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Hero functioning Alarm Clock
from the movie 1408
(Dimension Films, 2007)

This piece is kind of cool, and if you've seen 1408 you know exactly what it is. This is the custom made clock-radio used on the night stand next to Mike Enslin's (played by John Cusack) bed. This clock will still do most of the things as seen in the movie (counting down, showing 'time', etc.) There's some things seen in the movie I can't make this do (like the random display of numbers before it sits on 60:00), but the Making-Of on the DVD reference the use of computer enhanced special effects on the clock countdown, so that could be how it was done.
(Or, there's another clock out there that does some additional things...)

The clock is fully functional (as it was designed, at least). At first I thought this was just a gutted clock radio, but it's actually a resin casting of a real clock radio (the sickers on the bottom of the real clock radio are cast right into the body of this one...), and it has a couple of custom-made circuit boards inside to provide the 'clock' functionality as needed for the movie. None of the switches on the radio actually do anything (I don't think), the buttons under the clock display are glued in place, and the radio tuner knob is just glued to the side of the clock. They made a bunch of them for the film as it is repeatedly thrown, smashed, burned, etc.

When you turn the clock on, it just reads 60:00. There is a 'remote control' wired to the clock with a 15-20 foot cable that controls it. It has 4 swtiches ('Pwr On', 'Light On', 'Countdown/Pause', and '1st Digit Off'), one 'Speed' dial and one 'Fastdown' button. If you flip the 'Countdown/Pause' switch to 'Countdown', it starts counting down to 00:00, switching back to 'Pause' will stop the countdown where it is and hold it there. The 'Light On' switch turns on the white light over the radio frequency selection to simulate the radio turning on. The 'Speed' dial allows to control how fast or slow the countdown counts and the 'Fastdown' button makes it countdown REAL fast no matter what the speed is set on.

Here's a close-up of the remote and a 'dark shot' with the radio light on.

The '1st Digit Off' switch does exaclty that, it will turn off the first digit display on the clock. My guess is that this is either to make it look like a normal clock (i.e., if the countdown is 57:29, turn off the first digit and it displays 7:29), or the film makers wanted to be able to turn off the '0' when it's counting down the last 9 minutes (and the '0' is not visible in the movie, so that might be all it was there for).

Here's the countdown going, and with the '1st Digit Off'


All screen captures from the movie are Copyright 2007 Dimension Films.