Writer-Producer Felicia Pride Talks ‘The End Again’Posted by Wilson Morales
November 3, 2014
Currently available online for the public is the short film romantic dramedy The End Again, which stars ex-Scandal star Columbus Short and his now estranged wife, actress, Tanee McCall-Short.
Directed by Crystle C. Roberson, the film was written/produced by Felicia Pride and produced by Latisha Fortune. Columbus Short served as an executive producer.
THE END AGAIN is a pensive portrait of a couple’s last day together as they emphatically end their five-year relationship. Joe and Jane have reached an impasse. It’s moving day. But knowing that it’s over doesn’t make it any easier to walk away. The mood is somber yet routine. Jane prepares their tea like she’s done so many times before. Joe helps her pack up the last of her belongings even as she prepares to shut the door on their relationship and walk out of his life. Throughout the day, they muse on memories shared and rehash old arguments. Still the outcome remains the same. It’s over. In the end, their final farewell is emotional yet cold. Jane leaves. Joe is left alone. The end has arrived. Or has it?
The contemporary romantic drama illustrates the sometimes complex yet nuanced struggles that often accompany breakups as Jane Salmon (McCall-Short) and Joe Maxwell (Short) attempt to reconcile their personal battles of conscience against a love that still remains. THE END AGAIN is a prequel to the forthcoming feature length film entitled OPENENDED, which reunites Joe and Jane for a single day to mourn the loss of a mutual friend and to confront unresolved feelings.
Blackfilm.com recently spoke with writer-producer Felicia Pride on the short film and whether the leads will be back considering they are currently in the midst of marital woes.
How did the project come about?
Felicia Pride: I actually wrote a feature film, which I started in ’08 and have been working on it since then. I spoke with Latisha Fortune, my producing partner and Crystle C. Roberson, who was the director of The End Again and just decided what can we do to get some buzz around the feature. We decided to do a shorter project which is The End Again and the feature is called Open Ended. So the short is actually a prequel to the feature.It starts out four years before Open Ended starts and it’s about a couple staying together. The screenplay for The End Again was pretty quick. We were all together in LA last November and came up with a concept. I wrote it and we shot in January and starting doing screenings in February. It went by very quickly and the idea behind it was to give some back-story to these characters, but also explore what happens when love ends and the fact that love is complicated. Sometimes it’s nobody’s fault. Sometimes it just ends. So, let’s explore that.
With your two leads, real-life married couple Columbus Short and Tanee McCall-Short currently going through some marriage problems, is this a situation where life imitates art?
FP: Being able to have a husband and wife for this film definitely gave it some layers because they already had the built-in chemistry. There is a scene in the film where there is a fight and they actually ad-libbed that. Because they know each other, they were able to get into that space. The chemistry was something valuable, with them being married, that helped the project. Then, art can reflect true life. You want to be able to tell the story about love, hurt, and complications.
How did you go about in getting the two of them?
FP: Tanee was cast first and she came in and auditioned for us. She blew me away. She blew the director and producer away and we wanted her. That was it. Then we started doing more chemistry reads with other male actors to play Joe and she felt that the weren’t quite right and Columbus offered to do it. She brought it up to us and we said ok. What’s crazy is that we didn’t think of him as Joe but when he got on set, he did a really great job. She did an awesome job and we’re happy with how it all came together.
As a producer, wouldn’t that be a gift to have some like Columbus, who’s been in movies and television, help sell the project?
FP: Yes. We were focusing on the short for awhile. We were leaving things open-ended (no pun intended) with the film, but it definitely helps to have a name star.
What’s the next step with the film?
FP: We did the film festival circuit and after that, we decided to release it online about 2 weeks ago and in addition to releasing it online, we launch an Indiegogo campaign, which ends on Tuesday, November 4, to raise development cost for the feature film. We are just trying to keep the momentum going so we can make the feature happen. Our goal is to shoot it in 2015. We’re also trying to build a community around the space and bring people along for the journey as we are in development and pre-production.
Should you be able to obtain the funds to make the feature film, will you still have the Shorts as your two leads?
FP: I don’t know. We haven’t really talked about that. We want to make what makes the best sense for the film and the story. We did put it out there to the community about letting us know who should play Joe and Jane. We’re open.