Review of: A Constant Variable 

reviewed by bloodmeridian2004 on 05/07/2009
Credited Review
Headstrong Credited Review
PERSONAL IMPRESSION: Hi Chris. It was a pleasure to read your work. This reminds me something Charlie Kaufman would do. If my memory serves me correctly (fitting given the nature of cognition in your story) we discussed this story in LA last year.

And, I think I mentioned a jewel of a book by Alan Lightman called EINSTEIN’S DREAMS.

What I can’t remember is how far along you were with this story or a revision of it and whether you had read that book or not.

And, if memory serves, I think at some point in our conversation I said that the best time-travel movie for me was PRIMER.

And your story has a great PRIMER vibe to it.

In fact, the only reason that I’m not adding your story as a favorite is because I don’t buy into the magic that non-amplified cognition can cause time travel.

I think there has to be a machine.

Anyway, I think you’ve seen PRIMER and read EINSTEIN’S DREAMS but if you haven’t, both are fantastic.

TITLE: Love it. Fans of PRIMER will love it too.

LOGLINE: A quantum physics professor finds himself on the outside of his own life, looking in, when he time travels twenty-four hours into the future and gets stuck there.

Good, I like it. Sweet.

PLOT/STRUCTURE: Very good. My only gripe is the McGuffin. Makes me wanna take out my mind machine and play with it.

FIRST TEN PAGES: Well done. We get a touch of time theory and find out about where we got the cool, paradoxical title. Makes me wanna talk in Stephen Hawking robot-voice and say things like “Singularity.”

FIRST TURNING POINT: Page 29, the first jump in time. And this is my main gripe with the story, and I could be dead wrong.

I wonder if audiences would buy into the magic more if it took more of a SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW or ALTERED STATES vibe.

I mean, this almost feels like GOOD WILL HUNTING instead of sci-fi.

Does that make sense?

This is very good, but given the faith we have in machines now, maybe we ought to see one.

Granted, it is so cool to have a time travel movie without a time machine.

So, perhaps a drug like in ALTERED STATES?

I’m concerned that if this gets into an existential realm, then it falls dangerously close to I *heart HUCKABEE’S.

SECOND TURNING POINT: Technically, I suppose one would call this bit I like a “mid-point crisis” but on page 64 when Jacob tells Olive that he is going to get back his station wagon, we know he is taking charge of his own life.

Nice work.

CONCLUSION: Love it. Jacob is gone but there’s hope. And the whole thing ends questioning the nature of time.


I read your production notes and figured that by now, all the typos have been pointed out.

So, I have exactly one note:

p64 nice scene with Olive and Jacob

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m trying to wrap my head around this a bit. I wonder if this would be a tough sale because of its similarity to PRIMER?

Even so, this is a good script that was a lot of fun to read.

Keep punching keys.

best wishes,

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