The Lost Script

A while ago I plugged an old USB stick into my laptop. I hadn’t used it since my college days, so was surprised by what I found. Amongst the sub-standard history essays and error-ridden schoolwork was a little gem I had completely forgot.

‘Vote for Me’ was a script I had written during my time at the college’s film club. I was the most senior member in the group, but at that time had little confidence to plough through an idea. Rather than doing the treatment on this (which I never presented in full), we produced an overly-dramatic tale of a girl who commits suicide because of the bullying she recieves (*sigh*). It was just as bad, if worse, as you imagine.

Following this, I was due to complete an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in my final year. Somewhere down the line I came back to ‘Vote for Me’, hence it’s philosophical note in the synopsis.

Whilst it’s far from a work of art and could of used with slightly more time and passion, it still has a certain charm to it. So here it is, plonked on the internet for all to see – untouched for just less than three years. I’d love any comments you have!

‘Vote for Me’

A short film by Jordan Rowe

SYNOPSIS:

Shot in a mockumentary format, ‘Vote for Me’ (single-camera comedy) is the story of an over-confident student (played by TBA) running to be elected to the student union – unfortunately he doesn’t realise just how unpopular he is within the school. Pulling out all the stops to win votes, he must battle with a grumpy camera crew, an unhelpful personal assistant (played by TBA) and a slightly perverted shopkeeper (played by TBA). In the end, despite the campaign being run into the ground, Erik somehow wins.

On a philosophical note, the film gives an insight into just how much people are willing to do to achieve their dream or to get what they want. My inspiration for the idea came from TV sitcom ‘Modern Family’ which has mockumentary aspects to it. ‘The Office’ and the 1999 cinematic film ‘Election’ starring Reese Witherspoon also helped in the process. The humour throughout is dry and sometimes dark, with a hint of satire.

CAST:

Erik Hassler:

Danielle (PA):

Olivia Wilde (competitor):

Shopkeeper:

Announcer:

Camera Man (unseen):

Boom Mike Guy (unseen):

SCRIPT:

SCENE TITLE: HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A BIN?

The camera is travelling through the corridors of the school – passing a number of election posters as the title ‘Vote for Me’ appears on screen

ERIK

Vote for me! Do you want a leaflet sir? Hey, ow! Well, that was just uncalled for.

The camera heads up a final corridor where we see the student handing out leaflets

ERIK

Oh good you’re here, I was wondering where you got off to.

Hi, vote for me, take a leaflet!

Erik hands the leaflet out to a female passer-by who promptly scrunches it up and chucks it on the floor

A girl walks into the corridor and sees Erik. She tries to do a double take and go back, but Erik spots her.

ERIK

Oh well, if it isn’t my closet competitor in this race. Olivia it’s a pleasant surprise to see you.

OLIVIA

You do you realise I go to this school, meaning it’s hardly a surprise that I bumped into you… just an unpleasant nuisance.

 

ERIK

Joke all you want, but I’ll be the one laughing on January 11. All of the polls taken show that I’m on course to take that slot on the union.

Olivia looks puzzled

OLIVIA

What polls? There are no polls.

ERIK

My assistant took a snapshot of the political air running through Chalmers School, and the wind is blowing towards me, my friend. Isn’t that right, Danielle?

DANIELLE

Whatever.

Danielle is blowing a bubble with her chewing gum and texting on her Blackberry.

OMG 

She giggles at something on the phone and walks of

OLIVIA

(sarcastically) Wow, looks like you have a strong team.

Olivia begins to walk of, but returns

 

Before I go, can I just ask why you have a camera crew following you?

ERIK

They just thought I was such an interesting person, there going to make a documentary about me.

CAMERAMAN

The cameraman is out of shot, Olivia turns round to look at him

No I’m pretty sure you’re paying us to film you. Well, that’s what it says on all of my cheques, anyway.

Erik is signing for him to keep quiet and pointing at Olivia. Olivia turns back around to look at Erik and shakes her head. She then walks of. Erik looks embarrassed. The cameraman calls Erik an idiot, but this is covered up by a cough. The scene ends with Erik saying Vote for Me to passers by.

 

 

END OF SCENE

 

SCENE TITLE: BANNANAS, BLACKBERRIES AND BEATS

 >> This scene was never written, but would have taken place at a local smoothie shop where Erik attempts to put up a campaign poster, resulting in an argument with the shopkeeper <<

SCENE TITLE: 11.6%

ANNOUNCER

Now turnout for this year’s student election was high people! 11.6% of the school turned out, so I think that deserves a thorough rantamaplause!

There’s faint applause, a few people mutter – an awkward silence as the announcer tries to hide away his embarrassment

ANNOUNCER

Yes, right, well. Now, without any further a due I can reveal how the voting for the 2011 Chalmers Technology School’s Student Union election went. Now let me tell you it was close between the top two. Olivia Wilde had 35% of the vote, but Erik Hassler has won with 42%. Congratulations

Everyone in the crowd looks shocked, Danielle drops her mobile in pure disbelief. Olivia walks of stage, shoving past Erik in the process. Erik smiles and is visibly jubilant.

 

CAMERAMAN

Why on earth would anyone vote for that a-hole?

People filter out of the area as Erik says thank you to the announcer and waves at his adoring crowd.

 

END OF SCENE

SCENE TITLE: A RATIONAL EXPLANATION

We move to a small room with the election box in it. A message comes up on the screen stating ‘1 hour before election results announced’. We see Erik with lots of small pieces of paper and mouthing out ‘Erik’ as he puts crosses in the boxes next to his name, as the audience finds out the results were rigged. He turns to the camera (which isn’t really there – not the doc crew).

ERIK

What? Everyone needs a plan B.

He smiles and continues to put crosses in the boxes

Repulsion: London in the Flesh

Few films genuinely manage to unsettle you, but Roman Polanski’s ‘Repulsion’ is one of them. The director’s first feature to be made in English, IUTLINH recently had the pleasure to see the picture in its full glory at BFI Southbank.

The movie centres on Catherine Deneuve’s Belgian expat driven to insanity by anxiety and agoraphobia. Polanski creates his now signature claustrophobic environment, a key element of his Apartment Trilogy. Moreover, Deneuve’s ability to portray innocence without falling back on lame sexual clichés is striking and a testament to her abilities. No wonder she’s the French actress of international repute.

The story is layered. It’s not just a character study, but a study of society too. Themes on the inner workings of the mind and male-female gender relations are key to its progression.

But the true theme (and star) of the movie is London. The capital plays such an integral role that it’s by no mistake Polanski filmed here. London is a depressing, grey and gloomy place to reside. Its introspective and unwelcoming – yet for some reason attracts so many people. The fact that the main character is not a Londoner is something to consider.

Agoraphobia on the BridgeThe events in ‘Repulsion’ could not have taken place in any other city without losing its unique psychological edge. In New York, the reality of living in a dangerous and violent crime-ridden city (to a much greater extent then London) would overpower the descent Deneuve’s character experiences over the film. In the Big Apple, anyone would be given reason to be anxious of the outside world, at least during the 1960s.

The only cities that share London’s metropolitan buzz pose their own potential pitfalls in capturing the magical essence of ‘Repulsion’. Stockholm – whilst possessing the cold and sleek demeanour – is far too small and pleasant; Tokyo has far too dense a population that Denevue’s hysteria would be less striking. The same could be said of Hong Kong or Seoul. Back in Europe, only Paris provides a similar atmosphere to London by night. But this is only partial, as I’ve mentioned previously.

In my opinion, ‘Repulsion’ understands London. That may be a dim view, but it’s true.

Repulsion is available on DVD via Odeon Entertainment, packaged with a new interview with the director and audio commentary from both him and Deneuve. It is also widely available online – but you can find this for yourselves.