|The Passage of Time|
- "I'm you, from the future."
- ―Old Tom to his younger self
The Passage of Time is the fifth short production from Wingless Films, and the first major release to be associated with the "Wingless" label. It stars Tom Menary in dual roles as Young Tom and his future self, who travels back in time in an attempt to prevent himself from making any life-changing mistakes. The film was shot on location by Jim Elton at Plymouth University.
What if you could change your future by altering your past?
On the most ordinary day of a Media Arts course, Tom is visited by an apparition; his future self, on a mission to right the wrongs in his life to make his own, personal world a better place. But the flow of time stretches in both directions, and lessons learned can last for a lifetime....
- "I don't want a normal job. I could join the bank, or work in a shop. I could waste my life selling fried chicken to drunks. I want to be free. I want to create stuff. I want to... capture the world on camera, and show it off. I want every moment to be projected into people's lives. I want them to see what I see. Don't you remember?"
- ―Young Tom's monologue
Working on a media production at the University of Plymouth, Young Tom is roused from his power-nap by a familiar voice. He is approached by an elder version of himself, wearing glasses and carrying a cane. Questioning this figure, Young Tom learns he is a time-traveller, returned from the future with advice.
Old Tom avoids explaining the intricacies of time-travel, and instead focuses on his younger self's present state. Remarking on the apparent uselessness of Tom's media ventures, Old Tom tries to sway the youth with boasts of his professional life. However, Young Tom delivers a speech of his own, reminding his elder self of his passion for film-making. Moved, Old Tom dismisses his attempts to change himself, and departs, though not before reminding Young Tom that he always has the choice to choose the best possible future. Racing after the hobbling figure, Young Tom watches as his future self disappears into thin air—returning back to the future.
Motivated by this encounter—though not in the way Old Tom initially expected—Young Tom finishes his film with pride, calling it "The Passage of Time".
- Creator; co-writer; director; cinematographer; stand-in (Old Tom); editor … Jim Elton
- Scriptwriter; editor; composer; music editor … Tom Menary
The film was originally intended as a demonstration film as part of Jim Elton's Contemporary Film Practices course at Plymouth University, as a short production exploring the theme of "time". The first draft of the script for what was then referred to as Time Film was written by Tom Menary on October 24, 2010. This version included a "flash of light" to herald Old Tom's arrival, and established him as ten years older than his other self. A second draft was used as the shooting script, following a location scout of the university's Media Arts hub, Scott Building, on October 25.
Filming took place in Room 112 of Scott Building. A rough edit of the film was completed by October 28, with final edits completed on the following day. This included the addition of original music by Tom Menary, marking his first original score for a Wingless Films production.
- Main article: The Passage of Time (soundtrack)
The original music for The Passage of Time was the first score composed by Tom Menary for a Wingless Films project. It introduced the modular "Wingless Sting", used to open several later films, including Bounded and Captive, each time utilizing a musical motif from the film's score. In this case, it played a snippet of "The Time Traveller's Theme", which serves as the main motif, first heard in the film proper as Old Tom states he has come from the future. The theme was later used briefly in An Itch in Time (2012), and was intended as the main theme for An Itch in Time (2011).