Written by Mason Troy and directed by Markiss McFadden, “All I Ever Wanted” is a new film about family, friendship, hope and forgiveness and how they all can come together when we most need them the most.
Nearly two years in production and starring the beautifully talented Ashley Watkins [“I’m Coming Out”, “Beside Her”, as well as featured roles in music videos by Disturbed and Luca Hänni], “All I Ever Wanted” is a powerful, gritty, urban drama that touches the heart in so many ways.
I recently spoke with Mason Troy and Markiss McFadden about “All I Ever Wanted” in this exclusive interview.
James Wood: What inspired this project and made you want to tell the story?
Mason Troy: I still remember the first day I started writing the story. I was driving back home from a callback from a previous audition. I didn’t get cast because the casting director told me I was a bit to tall for the role. Although I was disappointed I said to myself that it’s time to start creating my own opportunities with my own stories. I think it’s beautiful that you can express yourself and tell your story behind the camera and show people your vision and ideas. With this movie I really wanted to show real situations and the harsh reality of life. This story is something that a lot of people can relate to, and that was the goal.
JW: How would you describe the story of “All I Ever Wanted”?
Markiss McFadden: It’s the story about a young man losing what he values most to the person he fears the most. Over the years, he’s made many bad decisions; unknowingly digging himself deeper into a place he didn’t want to be. With so much standing in his way, it’s the story of the struggle to find his way back to obtaining the thing that is most precious to him.
JW What was the casting process like?
Troy: We were lucky that we had a lot of actors audition for us and were blessed with the final cast. I was so happy to see how much they believed in the story and how much work they put into their characters. It was really something special.
Click here to watch the trailer for “All I Ever Wanted”.
JW: What can you tell me about the cast and crew?
McFadden: One of the main things we wanted when casting the film was diversity. We have a lot of different ethnicities in the film, which brought a lot of different colors. Not colors in terms of race but different colors of emotions. How we feel when watching. Seeing these people with different cultures interacting with each other was beautiful.
Troy: Bringing different ethnicities to the movie also brings more curiosity to the viewer and how they get to see how people from different social statuses, backgrounds and beliefs behave together. That always intrigued me as a writer. Now, about the crew? I love those guys! They were there day-in and day-out for this movie and I couldn’t ask for more. Markiss was also there from the get-go and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. His passion for filmmaking is so great!
JW: What was it like working with Ashley Watkins on this project?
McFadden: I’ve been a fan of Ashley’s for years. She’s talented, super easy to work with and always comes to set ready.
Troy: I hadn’t really met Ashley until early on in the process, but after I talked to her for a few minutes I knew she was the one. Ashley was always ready; she believed in our vision and just killed it. She’s very professional plus she has this classic, unattainable beauty that matched our description for the character. She was amazing!
JW: What challenges did you encounter while making this film and how did you overcome them?
McFadden: Aside from a small casting situation early on the only other obstacle we had was time. Sometimes it seemed as if there weren’t enough hours in the day. Scheduling became a bit of an issue with people jumping on board at the last minute but everyone was a team player and it all worked out!
JW: Now that the film is complete what’s next? Do you have an official release date?
McFadden: There’s no official release date yet. The focus as of now is on the festival circuit. Getting it into a few festivals and seeing how it does. Then we’ll seek out distribution.
JW: Is there a message you’d like people to take away from watching “All I Ever Wanted”?
McFadden: To not take for granted the one thing most of us don’t fully appreciate. To find out what that is, you’ll have to watch the movie!
Troy: I agree with Markiss. I want people to leave the theater and realize they’ve probably been taking for granted the most valuable thing in life. I can’t wait for people to see this film!