and then there was another definition about simply being a deep or considered thought about something. But then I found that there was another definition that was more Psychology focused. It said: “Focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress and on it’s possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.” It’s similar to worry, right? But it’s like you’re constantly thinking about something over and over again. It’s like compulsive, you know?
Chad: I knew I was suffering from rumination. Because of the break up I was having dreams about her all the time. I was literally thinking about her when I was doing pretty much anything, she was constantly on my mind. To the point where it’s was being very disruptive and making me very sad. So, that’s where the title came from. Then this idea of, man, like wishing I could go back and change things, you know? If I just had a time machine I would go back and do this differently, or that differently. Say this or don’t say that and I think it’s a universal feeling that a lot of people have. But because we can’t go back in time I thought it would be cool to write a story about it.
Anzzia: I really like what you did! So, without giving too much away, can you tell me a little bit about the film?
Chad: One way I describe it to everyone is simply that ‘Rumination’ is about a heart broken man who travels into the past for a second chance at a failed relationship. So, it’s about this man named Elliot who is having dreams about an ex-girlfriend. To him the grief almost feels like death and that was really kind of the theme and the heart of the film for me was that idea of grief-
So, we start off with meeting Elliot when he is kind of at his lowest point. As far as depression and anxiety. I mean this is a guy who is taking prescription medicine to deal with it and drinking alcohol.
Anzzia: Yeah, so you seem him actively numbing himself.
Chad: Yeah, he is actively numbing himself and he feels broken. That’s one of the lines in the film. He says he feels broken and he wants something stronger. At some point he meets someone who says he can give him something stronger. He meets a man by the name of Renard and Renard is a neuroscientist, that’s how he describes himself. Who has developed a pill that enables time travel. He explains to him a little bit about kind of the science behind time travel being more neurological than quantum physics. I try to explain this idea that time and consciousness are interwoven, and Elliot is so desperate that he meets this guy and decides to take this pill. I’ll kind of leave it at that but that’s kind of what the story is about.
Kelvin Drama & Danny Gavigan as 'Renard'
Anzzia: So, then we will be seeing how it unfolds from there, okay! So, the casting process, can you walk me through a little bit of what you were looking for in your actors?
Chad: Yeah, so I initially I was thinking about playing the character myself. Right? Because, it was a character I could SO relate to.
Chad: Yeah, I mean literally the very first, there’s a scene in the movie, probably one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie. It’s a scene that takes place in a diner and the very first words that the Elliot character says, we’re really true words of mine. I almost treated the script like a drum and one day I sat down and wrote down the feelings that I felt. So, the character says what I said right? It’s really kind of like me pouring out how I felt and being very vulnerable. Then I decided I didn’t want to memorialize myself on film replaying through the emotions that I worked so hard to move past.
Anzzia: True, okay. That’s a dark place.
Chad: Yeah that could be a bad look in multiple ways, right? Like one it’s like yeah, I could relate to it as an actor and I can bring an authentic performance, but it may trigger some things that could make me relapse emotionally.
Anzzia: Yeah, that makes sense.
Chad: Yeah it felt like it was enough to just write it out. But to actually play it out again when I kind of played those emotions in real life. I thought it might have been difficult, emotionally. But also, I didn’t want to memorialize on film me in that type of state.
Anzzia: I can understand that.
Chad: So you have someone else in front of it and I came across actor Kelvin Drama literally by seeing a monologue he posted on Facebook. Which goes to show how important social media can be for an actor to get a gig.
Anzzia: Yes! Wow, okay!
Chad: Yeah so, I saw a video of him, I listened to his monologue and something about the way he delivered his lines but more so he had this sincerity in his expressions and he was very expressive even when he wasn’t speaking.
Anzzia: It was more body language?
Chad: Yeah it was his body language, his facial expressions, his eyes there was a sincerity about him. He seemed like someone that people could easily sympathize with, so I literally reached out to him like, I think like August of last year and I didn’t meet him in person until we had a table read. I basically cast him just on the strength of that one video I saw, thinking he could play the character.
Chad: The other two characters, rather the other two actors’, was more serendipitous. I was at a table read for another movie I was in. Actor’s Danny Gavigan, he plays the neuroscientist in my film, we also had him at that table read and as I was watching him perform it just struck me that he would be really interesting in that role. Then literally I looked out through the glass door of the room we were in actress Angus Winfield, who is in the same building but for a totally different reason and I was like “Suh?”. Me and her had worked on a film together a few years ago. Where she ironically plays my girlfriend, who breaks up with me.
Anzzia: Wow! /laughs
Chad: Yeah and I saw her there and I knew that I wanted to have a woman who was really beautiful. I wanted someone who was like beautiful in such a way that like, if she broke up with you and you had dreams about her it would be like double…I don’t know how to express it. Make the audience go “Man!” almost like no wonder he misses her you know?
Chad: I know it’s kind of superficial but for cinematic purposes I think it would be a good way. So, anyway I saw her, I walked out and told her about it and she liked it. I sent her the script, I sent Danny the script the same day, they both loved it and then I had the cast.
Anzzia: Okay wow, that was, that was fairly simple. /laughs
Chad: Yeah. /laughs
Anzzia: I like that process.
Chad: We didn’t really have auditions for it, it kind of just fell into place.
Kelvin Drama ⎮ L. Angus Whinfield ⎮ Danny Gavigan
Read His full interview at http://joom.ag/mcyL/p10
Images provided by: Chad Eric Smith, Everett Catlin