This month, Marija caught up with Serge Levin, Producer…
“Paragon Algorithm” is a short film inspired by Albert Einstein’s love for quantum physics and the finding the key to unlocking the measurement of quantity of sequence of events during a relative motion, or the abstract name ‘time’.
During the first scenes Andrew (Max Lodge) is at the library looking for inspiration to find that secret equation, then he dives into the problem during his Calculus class. Professor Breen (Tim Diquette) gives lectures, reviews the wave phases, writes equations on the board, and notices that Andrew doesn’t listen. “Mr. Andrew! A wise man once said that the difference between something good and something great is attention to detail Are you paying attention?” Andrew peaks his head slowly, and responds “And, another wise man said that everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”
After the class, Andrew and his friend Amy (Haley Finnegan) walk in an open hallway between the buildings of the university. The location has randomly positioned old twisted trees, and it looks chaotic, alienated and it is a long empty space. Amy comments that the world looks in chaos and nobody has control of it. Both sit on a fountain and talk about that time is not a linear constant, and the fact that information is separate from the sequence of events happening at a time range. Andrew wants to find a way to “quantify the inherent cycles of time”, something he’s been researching for some time.
He goes to his apartment, cleans himself up, makes a cup of coffee, sits down at his desk, and starts working on this problem. He draws a circle on a piece of paper, puts a lot of equations, and when writing the number 2, he looks behind at the clock. The clock has stopped. He also goes to his window and looks outside. Everything has stopped. He goes back, erases the number 2, and writes square root of 3, and ends up in his classroom. Then, he adds .14, which automatically is a square root of Pi, and ends up in a cave that leads to the Heavens. He wakes up, and notices that time have been slowed down. He deletes the square root of Pi and writes 999. He travels to another dimension and ends up sitting on the fountain. He cannot see Amy, but her shadow is here. When he wakes up, he goes back and adds a few numbers to the equation. Drips of blood start falling from his nose. He goes to clean himself up, makes a cut of coffee, and sits on his desk, and notices that he has been here before, because of the coffee cup mark his cup made on a piece of paper.
“Paragon Algorithm” examines a fascinating play with experimental shots taken at a ‘non-defined’ time range, in between sequences of events. It also has an exploration of space, while not intentional, the ending reveals that the space can change as well while playing with the equations, and someone can be in different places or dimensions during the same time interval.
The cinematography is beautiful and every shot is intentionally crafted, with definite shifts in and out of focus, while sometimes speeding the time up, and sometimes slowing it down during the editing process. It also has intentional shifts in space while being unaware that the possible subliminal message could be reaching a higher dimensional reality. There are a lot of subliminal symbols within one shot, covering the meaning of circles, sacred geometry and Einstein’s wonder of how the universe works.
The producer of “Paragon Algorithm”, Serge Levin, is the founder of Isle Empire Pictures. He is the writer and producer of a sci-fi thriller “Antihuman”. He is also currently co-producing and starring in a fast-paced Brazilian action film “Moto Angels” (“Moto Anjos”). “Paragon Algorithm” was the official selection of the Hoboken International Film Festival and the Manhattan Film Festival. Serge Levin was a Co-Producer of “Nightmare Box” – multiple festival winner, and prior to this, was an Executive Producer of a political drama “An Affirmative Act”, starring Charles Durning, Costas Mandylor, and Blanche Baker.
He is a former investment banker: worked for Salomon Brothers and Bear Stearns in New York, and a Private Equity Hedge Fund in Eastern Europe. He also held a CEO position at a construction and retail conglomerate in Europe – ArvitFood.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE “PARAGON ALGORITHM”?
Serge Levin: My interest in quantum physics and the notion that the present can actually impact the past!
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN QUANTUM PHYSICS AND FOR HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN?
Serge Levin: My grandfather, who is in the Academy of Sciences, has always been an inspiration to me. Although academically I was never involved with theoretical or practical sciences, I always liked to read about the latest findings and research related to quantum physics. Also watching TV shows like Star Trek has stirred my nerdiness as well. It must have been interested in the subject for over 20 years now.
IN THE FILM, YOU CHOSE TO PLAY WITH TIME. WHAT MADE YOU THINK OF THAT?
Serge Levin: My goal was to challenge the common belief that time is linear and objective.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER QUANTUM PHYSICS IDEAS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PLAY WITH IN THE FUTURE?
Serge Levin: Absolutely, the string theory and the theory of entanglement have always fascinated me. The superposition of all particles and how they all come into focus only when there is an observer or a participant.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE SCIENTISTS AND INVENTORS?
Serge Levin: Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Albert Einstein, and Henri Poincaré
HOW HARD WAS THIS FILM FOR YOU TO ACCOMPLISH PRODUCTION WISE AND HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?
Serge Levin: It was very challenging but a lot of fun. We had a small but talented and hard working crew. The schedule was the tightest I’ve ever seen – just 4 days with no pick-ups. Postproduction obviously took longer and the highlight of that was of course the music!
YOU HAVE ALREADY DISTRIBUTED THE FILM THOUGH A FEW FESTIVALS. HAVE YOU DONE ANY OTHER TYPE OF DISTRIBUTION?
Serge Levin: Yes, All-Star Pictures has picked up all media distribution for the U.S. region.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PROJECTS?
Serge Levin: I have a few. I’m currently developing a sci-fi feature with a partner of mine “Antihuman”, finishing writing two other scripts and co-producing an action movie in Brazil. There are always projects on the horizon.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO THANK THE MOST FOR “PARAGON ALGORITHM’S” SUCCESS?
Serge Levin: I would like to thank everyone involved and especially my loved ones who have supported me and continue to support me during all of my creative endeavors!
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, ARTISTS HAVE ALWAYS SOMETHING MORE TO SAY. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR PERSONAL MESSAGE FOR THE SPREAD READERS?
Serge Levin: My message is: stay curious, keep dreaming, and be true to your passions.