Directing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have been on a very impressive run with Resolution, Spring and The Endless, and now they’re back with more at TIFF 2019. Their latest film, Synchronic, stars Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan as Steve and Dennis respectively, a pair of New Orleans paramedics. One night the duo must tend to what they think is a routine overdose when, in fact, the incident is tied to a synthetic narcotic called synchronic, which is essentially a time travel drug.
With Synchronic celebrating its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, Benson, Moorhead and Ally Ioannides who plays Dornan’s daughter in the movie all visited the Collider Lounge to talk about their experience making the movie. Benson and Moorhead detail the journey from The Endless to Synchronic, share some thoughts on the time travel genre in general, and also add to a prior conversation we had regarding the rise of streaming services. You can catch all of that and so much more in the video interview at the top of this article.
We also need to send a big thank you to our presenting sponsor Nordstrom Canada and supporting partners Marriott Bonvoy and Ciroc Vodka for supporting the Collider Lounge at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and helping to make these interviews happen.
You can find a full breakdown of the interview and the official TIFF synopsis for Hope below:
Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Ally Ioannides:
- 00:18 – What is Synchronic about?
- 01:14 – What was the idea that started it all?
- 02:29 – Do Benson and Moorhead have a time travel bible; is there cohesion between all of their films?
- 03:20 – The production timeline for Synchronic.
- 03:57 – Did they have more resources on this film than they’ve had before?
- 04:14 – How The Endless was key to making Synchronic happen.
- 05:45 – Casting Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan.
- 06:25 – Ioannides on working with Benson and Moorhead as actor’s directors.
- 07:23 – If they could hop in a time machine, where would they go?
- 10:08 – The game changing experience they had at an independent cinema as young moviegoers.
- 11:45 – Moorhead adds to his thoughts on the rise of streaming services.
- 14:20 – They’ve got more storytelling ideas for synchronic.
- 15:40 – How they came up with the idea to incorporate Steve’s condition.
- 16:35 – Was this story always set in New Orleans?
When New Orleans paramedics and close friends Steve (Anthony Mackie, also at the Festival with Seberg) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan, also at the Festival with Endings, Beginnings) arrive on the scene for what seems like a typical overdose, they end up stumbling upon a bizarre plot that will take them down a most unexpected path.
The common denominator in a series of grisly, drug-related deaths is a synthetic narcotic known as synchronic, which has some extreme side effects that don’t just alter consciousness. When Dennis’ teenage daughter (Ally Ioannides) tries synchronic and goes missing, Steve, who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, aims to discover the truth behind the killer drug and inadvertently sets off on a journey to find her — one that leaves him reckoning with his own identity. In what is either a bad trip or a breakthrough, Steve dives deeper and deeper, coming face to face with his place in history as well as the present.