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A Brothers Wilson Film

I let out a long sigh as I saw my brother’s face on the projector for his segment on our school’s broadcast show. Countless confused souls have told me we look exactly alike. Pardon me, but I beg to differ. I definitely do not have those big old elephant ears of his or that spaced out look on my face; not even those Edward Cullen-esque canines. Clearly, I’m the better looking one out of the two. Just imagine me without those ridiculous features and add about thirty pounds of sheer bulk: Garrett Wilson.

As much as I hate to admit it though, my younger half did, and no doubt always will have the one-up on me in another department, so to speak. You see, whenever we walk down the hallway, there’s always that whale of a girl that has to point him out. You know, the one with absolutely no self-esteem that cakes her homely face in make-up, and has absolutely no right wearing tight pants, yet for some reason unknown to the human condition is possessed by an otherworldly force to do so regardless of the nauseated looks from horrified onlookers’ faces.

She squealed with a look of pure awe plastered on her face at the sight of my sibling, “Oh mah gawd. Yer the guy from the 89141 show. Yer funnay! What’s yer name?”

“Spencer,” he shot back with that very smug, almost wretched grin of his.

“Well, Spencarrr, I theenk yer reallay cuyoot,” she whispered as if she were a pirate with a degenerative mental disorder.

“Well, uh… Lady, I think you’re fat,” he chuckled, bearing his natural fangs.

“You [expletive deleted]! You can shove your [expletive deleted] show up you firm, round smug [expletive deleted]. You just lost a viewer,” she fumed as she stomped away, shaking the very earth beneath her.

“Jesus, Don Juan. That’s the third one this week” I mumbled with a faux-envious smile.

“What can I say? If a girl has an IQ lower than her shoe size, and has her own orbit, I’m doing the world a favor. Maybe she’ll work out feverishly and come back to me years later; completely changed into the metaphorical beautiful swan due to the trauma I put her through during these pivotal years of growth, and outright murder me in cold blood for revenge. I will be martyred as, she, a stunning murderess takes hold of her newly found media attention.” he retorted cynically as he shook my hand and went to his class.

As one can clearly see, the kid doesn’t even know the meaning of subtlety, but he made up for it by being the charismatic, silver-tongued Greek God that he is. That’s probably why everyone recognized him over me. I stood in the limelight as much as him, yet I was the obscure bastard child in the eyes of our jaded audience. His newly acquired high school popularity, a coveted treasure of the average American teenager, was almost all due to me. You see the kid wanted to be me, albeit a less-attractive, yet strangely more popular version of me.

More or less, he’s followed in my vast footsteps since he stepped foot in high school. Like big brother, he joined football his freshman year, quit sophomore year, found a passion for journalism, joined broadcast class, and committed the greatest atrocity of them all: he declared that he wanted to be a film director. Needless to say, the rage that built up inside me after that proclamation was profound to say the very least. It welled up inside me, festering like a gangrenous wound ready for a primitive amputation via dull stone in the vein of the savage medicine men of times gone by. How dare he even state that he wants to chase my dream; heresy.

“Hey dude, do you want to team up and direct a film for the Thespian Festival,” he inquired to me one November day.

“Uh, yeah man sure,” I replied, holding back an enraged fury incomprehensible by consciousness.

Before work on filming began, I heavily weighed the options of sabotaging the film or to actually put forth effort into the project. I would have been the stealthy saboteur, unleashing my jealous delirium at the turn of every corner in the production; switch out the camera batteries, feign illness, poison the snacks we were to no doubt bring along, or frame the camera man in a complex double-homicide turned suicide case. It would completely halt production. No doubt the experience would also traumatize Spencer, leading him to quit directing and launch him towards a downward spiral of self-destruction while, I, Garrett, would become what I was destined to be.

In the end, being the saint that I am, decided to put minimum effort into the project. Spencer wrote the screenplay, starred in, and directed the short. He insisted that I direct it as well, a la The Coen Brothers, but my pride simply could not allow me to do so. Instead, I elected to take a producer credit and co-star because, frankly, without me, there would be no production.

Principal photography was to begin the weekend before school was to resume from winter break. The premise of the film was the incredibly “original” story of how two suicidal teens coincidentally met at a mountain top with the goal to kill themselves by gloriously throwing themselves off. The film was skillfully dubbed “Two to a Ledge”. On that particular Friday that we were supposed to begin, the weather was particularly windy.

“Hey man, maybe we should postpone the film a day or two. The wind is going to muffle our voices,” I suggested, strangely with an honest concern for the well being of the short film I previously wanted to sabotage.

“No, we have to film today. We’re on a 3-day timetable and need to finish it before school lets back in,” he infuriatingly shot back.

“Well dude co-“I attempted to reply.

“Look, every time I try to do something, it always gets pushed by the wayside. I want this film to be done. If it doesn’t start today, it’ll never start,” he raged.
“But-“
“But what? You don’t even want to do this, do you? You know what? Fine we won’t do it. I don’t care. This always happens to me,” he roared.
From that point, he began violently pummeling himself in the forehead and temple at full force with his left fist. Besides the fact that he looked like an irked chimpanzee or perhaps an uncorked serial killer inflicting severe blunt force trauma onto himself, the spectacle was quite graceful. Although, I confided in myself that I was genuinely horrified at what I witnessed. What if he died? I was the only one there. My parents would find his lifeless body on the floor and me cradling him, soaked in his blood. Surely, I would be hauled off to jail for that final stunt he decided to pull.
Later that day, I mysteriously found myself hiking up a mountain alongside our conscripted mercenary Filipino cameraman that went by the name of Rob and Spencer, wearing that big stupid Cheshire grin of his. Why do I fall for that psychosomatic serial killer act every time he does it? It must be because, somehow, I know that he really wasn’t mimicking me, but just looked up to me as a positive influence and genuinely wanted to work with me to create something meaningful to both of us that we can look back on as our first great work when we’re a successful directing team, or perhaps he’s just a manipulative brat. Regardless, I was in it for the long haul.

Epilogue

Two to a Ledge ended up being a smashing success, in no part thanks to my catatonic acting that somehow defined the character I was playing rather well. It was one of only three films to be distinguished with an excellent rating at the Regional Thespian Festival in January and was lauded by the harshest critics we know; our friends. We didn’t earn the highest honor of a superior rating (given to only one film this year), which resulted in another serial killer pummel fest during the car ride home. Regardless, the film affirmed my beliefs in working with my brother. We just finished work on our second film, this time for the Nevada Student Film Festival. Dubbed A=(lf)mo, it is about a creator who struggles to believe that he imbued his synthetic human creation with every emotion, including the complexities that come with love. Before the first scene, the short is preceded by the words: A Brothers Wilson Film.





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