Rob Niosi and Ron Mallett almost couldn’t be any different. Niosi has worked as an animator his whole life, while Mallett has studied to become a theoretical physicist. What both men have in common is an obsession with time travel. As a child, Niosi watched The Time Machine and has been working on a replica of the machine from the film for over 9 years. Mallett was left without a father at a young age and has dreamt of time travel ever since, working through the years to become a theoretical physicist while studying the reality of time travel on the side. They both want to recapture something from their youth, and while time travel could essentially do that for them, would it even be a possibility if they could do it?

How to Build a Time Machine is one part sci-fi film and one part educational video. Movie lovers will enjoy watching Niosi’s prop slowly take shape, while anybody with an interest in the actual application of time travel will be fascinated by Mallett and his work.

Filled with nostalgia and regret, both Niosi and Mallett approach their lives in a similar fashion. There’s something they want again. Whether it’s Mallett mourning the loss of his father, or Niosi trying to capture a moment in time, the idea of time travel offers a solution. It’s more realistic than you would imagine, which makes Mallett’s work so intriguing, but it’s not really about achieving time travel. It’s about two men coming to terms with their place in life and understanding that the past is a part of where they are now.