Bounded is a 2010 sci-fi/psychological drama, and the sixth production from Wingless Films. It follows on from Possession by casting director Jim Elton in a co-starring role. He portrays the Rival, a mysterious figure who torments his victim (Tom Menary) after trapping the latter in an empty, white dimension. The film also features Annie Knight, and was primarily filmed in Plymouth University's greenscreen studio.
- "If every year is a marble, how many do you have left...?"
- ―The Rival to the Captive
A man finds himself a stranger in a strange land, having woken to a world all in white, and with no way out. The Captive's troubles are only just beginning, as he is beset by a voice from the air, and an individual who has very particular motives for constructing the world of the marble.
- "I'm the King of the Castle, and you're the dirty rascal!"
- ―The Rival to the Captive
The Captive awakens to find himself in a White Room of seemingly infinite size. Disoriented, he calls out, and hears a disembodied, sing-song voice—at first giggling childishly, but soon speaking directly to the Captive, claiming to be watching over him. The voice refuses to answer his questions, and leaves the Captive alone for some time. The prisoner attempts to escape, running through the endless space until he tires himself out, and sleeps fitfully on the glowing, white floor.
He is woken by a harsh buzzing sound, and the voice returns, toying with the Captive and evading his questions. He asks after his girlfriend, Ellen, though the voice does not respond. The Captive remains trapped for an indeterminate amount of time, and begins to suffer headaches in the White Room. The voice appears to sympathize, though after the Captive rages against his unseen tormentor, the voice reveals its identity.
The Rival incarnates himself in the room, declaring his hatred for the Captive. They face off, with the Rival believing that his captive mistreated his friends, and is now being duly punished. The Rival states: "Life is a game", and walks away, leaving the Captive unable to follow. The tormentor departs with the ominous suggestion that he has business to attend to in the physical realm, and the Captive is left alone.
In the real world, Ellen receives a visit from the Rival, whom she greets as a good friend. She inquires after a green marble he is holding, though the Rival dismisses it as a plaything he has grown bored of. As he moves in to kiss Ellen, the Rival lets go of the marble, which rolls into the darkness beneath a chest of drawers. Inside the White Room, the Captive's world has gone dark, and he calls out pitifully as he is plunged into blackness.
- Jim Elton
- Special effects artist
- Tom Menary
- Music composer
The screenplay was completed on September 20, 2010, and production for Bounded was carried out over the following two months. The interior of the White Room was filmed in the greenscreen studio at Plymouth University, with visual effects applied in Final Cut Pro. The film was released on November 15 under the Eternal Silence name, and on December 15 as part of Wingless Films.
Bounded was originally conceived as part of a larger story arc, and was intended to be a spritual sequel to Possession and the unmade film Protected. The Rival was to have been revealed as the entity behind the disappearances of the students during the events of Possession, and the Captive was to have been the same character as the student dragged into the darkness at the end of that film. The arc was abandoned in favour of standalone films such as Captive, Chapter Two and Capsule. At this point, the film was referred to as The Marble and Isolation, and was to have been the third film of a possible eleven-to-fourteen chapters in the story arc.
- Main article: Bounded (soundtrack)
The original score for Bounded was composed by Tom Menary, as the second soundtrack for a Wingless Films production. The score contains numerous motifs, including "the Marble Theme", "the Rival's Theme", the "Despair Theme" and two brief snippets of the "Love Theme". The soundtrack was released along with the film, and later re-released on Last.fm in expanded form on March 21, 2011. This digital album includes several bonus tracks, such as alternate takes and demos.
The film was partially based on Harlan Ellison's short story, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. In the script, the Rival was referred to as "AM", as an homage to the sadistic super-computer of the story, and the name of the Captive's girlfriend, Ellen, was derived from one of the characters. The Rival's declaration of hate towards the Captive was based on the infamous "pillar of hatred" from the story. The Rival also quotes HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey: "It's a shame about your friends, isn't it? [...] I suppose you're pretty broken up about it?"