'The Time Machine' by H.G. Wells

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, February 14, 2012
After discussing my project proposal with Phil in a tutorial yesterday, it became clear that the theme and aim for this project which I wanted to focus on was to produce the environment of a late 19th Century inventor's workshop/laboratory. Phil suggested that for the project to be the most successful, it needed a clear purpose and reason for being. This is where it made sense to create a re-imagining of a existing story as if it was being designed for a new film.

My brief is now changed to be an adaptation of H.G. Well's famous short story 'The Time Machine'.  I read this book a few years ago and posted about it HERE so maybe it has been firmly in my head somewhere.

I summed up the book in that post:
First published in 1895, It is a short(ish) story about an inventor in the 19th Century who tells the story of his journey through time to a group of his dinner guests which include a journalists, a doctor and a scientists. The inventor, never named in the book and referred to 'The Time Traveller' claims that he has travelled in a machine built by himself into the 802,000th Century, where the earth is almost unrecognisable.As the story goes on, it becomes apparent that humans have evolved into two different races; the Eloi, which are unintelligable, short people with no ambition who are being preyed on by a pale-underground ape-like race of creatures repelled by light, named Morlocks who feed on Eloi flesh.

The traveller's machine is taken by this underground race, leading to the rest of his account being about how he steals it back and returns to his own time. Throughout the book, the inventor ponders many different ways that this world has been gradually created from the past as well as trying to discover where he is in relation to his home.

I thought the book was good, until I watched the 2002 film of the same name, then I thought the book was great.The film, was bloody awful. It stars Guy Pierce as an inventor named Alexander Hartdegen who tries to change the past after his Fiance is killed by a mugger, after realising he cannot change the events of the past he goes forward into the future to find another way to save her.

There have been several adaptations of the book, the most notable being the 1960 American Sci-Fi film directed by George Pal, a clear fan of HG Wells as he also adapted 'The War of the Worlds'.

In 2002, a less well received version was released into cinemas, directed by Simon Wells, HG.Well's Great Grandson. This starred Guy Pearce and Jeremy Irons and strayed quite far from the original book in story, as well as design, which demonstrates how a portrayal of the book is not too strictly limited by the original text.

Im aware i'm not the first person on the course to touch on this book, Godwin focused on it during his Transcription here. I'll be looking at the sets in these films to set a number of things to move away from, trying to be as unique as possible. Once I've ruled these out I can start to research the period and find a new direction for the re imagining and a new construction for the 'machine'. 

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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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