In my last blog,
which I posted approximately three seconds ago, I posted all three parts of my film Rebound which I wrote in mid-July at the very beginning of the Summer Holidays and started filming soon after I got back to school.
The film is heavily influenced by my own life. While I will try to avoid going into too much detail here (as I mean, who comes to a blog on Destructoid to hear my pathetic emo whining? Come to think of that, who comes to my blog on Destructoid anyway?), I shall try and give you an overview. I met a girl. She was bad news from the start, there were constant rumours about her, but I loved her - was infatuated. However, I got hurt. Over and over again. And over time, it seemed like she was disinterested in my. I tried to better myself so that she would love me - I had always been on the large side, so I began to lose weight for her. But still, I was always having to go to her, she would never come to me. After a while of distancing myself from her, she dumped me on my birthday.
Thus began my long period of depression. My friends were not there for me. I had never had a truly close group of friends, so it figures as much. But even the people I thought I was close to weren't there. However, after a long time (and I mean a long time), I tried to reach out to someone. And little by little, I made more friends. And now, finally, I have the closest, most amazing friends I have ever had and am the happiest I have ever been. Still, however, my low self esteem continues, as does the poor image of myself.
That is the story in very brief.
During this depression, I did not attempt to make any more films. I had practically new friends. Who would I make them with? However, I decided last Summer that I would write another script - and as self-indulgent as it might be, I shall do one based on my life. And that is this film.
The film starts with my character, Edward, telling a joke. As you may notice, Edward's hair is a lighter colour than it is later in the film and is curly. He also wears glasses. This line is meant to show how Edward used to be, prior to his relationship with Alissa. The person laughing as his joke, originally, was Simon, but the person playing Simon (Edward's best friend) did not turn up on the day we filmed this scene so I had to improvise. The way Edward and Alissa first meet eyes is how I remember meeting eyes with my ex-girlfriend. Everything seemed to slow down and get brighter, more beautiful, and it felt like we were the only two people in the world.
The music playing in the background is "She Moves in Her Own Way" by the Kooks. This upbeat song fits with the initial mood of the scene and then I believe it shows some bitter irony later when things start to go sour. The line spoken by Girl #1 is meant to show the public opinion of Alissa, that Edward, although having no prior girlfriends, could do "so much better than her". Christine's line "Oh my God! Did you hear what she did!?" is meant to show the number of rumours there are about Alissa, and what she might or might not have done in the past.
Edward's worst fears are realized when Alissa admits whatever she had done was true. But with a simple "I love you", Edward's fears are quelled as he is far too in love. Or is he just infatuated? He is introduced to Alissa's "friend" Steven, who she soon describes as "fit", immediately making Edward feel inferior. Alissa then demands they "cool it off" for a bit. Edward waits patiently for Alissa to return, but as soon as she does, she dumps him, leaving Edward puzzled and alone.
I used very fast cutting here and re-using the same two shots just changing the characters and time to try and convey a lot of information about their relationship in a short amount of time, as this is only the introduction and the main portion of the film is about how Edward deals with the aftermath of the relationship, not the relationship itself.
The next scene re-introduces you to Christine, who is now Edward's best friend Simon's "homework buddy". It would have been much better if Simon was also introduced in the scene prior to this but whatever - nothing I can do about it now, is there? Here, you learn that Simon does not really like Edward any more. The scene ends by zooming on into an old birthday card from Edward to Simon, Edward proclaiming Simon and him as "Best Mates Forever".
This then fades into a scene of Edward alone in his dark room. His appearance has changed and he now wears all black clothes. He does numerous activities alone, such as drawing, playing video games and exercising, continuing to try and lose weight. It is in this scene you are first introduced to one of a few running gags, this being Edward's obsession with Pokémon and presumed Butterfree fetish, as he has named his Butterfree "Alissa". You see he is drawing a picture of Alissa. He steps back and observes his wall before putting sticking the picture on it. There is then a wider shot, revealing that the wall is plastered with pictures he has drawn of Alissa, revealing his total obsession with her.
Edward then decides to do something. He visits Steven's house and confronts him. While contemplating Steven's muscles, he imagines Steven naked, showing Edward's slight homosexual tendencies. Upon finding out that Steven and Alissa did a lot more than just kiss, Edward lunges at Steven, only to be thrown out of his house.
This next little scene is something we shot on the last day of filming. While people might just find it randomly funny, it is actually a clever in-joke referring to the first film I made (if you disregard True Warriors, True Warriors 4 and Assassination, which you should. And everything else I made prior to Dirge of the Dead). The film was called "Chase" and was pretty much a chase/fight between two guys, as one of them owed the other money. The first line in the film is "Have you got the money?" to which the other would reply "What money?" However, Edward, still very pissed off and upset, replies with a very frank "F*** YOU!". The person who asks for the money, my good friend Mus who I accidentally forgot to put in the credits, stared in Chase but was the person who owed money, instead of the person demanding it.
Edward decides to do something extreme, as he does not know what to do next, so he buys a can of larger and a packet of cigarettes. However, while walking to the river, he runs into his "best friend" Simon and his girlfriend, Christine. Simon decides to take this opportunity to let Edward know exactly how he feels by plastering a sign reading "emo fag" on his back. Originally, I wrote this scene so that you did not see what the sign said, and only found out later when at the river. However, while shooting I found it much funnier this way.
Edward pours explains exactly how he has been, both to Simon and Christine's shock (something I enjoy doing to those I want to freak out. They asked, didn't they?). When Christine is re-introduced, Edward immediately says that "in some ways, this is all [her] fault". This shows how ridiculous Edward is as a character, willing to blame everyone but himself for the situation he is in. I believe this line is one of the strongest examples of my own self parody in this film. Christine does not react well to this and is immediately carted off by Simon, who whispers "depressed twat" under his breath while leaving. There is a slight good in this scene as Simon's bag magically disappears half way through, and can be seen in the bottom left corner as they walk away. Little do you know that half way through this scene, the film switched to an alternate dimension where everything was EXACTLY the same, apart from the fact that Simon put his bag down. Or something.
The day we filmed the next scene was very windy, so unfortunately there is a fair bit of wind blowing in the camera - we even had to dub two lines over! Edward sits down by the river and watches it for a bit before pulling out the contents of his pocket. He tries to drink the larger, but is taken aback by its strong taste and spits it out. He then tries to light a cigarette, but he cannot get the thing to light. He swears loudly, and suddenly a girl appears next to him, asking if his mother ever "[taught] him not to swear?". We had to dub in this line.
Edward tries to ignore her but the girl continues to pester him, even calling him "Ed" while he insists his name "Is Edward". Both of Edward's replies are taken from another shot of Edward saying the line, so I was rather impressed I was able to cut the audio together so well. Upon further pestering, he decides to open up to the girl as that is the only way she might go away. He soon finds out that the girl is a lesbian and has had sex with his ex-girlfriend (this part of her character was based on someone I met who had. My ex-girlfriend had a very busy year while I was alone). Edward proclaims that it's her fault that his "only friends are Pokémon!", yet another Pokémon reference.
Edward tries to tell a joke which falls flat, before suddenly becoming serious again and explaining to the girl how Alissa made him feel. After a brief hug, the girl gives Edward her phone number before leaving. Edward is suddenly slightly intrigued by the girl and shouts after her, asking her name. She replies "Sophie!". Edward mutters the name to himself as Sophie walks off.
This scene, and the relationship between Edward and Sophie here, is rather reminiscent of that of Tatsuhiro and Misaki's relationship early on in "Welcome to the NHK". Which I find as really odd as I hadn't even seen Welcome to the NHK before writing Rebound!
When Edward enters his room again, he turns on the light. This is meant to symbolize Sophie shining light into Edward's dark world. This scene is rather long for how little actually happens, as it is just Edward contemplating whether or not to text/ring Sophie. All I wanted to do was convey the nerves and apprehension I, and probably many other guys, have had when trying to text/call someone you like. In the end, he decides to phone her.
This next scene was one of a few "filler" scenes I wrote after I got back from holiday in Poland because I felt the script was too short. Seeing as the film still ended up at 22 minutes, 55 seconds long, it was still way too short as I was aiming for half an hour. However, what I tried to do in these scenes was develop the characters of Edward and Sophie and their unique friendship with each other. Edward discovers that Sophie is in the year below him and still at middle school, yet has had sex with Alissa (yet again based on the same girl I mentioned above). Edward is shocked to find this out and then makes a depressing comment about him self, which Sophie hits him for and continues to do so for every time he says one.
Oddly enough, one of the friends I have made since writing "Rebound" does EXACTLY the same thing to me. Funny, huh?
Edward then wonders aloud how two girls have sex (influenced by a scene in Chasing Amy, one of my favourite films ever, Kevin Smith being my favourite writer/director ever). This prompts Sophie to show him two girls one cup, which makes him throw up. In the next scene, Sophie tells Edward he "really needs to get laid". Something a girl, who I didn't know too well before, said to me after talking to me for ten minutes. I guess I just give off that kind of aura. Sophie then drags Edward to his house, so that she can start to help him.
Upon entering Edward's room, Sophie notices the wall covered in pictures Edward has drawn of Alissa. They take them down together then burn them in Edward's back garden - Edward doing the deed himself, so he can finally let go of Alissa. I originally intended the papers to start to burn, then Edward stands back and they both watch them. However, surprisingly, the papers burned REALLY well, so I decided to keep the entirety of the clip and just speed it up. I felt the film needed a little more music so I decided to add "Early Sunsets Over Monroeville" by My Chemical Romance as I feel the song captures the mood of the film perfectly. Also, I added some clips of Alissa playing in slow motion over the burning papers. To add effect.
Sophie then begins to try and help Edward truly get over Alissa. Her first step is making him wank for the first time (take into account Edward is based on me). I bought the issue of "ZOO" myself from a local One Stop and felt very uncomfortable doing so, as for one I find the over sexualization of women disgusting and disrespectful and also as the women who served me was old enough to be my grandmother.
The second step is improving Edward's clothes, as all he wears is black (based one me still). The third and final step is meeting other girls. Edward tells each of the girls a sick joke (something I have a bad habit of doing as times, especially when I am nervous) which disgusts all of the girls who each in turn slap him. I got my glasses knocked off the first time I was slapped, by the way. It hurt a lot.
Sophie, pissed off with Edward dragging his heels every time she tries to help him, walks away, leaving him on his own. A common motif of this film is the shot of someone walking away. Walking back home, Sophie runs into Alissa who is back with Steven. Alissa has trouble remembering who Edward is, even though she "ruined [his] life" which she unenthusiastically apologises for. At this moment, Edward realizes that he is "in love" (or just infatuated?) with Sophie, and tells Alissa that he "loves someone else now" before storming off in an attempt to hurt her the way she hurt him. However, after leaving, Alissa turns to Steven and asks "Who was that?".
Back at home, Edward is yet again contemplating phoning Sophie. This time, his thoughts are fast and scrambled, so I used quick cuts. After arranging his meeting with Sophie, he runs to his bathroom and for the first and only time in the film there is a soliloquy. Edward explains how he feels about her - or thinks he feels - and then simply shrugs off her homosexuality as a "phase... like a Metapod, about to evolve into a Butterfree! A beautiful Butterfree..."
Cue scene of Edward masturbating to a picture of Sophie and a Pokémon card featuring Butterfree. Pretty sick that I thought of this scene while looking around concentration camps in Poland, right?
Edward then re-enters his room and grabs a deodorant can (notice the Scott Pilgrim Volume 1? If you have not read Scott Pilgrim, I HIGHLY recommend it). He sprays himself with a lot of deodorant and, upon noticing that he may have sprayed a bit too much, says to himself "S***."
Edward meets Sophie back at the first spot they met, in front of the river. Notice how Edward is wearing different clothes, trying to impress Sophie. After an awkward silence and pause, Edward tries to kiss Sophie, who gets up and backs away. After a brief argument where Edward confesses his "love", Sophie storms away, telling Edward to "GO F*** A PIKACHU!"
Edward turns back around to face the river, trying to not cry. Originally, Simon was meant to appear here (which would make A LOT MORE SENSE, by the way), but the person who plays him was not able to make it on the last day of filming so I used Christine, as the person who plays her helped out a lot during filming (GO CHARLOTTE!). There is yet another emotional scene as Edward explains how he feels to Christine, explaining how he has "never been happy, probably never will be" and that Simon, his best friend, was not there for him when he needed him. As he begins to cry, Christine gets up and tells Edward to get over himself, before walking away, leaving Edward crying at the side of the river.
Fade to black.
The last song is "Bran-new Love Song" by The Pillows, the same band who did the soundtrack for the anime FLCL. I also used a version of "Beautiful Morning With You" for the montage with Edward near the beginning of the film.
A lot of themes in Rebound are inspired by Chasing Amy, which I mentioned before. The whole "falling in love with a lesbian" idea came from there. Also, the name "Alissa Chase" (with the main female lead in Chasing Amy being Alyssa and the film itself being CHASING Amy). The name for Edward came from Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, which I was watching at the time. The name for Simon came from the character Simon from the British comedy series "The Inbetweeners".
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Hopefully, through that VERY LONG analysis, you can see that a lot of thought and effort went into producing my latest film. Not that you have read it, of course. As I doubt anyone ever will.
I promise that my next blog will ACTUALLY be video game related. Sorry.