was the best time of my life.  

Sam Lerner: Hi, this is Sam.  I would either win the lottery and/or beat Kobe Bryant's score 81 points in 2006.  

Ginny Gardner: This is Ginny.  I would also win a lottery.  Not very exciting.  But if I could go to the future, I would love to go to the future 100 years to see what the world looks like then.  

Allen Evangelista: This is Allen and I would love to go to every concert I ever wanted to go and just be it multiple times because we could that with the time machine, so that would be awesome.  

(Maria): We have time for one more question.  

Jonny Weston: We have time for one more question.  

(Maria): Let's go out to the University of Utah.

Jonny Weston: Oh, I love Utah.

Jake Kennard: All right.  So, my question for you guys is about the release schedule.  I know that it was delayed a little bit, and I was wondering if you guys could kind of talk about your feelings when it was initially delayed as well as when you heard about the new release date?

Jonny Weston: Well, this is Jonny.  The issue with that is that we saw the movie and then they had a planned release date for it.  So it was all set and they were going to willing to spend so much money on the publicity for it or whatever.  

And then we went back and we shot more.  We did (inaudible) and the movie just became like a – it became a lot better than they intended.  And like – or a lot different, a lot more complex than they had like originally thought.  

So, they basically pushed it back so they had time to build the larger like campaign.  So it really did a lot of things, like I really want it to come out before (inaudible).  But knowing that they were – knowing that, knowing that they were doing it in order to create a proper campaign and release it in other format, yes, it was like an incredible feeling.  

Sofia Black D'Elia: Yes.  This is Sofia.  I think we’re all just so excited that this movie is coming out at all and we can't wait for people to see it, and we’re really proud of it.  

And when they thought it was going to get pushed, you know, as actors, you really – we’ll never understand the inner workings of that side of the job, and all we can do is say OK.  And when will we see it?

And then – so that date and time.  So it’s a very exciting time for all of us and we’re really looking forward to it.  

Sam Lerner: Yes.  This is Sam.  And what they said, we’re all just so happy that now it’s finally happening.  I mean it was a bummer at the time but that, you know, we’re hoping that it was, as they have bigger plans for it.  

And you know, so now people are starting to get excited and we are excited, too.  

(Roy): All right.  Thank you.

Jonny Weston: Thank you very much.  Thanks everybody.

Sofia Black D'Elia: Thank you, guys.  

Ginny Gardner: Thank you.

Allen Evangelista: Thank you.  God speed.  

Jonny Weston: Thank you, guys.