Lover's Poison

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There's a thin line between love and hate, between the heaven of a happy relationship and the hell of abuse. But who's abusing who? When neither party is strong enough to stand on their own two feet, a relationship is no good for either one.

Filmed in spring 2004, starring Mark Elias and Jamee Damron, this was an excerpt from a somewhat longer script, a twisted story about a directionless couple caught in a violent and dissociative argument before important dinner guests are apparently set to arrive. Sound recording was by Jesse Maddox.

We filmed this in the lounge at my apartment building, USC. I made some use of the natural daylight in helping the piece's moody, intense lighting - so that lighting changed over time, getting darker as we filmed. I had bought plates and dishware to break onscreen, but we never filmed that part of the script.

The version on the Orange Cow Short Films DVD featured a bit of music, credits and an extra ending, where Devlin advances on Billie with a knife. No, he's not going to kill her - the script originally continued from there - it was about 18 minutes long. I had planned to make this into a longer short film, but wound up with this shorter version. I felt the point had been made.

I had finished filming Gods of Los Angeles, which had a very optimistic view of flawed relationships. That film took the attitude that most romantic relationships are flawed, and most of them are worth saving. I wanted in this script to look at a relationship that was completely flawed - Both Devlin and Billie are weak people, who are leaning on the other for support and help. So they're both leaning on nothing - the relationship simply falls flat on the ground. Both are rather delusional as well, giving the script a surreal quality - Billie is frantically getting ready for the arrival of their houseguests, the Gundersons. The longer script revealed that the Gundersons probably didn't exist - They hadn't shown up when they were guests in previous weeks.

Lover's Poison was an Orange Cow Production written, directed, edited and with cinematography by Garrett Gilchrist. Sound recording was by Jesse Maddox. Jamee Damron played Billie Jett, and Mark Elias played Devlin Connor.

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Read the Original Script
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