One Last Chance
One Last Chance is really a simple story about a man and a woman in love. Life has a way of changing you. I had seen several films depicting domestic violence and abuse. The running theme seemed to be the low income minority family or the crazed drug and alcohol induced husband. I knew I had to come up with a way to make our film touch the hearts of the viewers in a totally new way, so I decided to make every element of the film as real as I possibly could. I decided for my characters to be wealthy. In my research I found conflicting statistics regarding domestic violence and abuse on a state and national level. One reason is that victims would only file reports to local law enforcement after something tragic happened like a death or serious injury. I have spoken to several victims who were very wealthy. The female victims would talk about how their own family members would tell them just to stay with him. Family and friends would try and convince them it was for the best if they stayed in the relationship and to think about how it would look. “What about the family name?” I was shocked to say the least. Family members would be so heartless- putting reputation above all other concerns.I wanted my film to show domestic violence for what it really is… (UGLY)! One Last Chance will not be pretty and sweet when it comes to the arguing of the characters. The language is not nice, and the violence will be as brutal as it can be, all to show the viewers what it is like. It won't be overdone like some 70s exploitation film. Our goal is to show you how life events can change a person or a loving couple. Stress, the loss of a loved one, miscarriages and depression are a few examples of reasons behind an eventual breakdown of a couple's relationship.One Last Chance wants to show the little details, such as a woman's “to go bag,” or as sometimes referred to as a “get out fast bag.” Why is this detail important in the film? How does it relate to anything other than a woman packing her bags? It is very important for our film. It is one of the significant, small details which I realized was a thread among the victims I talked to. They would tell me, “I didn't have time to leave.” “I can't pack all my stuff quick enough.” Or they would say something like, “I wasn't sure what to do first.” At the time I didn't know there were stages a victim had to go through mentally before deciding to leave. Later on, I spoke to a counselor with DART (Domestic Abuse Response Team) and asked them questions related to what the victims of abuse had told me previously. They were very helpful in answering all my questions on how a person could get help. I would like to mention, DART gave me no information about the life situation of any specific victim’s past or present. They keep all information confidential. The “to go bag” is simply a quick way to be prepared to leave when ready, but it’s very important. Realistically, I can’t show every little detail of what goes through the minds of victims or the many steps they go through in deciding when and how to leave. But I can show the various emotions which they go through. One Last Chance will answer questions we have all asked like “Why would that person stay in an abusive relationship?” Again, in talking with victims, they would all say basically the same thing. At the time they thought they could change the person abusing them by loving them. Somehow, they thought that loving them would make their abusers better. The victim goes through a stage of blaming themselves first. “It’s my fault. I caused this to happen to me. I made him or her slap me and punch me in the face.” After leaving the relationship, victims would realize that they were being manipulated into thinking those thoughts mainly by the way the abuser treated them. They would say things like, “You pushed me too far. It’s your fault.” Not every situation is the same, but there are similarities between the mentalities of the victims and the abusers.The original One Last Chance has a few scenes showing our lead character shooting her husband and then herself. I can't confirm that this is the way the next incarnation of our story will end. But I will say why in the original story the scene was written in. When talking with victims I heard almost every time the same thing- “I wanted to just kill myself. I felt I had no other way out. I didn't because I have kids.” Or some victims would say, “I loved him and couldn't do it.” The same was said when victims talked about the thoughts of killing the abuser. Some of the victims talked about planning the murder but never being able to go through with it. I wanted the scene to serve as a sort of wish fulfillment for the victims and as a warning for the abusers- a what would happen if…. With all this said, One Last Chance is a combination of true stories brought together to tell one. The hope is that through truly understanding the anatomy of abuse that we can find a way to end it.