A Time Shared Unlimited

Zachary Epcar - 2010, 9:58, 16mm (video), Czech Republic/SF

Brief moments of sense experience in a near-future nearly passed; the simple pleasures, like good dental hygiene habits, inner-thigh exercises, and a glass of refreshing squeezed juice.

Zachary Epcar was born, raised, and is currently living in San Francisco, California. He graduated from the Bard College Film & Electronic Arts Program in 2009 and has spent the last year in the Czech Republic studying at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where he filmed A Time Shared Unlimited.


ATA: I believe A Time Shared Unlimited was filmed in Prague. Can you tell us a little bit more about shooting in the Czech Republic?

ZE: Yes it was filmed in Prague, and was very much inspired by the city, its architecture, and in particular the Žižkov Television Tower, which looks like an earthbound rocket-ship, or an intricately designed dildo, depending on your angle of perspective. As an American shooting a film in Prague I tried to be conscious of the pitfalls there, of becoming too invested in its aesthetic charms, of romanticizing it to death. Maybe working on a project about the future was my way of getting as much distance from historical-reenactment-costume-drama as I could, though I'm sure that despite myself there was some degree of romanticization involved.

ATA: How did living & working in a former Eastern Bloc country influence the film's vision of the future-present?

ZE: It was certainly something I considered; the Soviet brand of totalitarianism has had such a profound influence on dystopian sci-fi literature and cinema, it would be hard to ignore, especially, as you say, living in one of its former territories. But to dwell on this would be too nostalgic. The reality that I was coming from, as well as the present reality of Prague, is a democratic-capitalist reality, and I wanted the film to reflect this most of all. However the influence is definitely there, especially in the shots of Soviet modernist architecture, which represent a sort of past-futurity. The luxury apartment complex featured in the film, on the other hand, is an actual recently developed luxury apartment in Prague, called Central Park Praha, which represents a present- or capitalist-futurity. Both are examples of utopian architecture, the former oriented more towards utility and function, the latter leisure and the maximization of comfort.

ATA: As with The Salariat in Parts, sound design is an important element of this film. How did you compose it for this film?

ZE: The strategy here was pretty similar, with a period of time after shooting dedicated to accumulating sounds and taking field recordings. Like the other film, much of the sound design was predetermined; if I had an image in mind, it would usually be accompanied by a specific sound or combination of sounds, and what followed would be a process of trying to recreate or locate these imagined sounds. The major difference with this film, aside from the abundance of dialogue, is the introduction of more explicitly musical elements. These were all done with my mouth.

ATA: What should I have asked you?

ZE: Does Kevin Costner make a brief appearance in your film? Yes, Mr. Costner does make a brief appearance in my film, at around the two-minute mark.

Interview by Liz Wing of ATA

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