‘Downsized’: TV One Movie Exclusive Interview With Michelle McKissic

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Downsized is an engaging new TV One movie starring Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe. Produced by Swirl Films and directed by Rhonda Baraka, Downsized tells the story of a married black couple whose 25-year marriage is almost ripped apart when they decide to divorce. The TV One television movie is scripted by Michelle McKissic. In addition to Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe, it also stars Alexus Lapri Geier as Madison, Racquel Bianca John as Michelle, Isaiah John as Mike Jr., and Tia Hendricks as Malaysia, according to Rolling Out.

 

TV One Movie: Downsized Synopsis

TV One’s trailer for Downsized introduces viewers to Ebony and Michael Nelson, a teen couple who marries at the insistence of their parents when Ebony becomes pregnant. Back in the day, it was common for young couples to marry out of obligation, putting their dreams on hold to raise their families.

 

After more than two decades together, the strains of marriage and family has sucked the life out of Ebony and Michael. Four children later, all Ebony wants is to take time for herself to pursue her dreams. And although Michael Sr., also wants out of the marriage, he has a change of heart and desires to rekindle their love and reconnect with his family.

On the surface, rekindling their relationship seems like a great idea. However, this family has some real issues to work out. The oldest child, Malaysia, who was born when Michael and Ebony were young, constantly battles with her mom as she strives to avoid sacrificing her wants and dreams as Ebony did years prior.

 

Ebony and Michael’s daughter, Michelle, keeps up with her social media followers every minute of the day, while her twin brother, Michael Jr., spends his time playing video games.

 

 

Meanwhile, Michael Sr. still thinks the best way to save his family is by taking them on a long trip, where they can enjoy peaceful surroundings and take a break from their cell phones and social media pages. As the days turn into weeks, a real transformation begins to take place, making Ebony, Michael, and the kids realize their imperfect life—is actually just perfect.

 

 

Downsized echoes the sentiments of many long-married couples, who say family life isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be complicated and messy, but it can also be rewarding. Though mildly comic, TV One’s Downsized movie illustrates nicely, the changes a relationship undergoes after many years of marriage.

 

Michelle McKissic’s Downsized is a real examination of black love and important teen issues, giving the viewer an inside look at how a family disconnect occurs as each person buries themselves in career and becomes addicted to expensive lifestyles and technology.

 

 

 

TV Crime Sky caught up with Michelle McKissic to chat about Downsized. She conceptualized the script for TV One’s movie in 2012 and finished her first draft in 2014. McKissic explains how TV Crime Sky producers found her story.

“My script got into the hands of producers because I entered a screenwriting competition with the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). TV One sponsors the screenwriting competition for ABFF, and my script was selected as a finalist.”

 

What was your reaction when you were told TV One wanted to develop Downsized into a movie?

“My initial reaction to learning they wanted to develop my script was shock and joy. As previously mentioned, I was selected as a finalist for the ABFF screenplay competition, but I ultimately lost to a phenomenal writer. The winner of the competition is supposed to get their script produced, so when I found out they were going to do mine, it came as a beautiful surprise.”

 

Most movies and books have some inspiration. Is this in any way based on a true story or inspired by actual events? 
“The funny thing is, my life doesn’t resemble this story at all. My parents have been happily married for 40 years. I did borrow bits and pieces from some of the lives of people I know though. A song and a quote from my dad, which were weeded out during the rewriting process, served as a catalyst for the story.”
Michelle McKissic tells TV Crime Sky she has a strong desire to create “positive stories that are fun, edgy, and a little out of the box.” And she’s not stopping at Downsized. Michelle says she’s writing more movies for development. In fact, she’s already written a romantic comedy and conceptualized a political crime drama for a feature movie. Downsized airs this Saturday, September 16, at 9/8 p.m. Central on TV One. Recently, TV One debuted the true-story movie When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story.

 

 

 

[Main Image via TV One/Permission Use Granted]


Traciy Curry-Reyes

Traciy Curry-Reyes is a true-crime buff and freelance writer. She began writing in the 1990s for the Movies Based on True Stories Database/Archives and has contributed content to other websites, such as Examiner.com and Inquisitr.com. Traciy has also appeared as an expert and commentator on TV One's Fatal Attraction, Lifetime's Killer Kids, and Investigation Discovery's Murder Calls.

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