ALUMNI NEWS

Alums Form Production Company, Film Their First Movie

BY LIZ DOUGLAS MEDCALF M’17


A team made up of mostly FSU alumni has created a production company and filmed their inaugural project, The Color Brown, with primary filming taking place in October 2020 in Erie, Pa.

No Free Rides is a black-owned production company founded by Brandon Chase (Huguley) ’19 and Willard Brewington III ’18, which aims to curate stories from courageous, hard-working and gifted storytellers to produce diverse, bold and daring content.

The Color Brown is a subtle, yet focused, exploration of what acceptance, grief, trauma and love look like within the dynamic of the African American family.

Jha'Neal Blue & Brandon ChaseJha'Neal Blue‘18 and Brandon Chase ’19 film a scene in The Color Brown

Director, co-writer and lead actress Jha’Neal Blue (Stoute) ’18 said, "Art is the most reflective form of being. It encompasses all of the human experience: sight, speech and hearing. If I am able to bring a story to the screen that every human being can see a tiny piece of themselves in, then I have succeeded at my craft."

Set against the angelic scenery of Erie, Pa., The Color Brown follows the emotional union of two siblings who have never met, upon the death of their estranged mother. This story, which delves into the Black experience in America combined with West African culture through music and art, attempts to unveil the unjust reality of untreated mental health issues.

Through a micro-lens, Harper Sumney, an in-house counselor in the midst of depression, and Love Wright, a graduate student in pursuit of a deeper connection to her mother, dig into the perfect facade of one another as they hope to find answers to the childhood abuse they endured. Over the course of 36 hours, the siblings run the gamut of emotions through personal stories and experiences and their own idiosyncrasies.

Allie Kitaguchi ’19 is script supervisor on the film.

Nicole Mattis, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, expressed pride in her former students. "During the tough days of COVID, they focused in on their art and storytelling,"she said. "They are pretty focused and excited to see this through."

The film is in post-production currently. Learn more on Facebook at TheColorBrownShortFilm, or Instagram @_thecolorbrown. Fundraising links can be found at both sites to assist the filmmakers with completing the project.