Filmmaker finally finishing film


Photo Courtesy of Yu-Jean Choi

Director, writer and star Rob Christopher of “Pause of the Clock” in a scene in his student film shot 20 years ago.

By Arts & Culture Reporter

Filmmaking can be a tricky business. From funding to post-production, filmmakers must overcome many hurdles to translate a vision to the silver screen.

Rob Christopher, a ‘97 alumnus of Columbia’s film and video program, is no different. Christopher launched a Kickstarter in late January 2015, to fund “Pause of the Clock,” a film 20 years in the making.

“Not too long after I finished shooting, less than a year later it was graduation day and suddenly it’s like, ‘Oh, I guess I have to make a living now,’” Christopher said. “So I was more concentrated on just finding work and didn’t have time to mess around with this movie.”

Christopher decided to shelf the project after graduation, although he said he would occasionally revisit the film. It was not until recently that Christopher decided to see the project through to completion.

“Now, 20 years later I realized that basically, since I could just edit the movie on my laptop, there was really no excuse not to finish it,” Christopher said. 

Shooting the film in 1995, Christopher began filming while he was still a student at Columbia. The film follows the main character, played by Rob, as he gathers friends to make a movie, which may be the one you are watching. After his roommate discovers Rob’s diary and realizes the voice in the pages is different from the person he thought he knew, scenes from the film and scenes from the diary begin to interweave. 

Lesley Walbridge, an actress in the film, said the movie delivers a sort of window to the ‘90s, perfectly capturing the time in which the film was originally shot.

“It is a time capsule on a personal level, but also for that generation and anyone that was part of it,” Walbridge said. “You are struck with the passage of time, which was a really important time in my life.”

The film’s sound designer, Matt Trifilo, agreed with Christopher that a major point of interest in the film is seeing how everyday people in the ‘90s spent their time compared to the technology-driven millennials of today.

“People growing up now are used to this technology all around them … and these characters [in the movie] are just spending a lot more time talking and having these habits that might have been really familiar back in the ‘90s,” Trifilo said.

Although it took Christopher 20 years to complete his film, everyone involved in the project is still supportive of the fundraising campaign, which amassed $3726 in the five days since the campaign began. The target is $15,000.

“I hadn’t been in touch with a lot of [the actors] in a while, but once I decided that I was finally going to finish the film, I got back in touch with everyone,” Christopher said. 

The Kickstarter campaign, ‘“Pause of the Clock,’ a film 20 years in the making,” is geared toward raising money for the film’s post-production fees, including sound mixing, color correction, final digital output and money to submit the film to festivals.

Walbridge is confident in the film’s campaign and said she believes that Christopher’s eye for great filmmaking will come through.

“It brings back a lot of memories and really makes you reflect on the passage of time,” Walbridge said. “I know this project has always been very near and dear to Rob’s heart, and I certainly have a lot of admiration for his tenacity and his vision.”

Rob Christopher’s Kickstarter campaign for his student film “Pause of the Clock” will be open for funding until Feb. 26.