Placed in Blog
Thank you for all the enthusiasm and excitement for this short. I hope it lives up to your expectations.
This all started the summer of 2008. I was doing some reflecting and decided to write a xanga post on some thoughts and feelings I was having. The content matter was nothing new or ground breaking, it was just relationships. But I decided to look at it from a very analytical, scientific way (some would say this shouldn’t be done when thinking about relationships). But either way, I came up with this not so original notion that all relationships go through stages. I broke it down and explained (from my perspective and experience) the way I saw “most” relationships pan out. After going through my own, seeing other friends’, and being the bright-eyed hopeful teenager who really thought the world was over after his first break up…I wanted to share my opinions and findings with others. I was amazed to see a huge response to the blog post and thought, this could be interesting as a video (it had been over a year since “Just a Nice Guy” came out, and I saw this as something that many ppl could relate to, like they did “Nice Guy”). A first draft of the script came quickly, but after that, my confidence in the subject matter fizzled. That, on top of an increasingly busy work schedule of new WF projects, pushed this project back. A year passed quickly, then another. I always had it in the back of my mind, and was disappointed that I had never gone through with it. Finally at the end of last summer I made the decision that I had to just get it out of my system. With some rewrites and edits, I was ready to make it happen. And in a swift 3 days in March, we shot it, and finally…finally it’s done.
This project was done super low key, even lower than we normally are. Wes on camera, Ted on sound, a couple helpers, and that’s it. Kept the shots simple, didn’t go out of the way to get locations. The production value of the short definitely could’ve been a lot higher, but I felt that would’ve just add to delaying the project. Something this personal, I didn’t want to make too much trouble or trouble too many people. Therefore, a really barebones production.
BEHIND THE SCENES
I don’t claim that the story is that original. It’s a look at the rise and fall of a relationship. But I hope that the way in which it is told is what makes it unique. I wanted Josh to break the fourth wall and address the audience. I wanted him to tell the story from different stages and therefore from different time periods. While the narrative is linear, Josh speaks from the past, present, and future, so his commentary is jumping around. I wanted to do this because it sort of made him self aware of what was to become of the relationship. It’s like going back in time and telling yourself, this is what’s going to happen to you two, and also predicting what will happen in the future. Josh tells his story of his relationship from an omniscient position, something I’m sure we wish we could all have in real life, but is only possible in a scripted video.
Josh is still affected by the passage of time. Certain lines were edited and shot in a way to show that our brain picks and chooses what it wants to remember. Short lines and quick cuts show that he only remembers the jist of what was said. Missing lines show that he’s forgotten. And since the entire topic is coming from the angle of being very technical, the scenes are presented in a way that we give just enough information to push the story along. Like data.
Scenes and settings were repeated (even exact shots) to contrast how their relationship had changed. When their environment stays constant, it’s easier to see how the subjects have become or act differently.
The ending. Originally, the short was going to have a happy ending. The apology at the car was going to be real, and everything would be resolved. I thought the audience wouldn’t want to have a sad ending, even though that’s what I really wanted. After watching a movie called “Blue Valentine”, I was reassured that an unhappy ending could be better, and so I went to rewrite the ending.
The way I intended, and hopefully it’s clear in the final, Josh never ran to stop Marissa in the car. They never had that conversation of him saying sorry and that “everything will be ok”. When we reveal that Josh was just standing there and watching her leave, he was imagining the whole apology, and in reality did the very opposite, he let her drive away upset. This indicates that it really was the beginning of their end, and everything he predicted would probably happen.
The final scene at the dinner table actually wasn’t part of the original script. It was added to give more insight into how Josh and Marissa’s relationship really was. Since, as noted, most of the scenes were executed tritely to reflect an analytical style, I felt we didn’t really understand Josh and Marissa on a deeper level. Their conversation served two purposes, to show how their feelings were changing and leading to their separation, while also giving closure and hope to their future.
This is just MY opinion on relationships. I do not believe everything happens this way, I do not believe YOUR relationship will happen according to this short. I hope to goodness that you and your significant other can grow and flourish together forever. I made this because I feel most people don’t get it right the first, or 2nd, or even 7th time…and that’s ok. We’ve all been there at some point, and sometimes looking at it from a cold/scientific point of view makes it hurt a little less. Less “OMG IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD”. People get together, and become strangers again. Life goes on. Just be thankful that life does go on. =) Thank you for watching.