THE THINGS WE DO WHEN WE’RE ALONE (FEATURE)
ABOUT THE PROJECT
My History Of Emo.
by Chanel James
A lot of historians say that by the mid 2000s, all the emo and pop/punk bands blended together. Same haircuts, same sound, Myspace. Here’s the deal with me, one of the actual 16 year old kids at the show in the early 2000s.
In the summer of 2002, I’m sitting on the floor of my grandparent’s basement gazing through old family photo albums depressed because I have to shuffle back and forth between Atlanta and Philly to see the best friends I’d just left to move to a new town, juggle shifting family dynamics, and concern myself with the horror of entering the 9th grade with no idea how to present myself to this world. I listen to Incubus, I talk “white”, I’m black, I’m a female, I stand out, and by this year I’d moved 8 times.
The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows (Brand New) comes on Fuse and the title corresponds to exactly what I am currently feeling. I close the photo album and stare entranced at my screen. This young guy in an ambulance has just had something terrible and life altering happen, and he’s purging in front of me. This is all that I can see. In that one day my entire life turned around. I saw a way into another world where I could say things and feel what I am feeling openly and safely, and have no one see me but the ones who know me.
Fall 2002, I get to my new school and audition for the drama club. There are all these kids from different backgrounds, just chill, and nerdy about life – excited. Chase – unbelievable nice, bubbly and interested in what everyone has to say – offers me a ride home. He puts on the most FUN music I’d ever heard. “What the heck is this?”, he tells me Something Corporate Leaving Through The Window. So that’s two.
And then I sat next to Jess. 10th grade, drama class, back row, all quiet, wide graceful afro, and wearing a blue jean skirt I can tell she made herself. She didn’t talk much, and we started to open up. Eventually, we were over each other’s houses. She tells me her mom used to be a band manager and I think that’s pretty cool. She’s into Christian rock and also likes Relient K. At last, we’d found each other and we could begin down a rabbit hole that would last six years.
The first show I can remember attending was a Coffee House talent show that the drama club put on at the end of 10th grade. Alex Sharp’s brother Patrick’s band played Weezer covers and we all stood in a close circle and sang along with the band. I learned the words on the spot. This was amazing. Everyone was here to support Pat and his music. I loved this camaraderie, and I wanted more.
At lunch one day, we were all talking and hangin’ and my stomach was turning from all the friends and family that now surrounded my once vacant and terrified existence in this town. In a haze of thankfulness, my friend Alek taps me on the shoulder and hands me CDs from his bookbag – Thursday War All The Time and Emery The Weak’s End. I went home, popped each of his CDs on the stereo, and laid on my floor to listen. I was forever changed. I started going to shows, and it has never – ever stopped.
I’m pretty tired of hearing people talk shit about my bands. I was a kid who felt out of place and curious and alone and these kids saved my life just as much as Braid saved yours: Saves The Day, Brand New, The Early November, Something Corporate, Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, Say Anything, Mewithoutyou, Death Cab For Cutie, Dashboard Confessional.
I’ve been writing this film since the fall of 2012 from the depths of every journal I keep.
“The Things We Do When We’re Alone” 2015 is a coming of age film about what happens when you don’t just love music, but live by it. Written, Produced, Directed by Chanel James. © Dinosaur Hawk Films, LLC.
The Things We Do When We’re Alone is about what happens when you don’t just love music, but live by it. It follows crestfallen punk fan Cassidy as she returns home to seek salvation in a rare performance by her favorite band.
We will distribute via digital download and hold independent screenings in both New York City and Atlanta.