Peter C. Davidson Brings Sci-fi Mystery to F&MAD Student Film Festival

September 15 2017

Film & Media Arts Department Graduate, Peter C. Davidson, will screen his latest live action film at F&MAD this weekend. Earlier this year, The Disintegration Machine premiered at the 2017 Spring Student Film Showcase, where it collected awards for Best Script, Best Sound, and Best Actor. 
The Disintegration Machine is sci-fi mystery based on the short story of the same name by Arthur Conan Doyle, which Davidson brings to screen for the first time. Davidson’s adaptation is set in the year 1960, at the height of the Cold War. The characters include a mysterious Latvian inventor who creates a machine that can disintegrate anything, and news reporter Ed Malone and scientist Professor Challenger, who must get to the bottom of it or risk the destruction of the world as we know it. “I took many cues from Arthur Conan Doyle himself for my storytelling - although I changed a lot from his story, I tried to preserve the powerful characters and exciting situations,” says Davidson. 

Davidson’s style is influenced by film greats like Alfred Hitchcock and Christopher Nolan. “I want to create films that people love to watch, but that are also impressive works of art in their own right,” he says. He was also strongly influenced by the Film & Media Arts Faculty at the U. “The Advanced Film Production class was perhaps the greatest learning experience of my college career. Sterling Van Wagenen, one of the professors, was a big help to me in the production of the film. He read my script from the earliest drafts and taught me how to improve the dialogue, how to refine the flow of the story, and how to properly set up a big reveal. He was also directly involved in the casting process and taught me a lot about selecting my actors. The Also Sisters (Miriam and Sonia Albert-Sobrino) were instrumental in teaching me and my classmates principles of film history, film production, and narrative structure. They also gave excellent feedback on my editing, and helped me find an editing plugin to add some needed realism to the film's visual effects shots. I'm very grateful for their support and for all of their hard work on our behalf.”

Davidson put in the hours to complete The Disintegration Machine, which took around 8 months of solid work. “I don't think it's unrealistic to estimate that I spent around 1,000 hours in total - and that number gets even higher when you add in the incredible work by my cast and crew.” After months of effort, screening at a venue like the Tower with an audience of film enthusiasts is a rewarding feeling. “I'm excited and honored to have my film screened at the Tower. It makes it feel like I've made a real-live movie and that my months of work have paid off.” 

Sunday night, The Disintegration Machine, along with 13 other juried student films will be shown at the Tower Theatre in 9th and 9th. The films are under 20 minutes in length, and each is in the running to win the coveted “Best of Fest” award. Check out the what's playing at F&MAD here, and don’t miss your chance to see some of the best films of the year on the big screen!

Find out more about the film and Davidson's work on his website.