TAKEN IN is a handmade feature film about a man who must spend a weekend alone with his estranged teenage daughter at a roadside resort. It is here that Simon and Brooklyn must confront the issues that have driven them apart, and ultimately choose how they will move forward...together or alone.

TAKEN IN was written and directed by personal filmmaker, Chris White. It was made entirely with cash and in-kind contributions from friends and family. The story (co-written with his wife Emily), was inspired by Chris’ theatre work with students at a therapeutic boarding school. The film is dedicated to his own teenage daughter, Gibson.

TAKEN IN was filmed at South of the Border, Dillon SC USA in the Spring of 2011.

25 April 2011


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?

EMILY REACH WHITE: I'm not really sure -- but I think that would have to be The Weekly Communicator -- a faux (Onion-style) public high school newsletter. We wrote fake articles to each other via email to maintain our sanity when we were teaching. I think I mostly wrote fake articles to you, but I remember a couple of your contributions -- and you're the one who did the layout.

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.

CW: What parts of this story do you feel most responsible for...most proud to have written?

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.

CW: What’s the best part of making a movie at South of the Border?

ERW: Definitely the people. And the trinket store.

CW: What was the funniest thing that happened during the shoot?

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.

CW: As a writer, is it strange to see actors portraying situations...speaking words that you just made up one day? How does that compare to writing narrative fiction...a story someone reads?

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.

CW: What do we do next?!

ERW: We keep living, loving each other and the kids, and making friends. I keep working on my Ph.D. and writing, you keep making movies and plays. And we find ways for our work to overlap as often as possible.

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