Interviews, in any sense of the word, can be a little weird. Whether it’s a job interview or an interview for a publication, whether you’re being interviewed or doing the interviewing, it’s just a strange concept: two people who often really don’t know each other that well, if at all, sitting down and talking. Except it turns out that having an interview with someone you know better than anyone — yourself — is actually the weirdest thing of all.
Peter “Stoney” Emshwiller has been planning out an interview with himself for the past 38 years. When he was 18, with the help of his filmmaker father, he sat down and recorded a ton of footage of himself interviewing an invisible future version of himself. So, yeah, that probably looked strange. . . a teen sitting in a chair recording himself having a one-sided conversation with nobody. Then, 38 years later, at age 56, Stoney sat down and did it again, responding to all the questions his 18-year-old self had asked. And it’s completely blowing our MINDS.
First of all, the two are dressed the same — in a gray shirt and a brown blazer — and although you can clearly see similarities in their faces, you can also see the stark differences, as if you’re witnessing 38 years pass in a flash. The way it’s edited makes it look as though they’re sitting across from each other in the same room, having a conversation. Teen Stoney had hoped his older self would be massively famous, but 56-year-old Stoney has some good advice for his younger self.
Stoney started a fundraising page on RocketHub, calling his project “Later That Same Life” and describing it as a “time-travel talk show” (which we can see — this whole thing totally has some Back to the Future vibes). On the page, he explained how he managed to create such a convincing interview back when he was 18 and had nothing to go off. “During this one-way conversation, I asked my older self tons of questions about my future – from career to family to art to friendships to sex,” he explained. “Then I recorded many different reactions to each possible answer, ranging from polite nods, to joy, sadness, annoyance, surprise, and outright horror.”
However, the clip he’s created is only a small version of what he wants to make. On his fundraising page, he set a goal of $10,000 to make a lengthier version. “A recent health scare (happily a false alarm) made me realize I ain’t gonna live forever, and that it’s time to finish this project,” Stoney wrote on the page. “So I’m finally going to (gulp) face my younger self and record the other half of the conversation. Then I’ll edit all the footage together.”
He has since raised considerably more than his goal — over $13,000 donated by 205 funders — but if he hits his stretch goal of $15,000, he will make a higher-quality final film by digitally restoring some of the old tapes, which have “deteriorated badly” over time. “The final illusion should be a humorous, touching, sometimes combative, always revealing, totally impossible conversation between a bright-eyed teen and his own middle-aged self,” he wrote.
Check out the clip below to get a glimpse of what the full film will offer. We can guarantee you’ll never see an interview as weird (and awesome) as this one.
(Images via YouTube.)