Uncertainty Principle

Dire warnings of immminent disaster have proven justified, as global destruction begins raining down from purple-hued skies. A Washington family struggles to cope with the advancing armageddon until a lone physicist proposes an unorthodox course of action.

  • William R. Coughlan
  • Robin Brande
  • Pam W. Coughlan
  • Stuart Scotten
    Key Cast
  • John C. Bailey
    Key Cast
  • Linda Gabriel Deutch
    Key Cast
  • Belén Pifel
    Key Cast
  • Anna Coughlan
    Key Cast
  • Erin Rose Coughlan
    Key Cast
  • Jesse Achtenberg
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Drama
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 19 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 7, 2009
  • Production Budget:
    850 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Indiana Comic Con Film Festival
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    United States
    April 14, 2017
    World Premiere
  • Tampa Bay Comic Con Film Festival
    Tampa, Florida
    United States
    July 29, 2017
    Florida Premiere
  • San Francisco Comic Con Film Festival
    San Francisco, California
    United States
    September 1, 2017
    California Premiere
  • Movie Night at the Evening Star Cafe
    Alexandria, VA
    United States
    May 27, 2018
    Virginia Premiere
Director Biography - William R. Coughlan

William R. Coughlan is an award-winning screenwriter and director, and founder and CEO of independent video production company Tohubohu Productions, LLC. He worked for several years with The Advisory Board Company (and its offshoot companies, CEB and EAB) in Washington, D.C., where he began as a graphic designer before creating a full-service in-house video and multimedia department, and then eventually moving into the ranks of creative department management. In addition, he provides creative oversight for the global public affairs firm EGA, is the Creative Director of Jabberwocky Audio Theater, and served for several years on the Board of Directors for TIVA, the Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC, Inc., filling the roles of Treasurer and Vice President before finishing his tenure as President. He also enjoys acting, voiceover performance, design and illustration, editing, animation, and writing autobiographical comments in the third person. He is the illustrator of the therapeutic workbook Stories for Children with Problems & Wishes, has provided schematic graphics for several HBS case studies, designed the acclaimed Protégé clay poker chip line, served as the Critic at Large for the online literary magazine Inkblots, has been a judge for both the TIVA Peer Awards and the Emmy Awards, founded and co-hosted the long-running Tohubohu Producer Podcast, and is an accomplished animator and ambigram artist. He currently resides at a secret compound in Northern Virginia.

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Director Statement

“Uncertainty Principle” was a case of fortuitous timing — writer Robin Brande was in the midst of researching what would become the first novel in her Parallelogram series, and was keenly interested in applying that knowledge to a short film. As a lifelong science fiction fan (and a dabbler in the world of quantum mechanics), I was thrilled at the prospect. Both the nature of our shooting schedule (and the freezing temperatures during our December shoot) meant that we had to keep the scope small — but that forced us to focus on the real heart of the conflict. Ultimately, the film isn’t about world-ending cataclysm, but about how a divided family deals with crisis, and how authority doesn’t necessarily translate to trust. Of course, the physics portrayed in the film don’t come close to those of the real world, but that’s not the point — that’s just stage-setting. It’s all about taking a leap of faith; hence the choice of the ostensibly out-of-place (but deliberately chosen) “Amazing Grace” during the closing credits. Of course, having the weather clear enough for us to get some establishing shots (later enhanced by carefully selected visual effects) made our stage-setting that much more effective.