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Talking With Choice Skinner About New Film ‘A New Life’

Interview with award-winning filmmaker Choice Skinner about his latest film spanning family, love and new beginnings.

By FierceScribePublished 8 months ago 6 min read
"A New Life" by filmmaker Choice Skinner

This edition of Talking With focuses on Choice Skinner, who wrote, produced, directed, and edited the new romantic dramedy feature film, “A New Life,” currently available on Amazon Prime and major digital platforms.

The film revolves around a single father finding love again after the death of his wife six years earlier. It dives into the emotional complexities of a Black man trying to do the “right thing” by his daughter, the memory of his wife, and the new love he discovers with another woman.

Choice cast actors Chris Rouse (“The Wrong Valentine”) in the leading role, Ronald, and Daffany McGaray Clark (“John Henry,” “Fosters”) as his wife, Stephanie. Additional key roles are portrayed by Kyndra Mack, Danny Joo, Danny Royce, Joan Moten, Kailah Ami, and NFL star Josh Butler.

Previously, Choice teamed with writer-producer Tony Germinario for his feature directing debut, the comedy “Wingman, Inc.” In addition, he earned awards for his dramatic short “Brotherly Love” and won Octavia Spencer’s Facebook Short Film Competition with “A Second Thought”. He started his career as an actor appearing on television in “All American,” “The District,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Shield,” and “Lost”; and in the films “Killjoy 2 Delierance From Evil,” “Black Magic”, “Cryptz,” “Transylmania,” and “Free Samples”.

To learn more, we are Talking With Choice Skinner:

Can you tell us about your new feature film “A New Life”?

CHOICE SKINNER: “A New Life” is a romantic dramedy about a young father named Ronald, who reluctantly enters back into the dating scene due to his daughter Brianna six years after the passing of his wife Stephanie. It’s a film about overcoming grief, family, finding a new love, and letting go of familiar things and allowing new blessings to enter your life. I directed, produced, wrote, edited and was the main camera operator for the project. The film was shot in 16 days during the Covid lockdown in Los Angeles.

Why did you want to write this story?

CS: I wrote the screenplay back in 2000. I did a polish and update on it a few months before we began lensing. Back when I initially wrote it, I noticed that there weren’t many films about Black Men dealing with grief, and being single fathers. I wanted to give the world a different view and perspective of Black Men in the media, especially when it comes to the interaction of Black Men with their families and fatherhood. For me, it was all about showcasing some positivity in the Black community. Throughout the years in the media there has been a constant onslaught of the drug game and rap culture that represent Black Men. We have enough negativity and nihilism in our entertainment and, in how we are portrayed on film and in television as toxic fathers and sons, so I wanted to make a film to show a different side.

There seems to be a great chemistry with your cast; tell us about the casting process for the film.

CS: Almost ALL of the actors cast in the film were actors from my acting class and ran and operated for 11 years, the Breakin Through Acting Workshop (BTAW). I trained and coached them week in and week out, and knew their strengths and weaknesses. Many of them had studied with me for some time and it was a waiting game for me to find the right project to cast them in. Daffany McGaray Clark was promised the role of Stephanie years prior. One night while watching the Chris Rouse perform a scene from the script on stage, I saw enough from his performance to know that he could play the lead. After class I asked him to read the whole screenplay. He enjoyed it and I offered him the role. He accepted, so I welcomed him in as the lead role of Ronald, and as a producer.

Do you have a favorite scene from the film? And, was it also your favorite to shoot?

CS: My favorite scene to shoot would have to be the “Baby Shower” scene. It was a day when the synergy was on point and all of the pieces seemingly fell into place. We were at the height of lockdown, but were able to find an amazing location all thanks to Janessa A. Morgan and my Assistant Director Ramsay Phillips. They definitely made it all possible. It was a scene when all of the cast was in the same place at once. We had so many actors show up to help behind the scenes. The production design was perfect, once again thanks to Janessa A. Morgan, and everyone’s performance was amazing. Side note, I had just recovered after two weeks of being sick from a severe flare-up of diverticulitis.

As the writer-director-producer, what was the biggest challenge taking this project from script to screen?

CS: The #1 challenge is always the lack of finances. It’s hard to get great stories off the ground nowadays. It’s easier to find support for agenda based topics or films that are quirky, far out there, and weird to extreme. Working on an indie film with an almost non-existent budget, that tells a heartwarming story is a severe struggle, but it shows the world that you are tremendously talented and resourceful if you are able to get it off the ground. To shoot and complete a film that is cohesive, great in quality, and comparable with movies that have a big budget with well-known talent is a huge accomplishment and a great calling card for an indie director. Getting people to believe in your vision and the potential success of your film is another major challenge as well.

Overall, what do you hope moviegoers to take away from “A New Life”?

CS: What I want for viewers to take away from the film is to know that pain and loss is not a forever thing. Although life has its trials and tribulations there is always an opportunity to receive new things if you are brave enough to let go. Everybody needs and deserves a New Life. This film shows that. I’m looking forward to seeing it entertain and help people.

As a filmmaker, what inspires you the most creatively?

CS: What inspires me most is knowing that God has gifted so many of us with amazing talents. I know that if I’m able to put my all into my work, then I will be able to entertain and affect people. Being told that your content “touched them” by someone after they have watched your film makes it all worthwhile. I thank God for the insight and talent he has endowed me with, that enables me to leave my legacy and work with the world.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

CS: Absolutely! Always remember “Greatness Recognizes Greatness”. Please support indie film and indie filmmakers. Watch, share, like and review the film “A New Life” with your family, friends, and loved ones on Amazon Prime, Rotten Tomatoes, and IMDb. Leaving 4 or 5 stars and a high ranking after viewing the movie takes the film a long way.

Also be on the lookout for several of my upcoming projects in development, “The Legend Of Ciscero” a horror film, “Big & Beautiful” a romantic comedy, and my dark comedy short film “2 Killers In A Car”.

Thanks for your support!

Connect with Choice Skinner at:

Instagram: @darkan2000 / Facebook: ChoiceJSKinner / X(Twitter): @darkanent

Watch the trailer for “A New Life” at:

Follow on Instagram: @anewlifefilm / Facebook: anewlifefilm


About the Creator


I write about entertainment and the inspiring people who create it. Interviews with actors and filmmakers revealing their latest projects and what influences them creatively.

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