Film Title: Wake
Award Designation: Love Unlimited Film Festival & Art Exhibition Award Winner.
Director: Jeremy Webb
Cast: Simon Henderson (Lead Actor), Shelley Thompson (Supporting), Stacy Smith (Supporting), Cliff Le Jeune (Supporting)
Category: Short Film
Short Synopsis: Lawrence travels back to Halifax, Nova Scotia to attend the wake of his Uncle Marvin. He is looking for closure on a past that torments him and, by using 'the force' he finds what he needs in the most dramatic of ways. A Canadian dark comedy from a British filmmaker.
Detailed Synopsis: Lawrence travels back to Halifax to attend the wake of his Uncle Marvin. He is looking for closure on a past that torments him and, by using 'the Force', he finds what he needs at the wake... in the most dramatic of ways. Lawrence has arrived to attend the funeral of his Uncle Marvin; a stranger in a foreign land, neatly dressed, but awkward, his hair is perfectly parted and his shirt pressed impeccably. To prepare for his trip back to his childhood home, Lawrence has been working closely with a therapist in an intensive one-on-one training program. A process Lawrence likens to Jedi training. Everything has an order and he has returned to a place of chaos and the dark side. Years earlier Lawrence left Halifax to escape the overbearing Aunt and Uncle that were supposed to be sheltering him and guiding him through his formative years. Now Uncle Marvin has died and Lawrence has returned, looking for closure. First he has to face his past, his Aunt and even Marvin himself. Lawrence wants to be sure that Marvin is actually dead. At the funeral home, Lawrence stands in a crowd of Uncle Marvin's family, friends and business associates. Aunt Helen spots him and makes a beeline across the room for him. This is the meeting that Lawrence has dreaded and trained for. As other relatives look on sympathetically, Helen awkwardly greets her nephew. Her domineering manner and manipulative way instantly creates a palpable tension in Lawrence, as she trash-talks her relatives and even her deceased husband. Lawrence tries to communicate with his aunt, but she's having none of it. To her Lawrence is an embarrassment. Lawrence (literally) bumps into Susan, Uncle Marvin's occupational therapist, who has come to pay her respects at the wake. She is excited to meet Marvin's nephew and, recognizing Lawrence's unease, chats to him about his uncle and the stories she shared with him. Susan loved her time with Marvin and the news that the old fella softened in his later years chills Lawrence. With one last check of his watch, Lawrence approaches the coffin and Uncle Marvin. He has the perfect test to check on Marvin's status as a corpse. Standing over his uncle, Lawrence takes out a small mirror and holds it close to Marvin's mouth and nose. If he breathes, the mirror will give him away. Lawrence counts. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen...Aunt Helen is aware of Lawrence's unusual behaviour over the coffin, but is powerless to stop what happens next. Summoning up the energy from The Force, Lawrence hands seem to have a life of their own as they reach into the coffin and grip Uncle Marvin's neck. Lawrence grits his teeth and strangles Uncle Marv. Marvin's neck snaps as he surrenders, grateful to be saved from the 'dark side'. As Aunt Helen screams, Lawrence strides from the room, through the hysterical crowd of mourners and out into the sunlight. Lawrence walks taller than before. Free from the chaos of his past at last, he has found serenity, harmony and his breath.
Wake started life as part of a one-man play, 'Maelstrom'. When looking for a script for my first directorial outing, I was drawn to the character of Lawrence and, having played him on stage, drawn to seeing his world expanded.
The phrase 'labour of love' may have been invented for Wake, with a talented crew of Canadians working for a fraction of their regular pay. I was lucky enough to surround myself with people that new what they were doing and they guided me through the process.
The film is part of a planned suite of six. All the films will be about very different men at various crisis points in their lives.
www.offtheleash.ca Production Notes
"The basic info"
A film by Jeremy Webb
Screenplay by Jessica Marsh
Lawrence travels back to Halifax to attend the wake of his Uncle Marvin. He is looking for closure on a past that torments him and, by using ‘the Force’, he finds what he needs at the wake... in the most dramatic of ways.
After an extensive and inventive two-year period of raising funds to shoot his first film, director-producer Jeremy Webb called “action” for the first time in October 2009. Webb had held fundraisers, applied for funding, begged and borrowed money from friends to get the money he needed to realize a life-long dream of directing a film.
Utilizing the services of an expert crew and superb cast, the three-day shoot went very smoothly and the story of Lawrence took shape.
The screenplay for Wake, by Jessica Marsh and based on one of six characters from her stage-play, follows Lawrence as he arrives back in Halifax on a quest to face his demons and quieten his past. It’s a journey he has been preparing for; a path that will hopefully lead to closure.
Wake was edited by Jeff Fish, with sound edit and mix by Hayward Parrott and featuring original music composed by Ian Sherwood.
Wake is a dark comedy funded by CBC and Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture & Heritage and by many private individuals.
Wake is produced under Jeremy Webb’s banner, Off The Leash.
News & Reviews
"Winner of 2010 Short Film Faceoff"
Winner of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Atlantic Film Festival's 2010 Short Film Faceoff.
Jessica Marsh: Author of Adapted Material, Writer
Jessica Marsh - Writer, Associate Producer
"Wake" is based the play Maelstrom, a one man play Jessica wrote and directed in 2002/2003, which was staged at the Atlantic Fringe Festival and Festival Antigonish. Her feature film script House of Matches has been a finalist twice in the Atlantic Film Festival’s Script Development Program. In Boston, Massachusetts, she studied film at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1992/1993 with John Gianvito and made short, Super 8 films. Also in Boston, she was a founding member of My House Theatre Company. She wrote an adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and directed a production for New Theatre of Boston. Her short film screenplay, ‘Bone Deep’ will be made by Jeremy Webb and Off The Leash. Jessica is the founder of the Saturday Free Clinic, a clinic that provides free alternative health care for people living on low incomes. She is on the Board of Directors of Women in Film and Television Atlantic and lives in Halifax where she also writes short stories and plays soccer.
Jeremy Webb: Director, Preview Return, Print Return, Print Shipper, Producer, Publicist, Submission Contact
Jeremy Webb – Co-Producer & Director
Jeremy moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia from the UK in 1998.
Wake is Jeremy’s first film as a Producer and Director.
As an Actor in film/TV: Bad Day, Good Day, Bad Day; The Conclave, Focus Group Therapy, Olliver’s Adventures (two seasons), Evil Schmeevil, Pit Pony (two seasons), Incomplete, The Little Matchgirl, Blackfly, Lexx, Shattered City, Trudeau II, Blessed Stranger, many TV and radio commercials.
Jeremy is President of ACTRA Maritimes. Training: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Winner: 2009 Merritt Best Actor Award for Iago, in Othello, for Shakespeare By The Sea.
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This website, www.LoveUnlimitedAwardWinners.org, is dedicated to highlighting and announcing the film, art and script award winners of the most recent Love Unlimited Film Festival & Art Exhibition, an annual international event promoting film, arts and scripts. To visit the official website of the Love Unlimited Film Festival and Art Exhibition please visit here: www.LoveAndDiversity.org
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Film Title: Wake