CHRIS WHITE: Emily Reach White…co-writer for TAKEN IN (and my wife!)…what was the first piece of writing you and I collaborated on?
Since then, we've done some more serious projects together. Since September we've done two student films for Wade Hampton High School (Vent and No Substitute), a short film (Good Life), a one-act play for the Carlbrook School (Can't Stay Here), a 10-minute play for a 24-hour play festival (Neo-Maxi-Zoom-Dweebie), and, of course, Taken In. Wow -- that's a lot.
ERW: Well, you wrote most of this story. And much of this film was improvised. But I feel indirectly responsible for all of it because I think I help you see things, think things, in new ways. As any good partner does. I worked more as the story editor and sounding board for this particular project. And I wrote the last two lines . . . but the way the story has unfolded, I'm not sure we're going to be able to use them. I'm not sure that they make sense anymore.
Still -- I think I'm responsible for much of the feel and the tone and the arc of the story. I'm good at bringing ideas full circle -- and, as a Literature Ph.D., I'm good at telling you what your writing is doing. Making sure that it's doing what you think it's doing . . . what you want it to do. And I'm proud of all of that.
ERW: Jennifer [Baxley, Producer] and I were grilling hamburgers for the cast and crew back at the campground, and a cop came to make sure everything was OK. That's all I can say.
ERW: It is strange -- especially when the actors take your words in ways you maybe didn't intend or go in directions you hadn't thought of. A lot of people say that words are ineffectual and inaccurate. And they'd point to this type of always-present latent ambiguity as proof of the limited nature of words -- they'd say that we can never really communicate what we intend. But I think it proves exactly the opposite -- the fact that the actors can read my words in ways I never imagined, and the story still works -- I think that proves that words are pinpoint accurate, layered, and incredibly powerful.