By AISLING MCENTEGART
Most people would jump at the chance to travel back in time and relive certain moments. However, with the highly anticipated release of “Project Almanac” audiences will most definitely begin to rethink the merits of time travel.
South Carolina native Jonny Weston, who stars in the thought provoking film has a laid back, yet charismatic and self-assured sense about him. The first thing he wants to know when he walks through the door is where everyone in the room is from and after that, their thoughts on the movie.
“The whole reason I got involved with this industry in the first place was to try to relate to people and try to bring people together,” said Weston.
When sharing his own thoughts on the film, Weston’s passion for story telling and conveying important ideas through art is evident.
“I got the role as opposed to other people because I really wanted to explore the dark part of the concept of time travel and the idea it’s like an addiction,” said Weston. “I wanted people to understand that even the greatest people fall prey to this selfishness and just to be aware of that in your own life.”
The film focuses on David Raskin (Weston), a highly intelligent high school student who dreams of studying at a prestigious university, but due to his family’s financial situation he needs a hefty scholarship to do so. Weston’s affinity with his character shines through and adds compelling conviction to his performance.
“The part of him that was a little bit shy, overly intellectual and goal oriented, that’s how I was in high school,” said Weston. “High school was a really difficult time for me. I hadn’t come into myself in any way.”
While searching through his deceased father’s notes in the hopes of finding inspiration for a project that will earn him a scholarship, David comes across a rather baffling discovery. He sees what appears to be his present day self in the background of an old home video from his 7th birthday.
Spurred on by this peculiar discovery, David shows the footage to his friends, Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Avangelista), as well as his sister, Christina (Virginia Gardner). All who display skepticism. Although that quickly changes when David finds the blueprints for a time machine in his basement.
Before long the group successfully assemble a machine capable of time travel and begin to dabble with jumping back in time, with David’s longtime crush Jessie (Sofia Black D’Elia) joining the mischief. While initially travelling from the present to the past is all fun and games, soon the group realizes that changing the past results in dire consequences for a wide range of people.
“Having control to that degree is immoral and dangerous,” said Weston.
Weston portrays the arc of his character with upmost skill, transitioning David from a typical teenage boy to an individual beginning to unravel due to the implications of his reckless behavior. Through representing this captivating development of the character, Weston learned a great deal.
“I learned a lot about control. I think everyone has an obsession with control. That’s why I was obsessed with math. I’m a little bit geeky like that. I went to school for mechanical engineering because mathematics has an exact black and white answer. With people and with life it’s messy,” said Weston. “I learned that as much as I’m obsessed with control, being out of control is the spice of life.”
The film is portrayed though found footage, which gives it an intimate quality. The film is both raw and intense, with an atmosphere of youthful curiosity. The viewer feels more involved with the story and is able to relate with the characters on a deeper level due to this.
“It’s like you are in the basement with us, really you could be the one holding the camera,” said Weston.
When speaking about his favorite moment on set, Weston cannot help but smile with enthusiasm and mention running out on stage at Lollapalooza. Considering the cast had the opportunity to spend time with Imagine Dragons and Atlas Genius while shooting on location at the festival, it is no wonder this is a treasured memory of Weston’s.
“I booked it out there and everyone followed me,” said Weston. “I got off the stage shaking. That was one of those moments I would never take back.”
“Project Almanac” is a breath of fresh air for the sci-fi genre and will have viewer’s eyes glued to the screen at all times. The combination of impressive performances, humorous dialogue and gripping story makes this film a definite must see for all.