When someone undertakes a do-it-yourself project, it doesn’t usually involve the risk of destroying planet Earth. That is a very real possibility for the characters in local filmmaker Leo Jackson’s upcoming project Collider, the story of a group of friends who decide to use plans they find on the Internet to build a miniature particle accelerator in their garage.
“I hear about young people making huge leaps in physics, chemistry, even medicine, because they are given access to facilities that allow for this kind of discovery,” Jackson said. “What would happen if, instead of child prodigies, you let the average guys, well intentioned but undisciplined and undereducated people, use these powerful, dangerous machines? Collider is about that.”
In the film, Smiley (played by Portland actor Gregory Barrett) finds blueprints for the CERN Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, on the Internet. Enthralled by the thought of making the next huge leap forward in science, he resolves to build a small replica with his friends Jimmy and Carlos, to startling results.
Jackson is using the online crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to raise funds to make the film, which is currently in preproduction pending the success of the funding effort. “The irony of the digital film age we are in is that because anyone can make a movie, you have to do something truly spectacular to make your movie stand out,” Jackson said. “Building a particle accelerator in your garage would be pretty spectacular, and we aim to do just that.”
If you would like to help make Collider happen, please visit the film’s Kickstarter project page.An interview with Smiley, one of the characters in Collider. Played by Gregory Barrett.