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Title: Redemption Song
Written by: Blake Carpenter
Logline: Two high school kids in Texas are faced with two separate dilemmas in which force them into changing each of their lives. One goes from bad to good, and the other from good to bad.
Setting - Takes place in a suburban town outside of Houston Texas, a high school, and Mexico.
Summary: Act 1
The film starts out with random and quick news spots on the Mexican drug-war taking place on the border of Texas and Mexico. The camera zooms out of the T.V to see Rafael turn off the news and get ready for school, the same for Jake. They both head to school and then start their 2nd semester.
A young Hispanic student Rafael who is in high school is introduced and is semi-popular around the school because of what he does. He is a drug dealer. He walks through the halls and everyone who does drugs at the school say hello to him. You see that he is a bit of a slacker in his classes. He doesn’t really care too much about school, because he is making an ok living by selling drugs. Not enough to get him through life independently, but enough to not need a job. We see multiple drug deals around the school and the transactions he is making. We even see an old history teacher buy from him. For the most part his life is going fairly well. He goes to his speech class, and there he sits by the other main character, Jake.
Jake starts his morning off each day the same way. His parents care about him a lot and he has the stereotypical family life. He gets out of bed, takes a shower, brushes his teeth, makes coffee, eats the same plain cereal and toast, grabs his things and shows up to school about 15 minutes early. He passes people in the hall and most of which say hello to him. He talks to most groups in the high school, not really belonging to a particular one. But he does have a few good close friends. Many students really like him a lot; they think he is a nice guy. He is pretty goofy, but takes his work seriously. Jake passes a girl in the hallway that says hello to him. Her name is Emily. They have been decent friends for about a semester now. She talks to him and they find out that they both have some of the same classes together. She then walks off to her boyfriend, Charles. Charles is a douche bag to say the least. He is rude to Emily sometimes, and doesn’t like too many people. He just thinks that the world revolves around him. Jake and Charles talk sometimes but they aren’t very good friends. They are acquaintances at this point.
Rafael is not paying too much attention to the class and is texting his girlfriend and making drug deals in class via text message. Sitting next to Rafael, is Jake who is taking notes avidly and when he isn’t he is noticing a girl in the corner of the room, Emily. Jake is pretty uptight but has a fairly goofy sense of humor with his speeches at the same time in class. In class Jake demonstrates that he has OCD by how he organizes his desk. Also he counts in his head the number of times people say the word, “like” and when he is bored does things like counts ceiling tiles. He has his whole day planned out in his planner that the high school issues everyone.
Rafael goes home where you find out his girlfriend is living with his family for the time being because they had to move away for a job but let their daughter stay and finish up her last few semesters in school before going to college. Rafael has a pretty broken home life. His mother nags at him all the time, and his dad doesn’t really seem to care too much about him. Him and his girlfriend, Lillyana have sex and afterwards light up a joint and watch television.
Jake comes home after he gets done with his student council meeting after school, and works on his homework. Afterwards he plays video games and his friends come over. After they leave his father comes home and is in a fairly bad mood. His parents start to argue and they walk in the bedroom while yelling and close the door, but you can still hear them. They are arguing about money.
The next day passes by and the two main characters are in class, and they find out that they have to do a speech, which is due the next day based on something important to you. Rafael asks Jake if he can borrow some paper and a pen to take notes because even though he doesn’t care about school, he doesn’t want to fail or be a drop out like his father. They talk about how they don’t like their teacher and if they think he is gay or not. The conversation is pretty humorous because it shows their personalities and it just knocks this teacher who is still talking in front of the class, and then in the middle of their conversation interrupts them and asks them to stop but he hears the last thing that Jake said, which was “Yeah, he’s totally gay”.
Jake goes home to write his speech and starts to draw. His drawings look sort of creepy and abstract. His mother comes in and asks him about his day and he is having a hard time coming up with certain words and you really see his mind is very disorganized. His mother asks if he is all right, and he replies that he is fine. Him and his family sit down and eat dinner. Jake’s brother is very sarcastic and likes to push his father’s buttons. The dinner is kind of ruined. It’s just Jake and his mother eating, silently.
Rafael comes home to his girlfriend and they have sex, like they always do. They get into an argument sort of about something small, but they make up fairly quickly. Rafael actually works on his speech because their cable and Internet is broken, and his girlfriend is asleep. She wakes up in the middle of the night feeling sick.
The next day in class, the teacher calls on Jake to go and his speech is a very sarcastic speech dealing with how poor the economy is and how we are all basically going to die, but it’s all in a humorous way. The teacher is kind of dumbfounded but the class really thought it was funny. Rafael goes a little later and his speech is sort of quirky and about how much he loves kittens, Roseanne, and long walks on the beach. The class thinks this is hilarious because of his hard-ass like personality. You really get a feel for his humor. It’s completely random. The teacher still gives him a fairly bad grade even though his work was good, because Rafael never really did any homework so he didn’t really like him too much. The two main characters talk after class about how much they hate their teacher. They realize they have some of the same friends and become friends at this point.
Rafael goes home and his girlfriend Lillyana, is acting very strange. He goes to the restroom and see’s a pregnancy test in the trashcan. He picks it up carefully, and it reads positive. He is completely freaking out because he knew it was Lillyana who took the test. He finds her in the house, and confronts her about it. They have an argument about it because Rafael doesn’t want to be a father. Lillyana realizes that they can’t be parents either. They are too young. They don’t have any money either. Rafael suggests that they go together to a clinic and get an abortion, but Lillyana tells him that she can’t do that. She doesn’t believe that is the right thing to do and her parents would completely disown her as a daughter because they are Catholic. Then Rafael walks away pissed.
Emily and Charles are hanging out together with Jake and a few other friends outside of a parking lot, drinking. Emily and Charles start to argue and Charles starts to get really pushy about things. Jake sees what kind of relationship that they actually have.
The next day at school Jake and Rafael are in class. Rafael looks pretty distracted due to his situation with his girlfriend. Emily comes to speech class about 10 minutes late, and Jake notices that she isn’t too happy either. She also has a big bruise next to her shoulder and on her thigh. After class is over, Rafael and Jake talk outside of class and Rafael tells Jake about his girlfriend being pregnant and Jake doesn’t really know how to respond exactly but you can tell that he feels bad for Rafael. Jake asks Rafael if he saw Emily’s bruises. He tells Rafael how Charles was being a total jerk to her the night before. Emily walks by and talks to them, she has a fake smile on her face. Jake asks her how she got those bruises, and she said she fell down the stairs that night because she was drinking and almost got in trouble by her dad who was up waiting for her.
Scene cuts to Lillyana, who throws herself down the stairs (in slow motion).
Cut back to the conversation. And they talk about how gay their teacher is. Then, they go and get lunch and joke around a bit. In class you can see Rafael, Emily, and Jake distracted in each of their classes. Rafael thinking about having a baby, Emily about how Charles abused her the night before, and Jake is thinking about Emily. Jake starts to see things and has a minor hallucination. He see’s tiny orbs of color and his depth perception is altered for about 20 seconds. This kind of freaks him out a little bit. He kind of shakes it off and goes about his day.
Rafael goes home after school and his girlfriend is crying. He found out that she threw herself down the stairs while he was at school. They go to the Dr. later that week and then find out she is still pregnant. They decide that they are going to keep the baby and work out a way to take care for it because it’s what Lillyana wanted and she talked Rafael into it. He tries to get a job but most of the places he goes tell him that they aren’t hiring because they are in a recession and times are hard.
Jake is at home, and tells his mother about what happened in class with the hallucinations, and she said that he probably was dehydrated. He starts to develop a small twitch in his eye, and continues to work on his artwork. He dazes off into nothing and snaps back to reality. All he can think about is Emily and how much of an ass hole her boyfriend is. His mother comes into the room to ask if he knew where he put the remote control to the TV, and he snaps at her and has a sudden burst of anger for no reason what so ever.
Rafael is in deep because he has no stable income to support the child he has coming in less than a year. The weekend rolls around and his family has a small get together with some cousins, aunts, uncles, and some family friends. He talks with one of his cousins that he is fairly close with, Gabriel. Gabriel is involved with some Mexican drug cartels south of the border and the only one in the family who knows about this, is Rafael. They have a discussion about the jobs that Gabriel does for the gang’s leader. Apparently there is decent money coming in to Gabriel through drug smuggling and trafficking. Rafael tells his cousin the situation that he is in with his girlfriend and the baby that is coming. No one really knows except Jake and his cousin at this point. Gabriel mentions to Rafael that there is a job coming up that needs an extra man, and Carlos (the drug cartel leader) would probably be down for letting Rafael help out and make some extra money. Rafael is interested but kind of nervous because of the stories that Gabriel told. Desperate for money, he says he would do it if he were able to.
Gabriel goes to Mexico and talks to Carlos. Carlos is a very evil and cynical man. He walks in on Carlos surrounded by his men and coke whores barely clothed. Carlos does a cocaine line on a coffee table and you see that he has a nasty scar next to his eye. He greets Gabriel, during the greeting a woman mentions a sarcastic comment about his scar, and Carlos turns around hits her in the face. He then takes off his belt and beats her across the face, and body with it. The woman is bleeding and her nose is broken. He then turns around and continues to talk to Gabriel like nothing happened. They do a lot of awkward small talk and eventually he comes around to ask if Rafael could sub in for the missing guy on the job coming up soon. After Carlos gives it some thought, he eventually says that Rafael can work the job and get paid some money for it. But if he messes up, it’s all on Gabriel.
Jake is hanging out with some of his friends and he hears some rumors about Emily and how Charles is cheating on her. They then begin to walk around the neighborhood throwing a football around, and when the ball comes at Jake, he isn’t paying much attention, and it smacks him in the side of the face. His friends laugh a little bit. Jake turns his head and begins to run at his friend that threw the ball, throws him on the ground and grabs him by the shirt and is about to hit him when he came to, and stopped for a second, and then apologized. Later he goes home because he isn’t feeling so well. Then we see a scene of Emily and Charles making out on his bed, and when she gets a phone call from her mom, she makes him stop so she can answer the phone. He kind of forces himself on her and says forget the phone. She tells him that it could be an emergency and she should get it. She grabs for the phone and he smacks the phone out of her hands. He gets really angry with her. She fusses back and then he grabs her by the hair, and backhands her across the cheek. She looks very frightened and lets Charles continue what he was doing, while a tear streams down her face. She realizes that she is in an abusive relationship and that her boyfriend is a complete ass hole who uses her, abuses her, and treats her terribly, by the look on her face. Jake is back at home playing acoustic guitar when he starts to hear voices, and he thinks its coming from downstairs because of how faint it is, so he goes downstairs to check and no one is home. He goes back to what he was doing, sets the guitar down. He turns on his iPod, and listens to music. He hears the voices again, while he listening to music. He knows it’s in his head because he is wearing headphones and no one is home. He takes off his headphones, and then takes a deep breath realizing that something is seriously wrong with him now.
Summary: Act 2
Rafael is on his way to Mexico with his cousin, Gabriel. They are on their way to see Carlos. They get there and Rafael is in amazement about how elaborate his setup is on growing marijuana. He has a pretty big field of it, along with another separate field that is used to harvest cocaine. We see a flashback explaining how he came to get this setup.
Carlos and two other men bust into an old coffee farmer’s house and hold him at gun point when the farmer’s family come out to see what the commotion is, he starts to make random jokes pertinent to the situation. Then, in front of the family, he shoots the father. You also see Carlos raping the mother. Holding the mother and children hostage while they harvest every coffee plant on the farm. After they are done days later, he executes the family and burns the harvest and the farmer’s house. That is how he got the land and built a building right outside the farm.
Rafael doesn’t yet know of Carlos’ personality and reputation. He hands Rafael a wad of cash, and tells him the job. The two of them end up getting along fairly well because Carlos likes Rafael’s personality and sense of humor. Rafael thinks that Carlos is a bit eccentric and very intimidating. The two cousins and 3 other men from the gang walk outside and fill a small moving truck with cheap furniture that they gut and fill with marijuana. They get inside the moving truck and drive across the border. Carlos is the lead man on this small operation. They make it past the border and drop the shipment off at a storage facility where the buyer makes the pickup. Gabriel takes the money from the man, and they head back to Carlos and deliver the money. Carlos is very satisfied. He invites Rafael to join the gang as a permanent member. Because of the money he just made, Rafael hears him out. Carlos explains that he can make a lot more money if he were to join and have many frequent jobs each week. Rafael shakes Carlos’ hand and accepts. The only stipulation that is an unsaid knowledge is that the only way to get out of the gang is to be killed, either by a job, or your own men because you want to leave. Carlos cannot have anybody snitching him out. Most cartels work this way.
Jake is at home drawing and his drawings are getting more demented looking and he can’t figure out why his style is changing so much. He is in school and losing the ability to focus. He gets back a paper and he has a failing grade on it. This is very unlike Jake to let schoolwork get the best of him like that. All he can think about is Emily. His OCD has become exaggerated now to a point where he is obsessive about people. He talks to Emily and she is very distraught about things. He gets invited to a party of hers and he accepts. When he gets there he starts to drink, which he never really did too much of before. He is apparently a very weird drunk because his personality gets exaggerated and so does his condition.
Fast-forward a year. Fast motion time-lapse sequence of everything that has happened. Rafael does more jobs on the side for Carlos. Jake and Rafael are hanging out. Charles beats Emily. Jake is drawing. Jake’s mind slips more and more with anger problems, hallucinations and OCD. He see’s a doctor. He can’t find anything wrong with him. Jake does a lot of drinking. Lillyana goes into labor.
Lillyana and Rafael rush to the hospital. He is nervously waiting for his kid to be born. Rafael has a baby boy and the couple is very happy, but Rafael knows he is involved with stuff that he shouldn’t be as soon as he looks into his baby’s eyes. But he can’t get out of it because he’s sworn in and he has no job.
Jake comes over to see Rafael’s kid and meets Lillyana. Rafael and Jake go out to get some food and then to chill. They play backyard football with their group of friends. Jake spaces out and hallucinates. The game is over and they go back to Jake’s house to play x-box.
Charles and Emily have an argument about something small. Charles grabs her and yells at her. Emily decides she doesn’t want to be a push over anymore and says that she is breaking up with him. He gets mad and then after that, he gets arrogant and cocky and as she leaves, he tries to apologize but she leaves him alone by himself.
The next day at school, Emily approaches Jake and starts to talk to him a little more than usual. Jake is a little extra happy at this moment. After she goes to class he tries to hide the fact that he is hearing voices and is seeing things again. He can’t focus at all. Rafael hasn’t been to school in almost a week because he is at home taking care of his girlfriend, Lillyana.
Rafael is summoned again with Gabriel to do a job. The job is to hijack an 18-wheeler that has some weapons in it, along with some other things. Gabriel is the lead man on this. They move in on the truck that Gabriel identifies on the freeway as the right one. They approach the 18-wheeler and begin to try and make it pull over at gunpoint while driving. The driver pulls out a shotgun and begins to open fire. They are confused on why he has a gun. They end up killing the driver, and then the truck jackknifes. They open up the cargo door and find out there is a bunch of electronics and TVs inside. They take all of the electronics out of the truck to realize it’s the wrong truck and then as they move towards the back, they find some large amounts of cocaine, heroin, and other drugs. The truck was moving drugs for their largest cartel rival in Mexico. Rafael's cousin is to blame because he told the group to hijack the wrong truck. They were supposed to get guns out of it. Rival gang members driving a SUV drive up from the distance and realize what is going on. They spot the men and open fire. Two of Rafael's gang members are killed. Rafael and Gabriel kill every single rival except two men. One unhurt and the other shot in the arm. When they get back to the gang's main building, the leader is told what happens. He immediately starts to sound cynical and shoots a random person in the room who he thinks is the one to blame. The guy is right between Rafael and his cousin. The drug boss starts ranting on how stupid the guy is because he ruined the hijacking. Obviously it's the wrong guy. The boss does most of the ranting to Rafael because he likes him the most. After the meeting is over with a fellow gang member starts to threaten Rafael's cousin. A big fight breaks out and it is eventually resolved because Rafael says that the drug boss will kill him too for not telling him the truth right away. Meanwhile at the rival gang's headquarters we get information that every gang member at the hijacking has been identified. The rival gang plans to make violent moves against the gang's members, especially Rafael because he shot the most men. Gabriel, Rafael, and the others who were on the job agree to not tell Carlos what had happened for real.
After the weekend is over, the two main characters are invited to a bonfire party the upcoming Friday. They both go. At the party, Emily is there. Charles shows up with some other girl, but leaves. Jake is talking to Emily a little bit. Rafael and Jake are sitting down by the fire and they talk about life. Jake tells Rafael that he is losing his mind lately and doesn’t know what is happening. Rafael tells Jake that he is in a cartel and has done some bad things and feels really bad because he is a father now. Jake tells him that he should turn his life around, now that he has responsibilities and that his son would like to keep him around for a long time. But Rafael can’t get out or he will be killed, even though he wants to. He is stuck at a crossroads. After the conversation, Rafael goes home because he gets a call from his girlfriend. Emily comes and sits by Jake, and they are alone. They get kind of flirty. Jake finds out that Emily has been beaten and eventually broke up with Charles because of it. At the bonfire Emily and Jake have a moment where they basically fall for each other. She sees what a good person Jake is and they kiss. Jake is in euphoria.
Rafael is fully content with being a father. Rafael is content with being a father by this time. He is doing fairly well in school, and he had to stop selling drugs at his high school because he didn't have the time for the extra money because he was busy being a father and hanging out with his friends. At this point Jake is rubbed off on Rafael, completely. He hasn't been called in to do a job for about two weeks.
Emily and Jake are spending a lot of time together and they are seriously in love. Jake's mental issues are slowly going away, but not fully. His problems at home seem to have settled down especially because his younger brother who instigates most of the trouble is away visiting family in another town for a week.
Summary: Act 3
The rival drug gang figures out where Rafael and his cousin both live. They go into his cousin's house and set everything on fire in which that kills his mother. They go into Rafael's house and they kidnap his child. Rafael runs at them with a 12-gauge, shoots one of the guys but the other gets away with his kid. He figures out where the rival gang is located and after that, he kills the gang member.
Shortly after this scene, Charles comes to see Emily to get some of his things, but ends up raping and beating her.
Rafael is put on a rough situation because his girlfriend says she is leaving him and tells him to go and find their kid. He meets up with his cousin, and finds out what happens. Him and his cousin, decide to both kill the rival gang members. They rush in and kill most of the rival gang all in one room. They bust in while they are gambling, using heroin, and prostitutes. Rafael and his cousin split up to find his baby, and Rafael finds him and he is fine except he has a few cigarette burns on his skin. Other than that his child is completely OK. He hears gunshots and rushes to see his cousin dead and kills the man who shot him. There is a big emotional scene here. He finally realizes that he needs to get out of the drug business for good. Too many people are getting hurt. He rushes back to Texas. Gets his baby to his girlfriend and explains what he is about to do and how he is going to make everything right again. He takes the money he had saved up and his cousin's stash from the drug deals and buys a truck, a slew of weapons including pistols, a shotgun, a rifle, two hand grenades, and a one-man helicopter. He skips school and goes down to Mexico in the morning and hides out until his perfect chance to break into his crime boss's place. He goes level 10 crazy and blows away his own members of his gang and then ends up killing Carlos. He had redeemed himself as a person and ended up killing 17 people. He is now free.
Jake finds out about Charles raping Emily and beating her. He gets very pissed and takes his uncle's van and has had Charles scoped out for about a week on his routines. He discovers that since he is an athlete that he runs around his neighborhood around 9pm every single night. He rolls by Charles and snags him using chloroform and ties him up in a chair and puts a hood over his head where he begins to beat him severely and then does a few scenes of torture. Jake takes the hood off of Charles and they have a moment where they talk about stuff, and Charles ends up saying something along the lines of, Fuck you. So Jake gets in the driver seat after he tapes Charles' mouth back. He drives to a wooded area where it’s dark. He opens the van's back door and puts Charles right on the edge of the trunk while he is in his chair and Jake pulls out a shovel and walks to an area and just starts to dig. Charles can see him and is trying to break free, but can't. After the hole is dug, he grabs Charles and puts him in the hole on his knees. Takes off his take and they argue slightly about the situation. Eventually Charles says something like "I’m glad I did it, she deserved it, she screamed like a..." And before he finishes his sentence Jake pulls out a gun quickly from the back of his pants and shoots Charles in the head. Charles falls backwards into the hole that Jake dug for him. And then Jake buries him.
Rafael is living with his girlfriend and ends up getting a job he had interviewed for. Everything is content with him. Him and Jake meet up and talk, as a last scene, which enforces their NEW personalities because of conversation about what each of them did.
Jake and Emily can't be together because he tells her what he did and she can't be with someone like that. Jake is completely broken and unstable. He moves out of his house. Jake walks away, down the street as a new person. A very distraught and crazy version of the Jake we used to know.
The credits run as you see footage of Rafael and his family, and Jake’s drawing and videos of him playing music. Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” plays over the credits.
Rafael - Hispanic student who does some drug dealing in the school
Gabriel - Rafael's cousin and how he gets involved with Carlos' drug cartel.
Lillyana - Rafael's girlfriend
Carlos - Leader of a drug cartel in Mexico
(This guy is a very sick and twisted individual, he kills with no mercy and you get to see him to really sick things to people, but he also has a little bit of a sense of humor about it. He really likes Rafael)
Jake - Michael Cera type of character
(Slowly through the movie you see that something’s not quite right with this guy. Through out the movie his mind starts to slip a little bit)
Emily - Dating Charles, she's a sweetheart but a bit of a pushover.
Charles - Really egotistical ass hole dating Emily.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
So guys I decided to get a late start on this blogging thing, but i feel like it would definitely help out people follow me on my music process and experiences. I am currently working on a double album, one of which is straight acoustic. The other is going to be the whole shabang. Luscious instrumentation, and beautiful arrangements like no other. I will keep you update always and also give you some stories that happened to me throughout my college experience as I attend The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. I am originally from Texas but I feel like this would be a good step for me musically. There I will be studying film, which will give me great opportunities from my music producer experiences. Please read up, I am going to try and post as much as possible.