ENDLESS LOVE (2014)

EndlessLove2014Poster

Endless LoveProduction Information

There is nothing more overpowering, reckless and all-consuming than the rush that accompanies first love…in all of its intensity and obsession, possibility and promise.  It is a timeless theme in modern storytelling, dating back to Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, but one that remains urgently current because it serves as a rite of passage for everyone in every generation.

This Valentine’s Day, one young couple will fight against all odds for love.

Endless Love stars ALEX PETTYFER (Magic Mike, I Am Number Four) and GABRIELLA WILDE (The Three Musketeers, Carrie) in the story of Jade Butterfield and David Elliot, a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart.  Although separated by class boundaries, their gravitational pull is undeniable and unstoppable.

               During the months following their high school graduation, Jade, a sheltered young woman with a limitless future, becomes enthralled with David, a working-class boy with a troubled past who in turn falls head over heels for her.  Their romance collides with Jade’s controlling father’s attempts to steer her clear of David, while her mother encourages the relationship to thrive and his father advises clear-eyed caution.  Over the course of one unforgettable summer, two young lovers will defy logic and allow their all-consuming passion to determine their future together.

               Directed by SHANA FESTE (Country Strong, The Greatest), the romantic drama co-stars a cast of seasoned and up-and-coming performers, led by BRUCE GREENWOOD (Star Trek, Flight) as Hugh, Jade’s overbearing father who never lets her out of his sight; JOELY RICHARDSON (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Vampire Academy) as Anne, Jade’s romantic and idealistic mother who has the heart of a poet; and ROBERT PATRICK (Safe House, upcoming Kill the Messenger) as David’s father, Harry, a mechanic who wants his son to have the life he never did.

               They are joined by young talents RHYS WAKEFIELD (The Purge, Sanctum) as Keith, Jade’s loving, yet rebellious, older brother; DAYO OKENIYI (The Hunger Games, The Spectacular Now) as Mace, David’s fantastically reckless best friend; and EMMA RIGBY (The Counselor, television’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland) as Jenny, David’s formidable ex-girlfriend who refuses to give up on him so easily.

               To produce the film, SCOTT STUBER (Ted, Safe House) of Bluegrass Films and producer PAMELA ABDY (Identity Thief, 47 Ronin) of New Regency are joined by JOSH SCHWARTZ (TV’s Gossip Girl, The O.C.) and STEPHANIE SAVAGE (TV’s Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie) of Fake Empire.

               For Endless Love, Feste commands a behind-the-scenes team that is led by director of photography ANDREW DUNN (Precious, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), production designer CLAY GRIFFITH (We Bought a Zoo, Sweet Home Alabama), editor MARYANN BRANDON (Star Trek, Super 8), costume designer STACEY BATTAT (The Bling Ring, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) and composer CHRISTOPHE BECK (The Hangover trilogy, The Muppets).

               Based on the book by SCOTT SPENCER, Endless Love is from a screenplay by Shana Feste and JOSHUA SAFRAN (Gossip Girl).  J. MILES DALE (The Vow) and TRACY FALCO (Lions for Lambs) serve as the romantic drama’s executive producers.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

 

Fight for Love:

The Production Begins

 

The idea to draw inspiration from Scott Spencer’s 1979 best-selling novel about teenage lovers and bring those themes to young moviegoers in the 21st century originated with Scott Stuber and Pamela Abdy, who, early on, attracted a pair of ideal collaborators.  Although this all-consuming territory has been explored in films for much older audiences, they were interested in taking an exploration of a love so intense that nothing will stand in its way and making it relatable for a “PG-13” audience.

Abdy shares the film’s inception: “When Scott and I talked about doing Endless Love as a film, we thought it would be a good idea to approach Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who are the king and queen of the teen genre.  They have created such wonderful, smart work that speaks to that generation: The O.C. and Gossip Girl and now The Carrie Diaries.  At that point, the development process began and we worked to make the best, most contemporary version of a teenage first-love story.”

            Stuber shared his fellow producers’ interest in developing the material.  He notes: “I thought this was a great way to explore two people who have the ups and downs of their first love.  The first time that you feel those emotions, there’s euphoria to them, and this great love expands who you are.  As well, there’s a great sadness when it goes wrong.  You feel it on such a level that you can’t again, as there is only one first time.”

            For Schwartz, the challenge was to ensure that the film would both honor the classic movie melodrama and feel like a current, relevant romance.  “Stephanie and I have worked together for a long time, and we love classic teen drama,” he says.  “When you’re telling a story about teenagers, everything seems so heightened and feels like life and death.  We wanted to create a modern-day epic love story that still feels grounded, believable and has a bit of a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ quality to it.”

            With this telling of the classic story, the producers believed that their Jade Butterfield and David Elliot should discover the beautiful abandonment and repercussions of falling into your first love.  They knew that the intended audience would see and experience a great deal of their own first relationships in this drama.

            “I love romantic movies and love stories,” offers Savage, “and something that is always a huge part in the TV shows that Josh and I do is the theme of young people falling in love for the first time—losing themselves, making good and bad decisions and going on a journey—which is relatable for everybody.  You’ve either been in love and had your heart broken or you want to be in love.  Even when you get older, you often think about that teenage love and the first time that you fell.”

            Schwartz and Savage developed the script for Endless Love with Joshua Safran, one of the duo’s Gossip Girl writers, with whom they had worked for years.  Whereas Spencer’s novel has somewhat more political and darker elements than this film, the producers remain grateful for its inspiration and took liberties with his characters and narrative.  Commends Savage: “Josh is smart and is a terrific emotional writer; we love his voice.  We knew he would understand the elevated world of Jade’s family and bring to this original script the story of a family that had suffered and hadn’t recovered from the loss of their son.  As well, he could help the audience understand how David, this scrappy kid from the other side of the tracks, comes into their lives and ignites Jade’s heart.”

            After organizing the core team and commissioning a draft, the producers approached Country Strong’s Shana Feste to direct.  As Schwartz notes: “Shana came in with such a great sensibility about the material.  She has an acute understanding of character and love stories.  Most importantly, she vividly remembers being a teenager and tapped into many of the things that appealed to the rest of us about the story.”

            Savage agrees with her fellow producer’s assessment: “Shana had directed two previous movies that had amazing performances, especially from young actors.  We knew that if we could get Shana to direct the movie it would feel authentic.  Her belief in love and the theme of the movie is imbued in every scene; lightness, warmth and hopefulness permeate through everything.”

            Once Feste signed on to the project, she tailored the script to her sensibilities.  Abdy explains: “The life of each character is important to Shana, and she’s thought through every stage—from working through the story and writing the script to figuring out the characters’ relationships and how they were intertwined.”

The writers imagined Jade as a sheltered and inexperienced high-school senior who falls for David, a dangerous young man with a dark history.  Her father strongly objects to the passionate relationship that’s blossoming and the newfound freedom that Jade’s discovering with a guy he is certain is wrong for her.  There’s little he can do about her evolution or David’s increasing presence and influence upon her.  In fact, Jade’s intense feelings for David are a constant, thorny reminder to both her father and mother of what has slowly died in their marriage.  As Jade consciously says goodbye to her innocent past, she has an awakening that will change both of them forever.

Stuber found soulfulness to Feste’s approach to the material, one that echoed a classic fairy tale.  He explains: “In the way that Jade is articulated, she’s Rapunzel.  She’s a girl who had a brother who died of cancer, which inevitably made her mother and father that much more of helicopter parents.  The loss of a child is the worst thing that could happen to anyone, and that loss manifests itself in different ways.  In the case of Jade’s father, it turned him into an overbearing man who has limited his daughter’s ability to be a real person in high school.  She’s lost out on those years and is a girl in a gilded cage until David breaks her out of it.  He can see her for who she really is.”

Feste elaborates upon her interest in the project: “I wanted to direct this film because I wanted to make a contemporary love story.  I was immediately drawn to the idea of making a movie about falling in love and exploring themes that are important to me—being brave and putting love first.  To have that message reach hundreds of thousands of people in this generation is an amazing opportunity.”

            The writer/director aimed to create an experience that would have the audience rooting for our couple.  Her goal was to expose the intensity and passion of first love, and she was determined to put that into each frame of the movie.  The director shares: “I wanted a happy ending for this story.  I wanted our characters to win, and I wanted love to win.  That’s the story that I wanted to tell: that real love, your first love, can be the most powerful.”

            She continues: “I thought a lot about ‘Romeo and Juliet’ when I was writing and was also inspired by the photography of Ryan McGinley.  The connection to teenagers in his work feels inclusive, fun and young and sexy.  I didn’t want the characters’ love to feel portrayed from a distance.  I wanted it to feel like we were experiencing it.  McGinley’s photography lets you be in the world of his subjects, and that’s how I wanted to feel when I was watching Jade and David.  David is a brooding, yet charming, guy who awakens this wonderful, ethereal girl for the first time.”

            The self-described romantic admits that what also drew her to the project was her personal experience of seeing a love story told on screen for the first time.  “I want what I experienced when I saw my first love story,” she says.  “I walked away from that theater thinking, ‘I cannot wait to fall in love.  I can’t wait to meet that guy and have all of that.’  That’s what I want every girl in the audience to think when they watch this movie.”

            Abdy was moved by how Feste and Safran had so beautifully captured the intimacy and explosiveness of first love.  She offers: “The script gave us a Jade and David who were feeling something they’ve never felt before: this love and passion and desire to be happy.  But there are other people that don’t understand that feeling, who may have once found that feeling with someone but have lost it now, so David and Jade have to be brave and fight for it.”  Agreeing with her director’s sentiment, Abdy sums: “The movie is about embracing that love again, believing that no matter what age you are, everyone can feel love and passion.”

Instant Connection:

Casting the Drama

            Finding talented young actors who could provide the essential chemistry of David and Jade was the filmmakers’ top priority.  They found the ideal performers in Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde.  Shares Schwartz: “In a love story, this is the whole ball game.  The first time we saw Alex and Gabriella on screen, everyone was very aware of their chemistry.  You just felt it was there.  Beyond the fact that they are both very attractive people, you felt this real connection between them.”

            Schwartz admired his director’s knack with the talent.  “Shana is wonderful working with young actors and getting them to open up to one another and letting the audience into that love story,” she says.  “She spent so much time in rehearsal with Alex and Gabriella helping them forge that connection and open up not only to each other, but to the camera as well.  It’s such a challenge for an actor to be exposed, and her patience and guidance have resulted in terrific performances.”

As part of the rehearsal and bonding process, Feste says Pettyfer and Wilde spent a good deal of time together off set and did a lot of fun exercises, including dancing to loud music.  As filming started, the director felt inspired by the talent and commitment of her young actors.  She shares: “They came to respect each other so much.  When you’re doing a love story, you have to know that the other person has your back.”

            When they meet, the temperaments of the soon-to-be young lovers are as different as their cultural and economic status.    Feste praises her leading man, who plays David as a young man you root for: “Alex is a total romantic.  What struck me the first time I met him is how open he was talking about the love he wants to find.  Most 23-year-old guys are not talking openly about love!  David believes that he deserves love and Alex believes that he deserves love, and that translates in the movie.”

            Pettyfer discusses his director’s process: “We did some interesting rehearsing, and that helped.  Shana guided us along the path.  She comes from such an interesting place of wanting people to relate and connect.  It’s not so much about a sole performance; it’s about collaboration.  She’s given me a new look into how to connect with who I’m playing and where I’m going in the story.”

            Stuber adds that the care his director put into the on-screen couple finding comfort in one another was one of the virtues of the production: “There’s a complete and utter believability to all of their interactions.  Gabriella and Alex are natural and organic; they have chemistry and feel like people in love.  That’s a testament to their work as actors, as well as Shana and the time she put in so that they could talk through the places that they were going to have to go with each other.”

            When David connects with Jade, he finds a girl who has suffered a loss in her family that has taken her out of the social world of school.  Even though she’s beautiful and bright, she’s not outgoing and hasn’t become a part of the high school.  While he encourages her to see that she is a free spirit and that someone could fall in love with her, she gives him the confidence to believe in himself.

The filmmakers found that the British-born Wilde embodies many of Jade’s traits.  Feste explains: “I pictured Jade as gorgeous, and Gabriella definitely is that.  But how Gabriella wears her beauty is her strongest suit.  She has no idea how gorgeous she is.  As we were starting to rehearse, I saw Gabriella open up.  She is close to the character of Jade: aware of what people think of her and quite shy.  She’s an introvert, and I imagined that Jade would be an introvert.  Seeing Gabriella as Jade let love change and inspire her has been fun to watch.  Her arc is so strong in this movie, and that’s when you forget how beautiful Gabriella is and just realize that she is an amazing actress.”

Wilde walks us through the story’s beats: “David awakens Jade to her own voice and to her youth.  At the beginning, she’s quite serious and burdened by a sense of guilt toward her family following the death of her brother Chris.  She’s someone who’s trying to make it all okay all of the time, and this is where David gives her license to be herself.  She finds her voice in the movie as she’s falling in love.  Jade goes from being suppressed to putting everything aside to fight for love and what she believes in.”

            Feste wasn’t the only one impressed with Wilde’s demeanor.  “Gabriella is amazing,” praises Pettyfer.  “She has this beauty that takes you aback.  She looks like a supermodel, but she also is grounded and actually quite shy—the most beautiful girl mixed with the quiet girl.  She was perfect for Jade.”

            To play Jade’s parents, the production cast the accomplished veteran actors Bruce Greenwood as Hugh Butterfield, a father whose desire to protect his daughter leads to awful results, and Joely Richardson as Anne Butterfield, Jade’s sympathetic mother who is just as romantic as her only daughter.

Greenwood, an award-winning actor who has starred in such acclaimed films as Star Trek Into Darkness and Flight, brings to life Jade’s menacing, if well-meaning, father.  Discussing the part, the actor offers: “One of the foremost things that interested me about the character was that he was a father learning to let go of a child that he loves beyond all measure, after having lost a child.  Trying to keep her from harm, but at the same time guide her is a tremendous struggle for him; he begins to overreact and becomes rigid in the way he looks at his daughter’s aspirations.”

Hugh is a successful surgeon in Atlanta who strongly objects to the relationship that’s blossoming between Jade and David.  It was important to Feste to have the audience also see the warmth of his character, so as to not have Hugh appear as a clichéd villain.  His on-screen daughter reflects on Greenwood’s talent.  “Bruce is a brilliant actor,” lauds Wilde.  “There’s a danger that Hugh could have just been a villain, but Bruce has kept the humanity in Hugh.  While he is a villain—what he does is frightening and wrong—you can understand where it all comes from; he’s done that brilliantly.

            Producer Schwartz was taken with Greenwood’s performance and ability to bring an incredible humanity to stoic Hugh.  Schwartz shares: “When you see Bruce on screen, you sense a strength and integrity to him.  This makes the fact that he’s the antagonist of the movie very interesting.  Hugh will go to great lengths to keep his daughter from David in ways that the audience may not agree with, but can always understand.”

            Feste shares that they conceived of the parents by seeing them in shades of gray.  Both Hugh and Harry protect their children the best way they can.  The director explains: “Do either one of them understand the love that David and Jade have?  I don’t think so.  I think maybe toward the end of the film they start to.  Are they afraid of it?  Yes, sure, because that intensity is frightening to see because it’s all-consuming.  Anne is the one character who is not afraid of that love, but is drawn to it and wants to celebrate it.”

            Anne is a published author who hasn’t written in years.  Like Hugh, she mourns the loss of their eldest child, but while her husband’s grief pushes her away, she wants to hold on to their marriage.  Stuber explains why this character is so pivotal to Jade and David’s arc: “Anne has a husband who’s cheating on her, and she’s aware of it.  She’s living a lie.  But seeing this young man who’s being honest with who he is and authentic in his love for her daughter…that’s a big deal to Anne.  That’s something she respects to the point that she gives David information she likely shouldn’t.”

            For her part, Richardson was impressed with Feste’s directorial style, one that allowed her to play Anne as a forgiving character who operates from a base of love for others—as well as a woman who has lost herself to a controlling husband.  Richardson shares: “Shana is precise, thinks outside the box and knows exactly what she wants.  As an actor, you can be used to self-directing.  With Shana, she thinks of these imaginative scenarios to get you to do the scene the way she’d like.”

While Greenwood’s Hugh feels immediate disdain for David, Richardson’s Anne feels drawn to the young man’s spirit from the beginning.  Richardson explains: “She has that mother’s instinct that picks up that he’s a good guy.  But the big thing that wins her over is that David has this enormous love for her daughter, and that melts her heart.”

Savage compares the character of Anne to Richardson’s real-life persona, a woman inspired by love.  She notes: “Joely is elegance personified.  Anne is a character who is very observant.  She is the glue that holds her family together and Joely is great at playing all those small moments, the looks, the gestures.  She’s always taking care of her family, concerned about where everybody is emotionally and how to keep them together.  Joely is tuned into that in a great way.”

            On the other side of the tracks, David’s father Harry, an automotive mechanic who works in the shop he owns, hasn’t considered love in a long time.  His wife walked out on him a few years earlier, and he’s closed his heart.  Unlike his co-stars (Pettyfer, Wilde, Richardson) who are British and Canadian (Greenwood), veteran actor Robert Patrick is from Georgia.  “With his Southern roots,” says Savage, “Robert brings texture and a completely different flavor.  The Butterfields are a very refined family, and Harry represents this whole other aspect of David’s world.”

            Patrick sheds some light on the background of his character: “Harry is raising his son the best way he knows how.  It’s a loving environment.  When you meet Harry, you know that he’s a good, salt-of-the-earth guy.  He’s a man’s man who is used to getting dirty, and he’s raised his son that way—to stand up for himself and be who he is.”

            The actor recalls his first meeting with his new son: “When I met Alex, it just felt great; we had an instantaneous chemistry.  He even looks like my son, which was funny to me, Alex and my son.  They’re so similar that we actually used pictures of my little boy as David when he was younger.”

            The energy and versatility that Patrick brought to the story and his role was put to good use.  Pettyfer felt that in spades: “It was so crazy.  Robert came on set, I hadn’t met him yet, and I wanted to seem very professional and I’m nervous: ‘I’m…I’m Alex.  Very nice to meet you.  I play your son.’  And he gives me a massive hug and says, ‘This is my son, everybody.’  It was exciting to work with him.”
After assembling the two leads and their parents, the team got to work building a stellar up-and-coming supporting cast.  As there is darkness in Jade’s past and David’s background, there was a potential of making the film too serious.  The talented young actors brought humor and liveliness to the project.

            Filmmakers encouraged the entire cast to hang out and get to know each other off camera, which helped to enhance each relationship on camera.  Abdy offers: “In rehearsals, they got to know one another, become friends and learn to tell truths about each other so that you feel that there’s a life behind the movie.  We encouraged them to go do fun things by themselves.  Shana brought all that to the table as a director who is very character-driven.  Because she’s a writer, too, she’s very much into the context and the life of each character.”

Australian Rhys Wakefield plays Keith, Jade’s flippant, charming and protective older brother.  “What I like about Keith,” says Wakefield, “is that he has this deep-seated pain within him.  There’s this history of a father-son relationship gone awry.   His purpose in this film is to help Jade along in her journey and to welcome David into the household, acting as a bridge between the parent and this outsider.  David represents healing to Keith as well, coming in as he does and mixing things up, which is something that the whole family is in great need of.”

It was important to Feste that Keith and Jade’s relationship was based on support for each other.  She shares: “Rhys is an incredible actor.  He’s mischievous and has this wonderful smile.  The minute Rhys and Gabriella got together, I knew they would be perfect because they genuinely support each other as actors.  I feel incredibly lucky to have cast Rhys because he adds so much to Keith that the audience will be celebrating when he embraces this message to be brave and fight for love.”

            David’s best friend, Mace, is played by Nigerian-born Dayo Okeniyi, who is best known for his role in The Hunger Games.  “Dayo is incredibly charismatic,” says Feste.  “Mace represents David’s old world—peaking in high school.  Dayo is one of those actors who brings such a fresh, fun energy to the film.  Most of what he does is all improvised.  I love his improvisation—he’s so clever and so funny.”

Okeniyi shares what drew him to the role of Mace: “Before Endless Love, I’d come off projects where I was sci-fi intense, with a lot of death and destruction, and for the first time, a character came my way that was down to earth, if a bit on the wild side.  When I was testing for the role, Shana said that he should be the light of the movie.  Whenever Mace comes on screen, he should just be that breath of fresh air, the reaffirming friend.  At the same time, she didn’t want him to be a caricature.”

            When David meets Jade, he has just broken up with his girlfriend, Jenny, played by British actress Emma Rigby in her first American feature-film role.  Jenny and Jade are complete opposites: she’s overtly sexual and flirtatious with David, which makes us understand why Jade feels threatened.  As David and Jade’s relationship develops, Jenny refuses to watch passively.  Her act of revenge succeeds in separating them—possibly forever.

            Feste wanted to explore the character of Jade by contrasting her with Jenny, while also making sure that there was a genuine relationship between Jenny and David.  “Emma has a tough role,” says the director, “because Jenny is the girl that you want to hate.  Still, there were takes where I said, ‘Emma, it’s just making me too sad, you are too good right now; just do less, because I’m feeling too much for you.  You look too heartbroken that David has chosen someone else and we always have to be thinking that Jade and David have the strongest bond.’  But Emma is such a strong actress that sometimes you can’t help but have your heart go out to her.”

Capturing the Passion:

Design and Locations

            The paths of David and Jade’s story are reflected in the design of the film.  Feste assembled a stellar behind-the-scenes team—led by cinematographer Andrew Dunn, production designer Clay Griffith and costume designer Stacey Battat—to bring her vision from script to screen.  For Griffith, the inspiration for the colors of the production began by sitting down with Dunn, Battat and Feste, and pulling photographs that would reflect their shared, desired palette.  Griffith recalls: “It’s not often that the director, director of photography, costume designer and production designer sit down and conjure up the look of the film.  But we did, and it was fantastic.”

            Because they were on location in Atlanta for 34 of the 37 shooting days, and not on a soundstage, the color palette was more difficult to control.  But Griffith worked with costume designer Battat to create the film’s signature look.  The costume designer describes the style evolution of Jade’s character progressing from girl to woman: “We wanted Jade to be more of a little girl at the beginning and then progress into being a woman.  The fact that she’s still a kid means she might want to wear her dresses with Converse high-tops.  Jade’s color scheme is what I like to call a ‘1920s color palette’—soft, muted pale pinks, peaches and minty greens with occasional reds when she’s being defiant of her father.  When she chooses David, she’s in red.”

            On the opposite end, it was important that David’s wardrobe reflect his demeanor of little change.              Shares Battat: “David is a stable force in the movie, so his wardrobe always remains constant; his look remains consistent, like a James Dean-type character.”

            One of Feste’s priorities was to find a romantic to shoot the film.  Enter BAFTA Award-winning director of photography Andrew Dunn, who allowed for specific spacing of the characters to reflect Feste’s vision.  “We initially created a tightness of space around Jade,” notes Dunn.  “As she becomes a woman, develops her own point of view and finds her place in life and in love, we created more freedom of space around her.  She becomes more the mistress of her environment and her space becomes freer.”

            Something of critical importance to Feste was having a team that was very open to love.  Reflecting on Dunn, she compliments: “He is so incredibly generous and calm and his spirit is so giving that I knew he would be perfect to shoot a love story.  It’s great that he’s so open and not cynical.  When I explained what I wanted in a scene or how I wanted a kiss to go and he said, ‘Oh, that’s beautiful,’ I knew that he meant it.  On top of that, he’s made the actors feel so free with their emotions.”

            The camaraderie was felt between Dunn and Feste. “Working with Shana was an energizing and uplifting experience for me.  She has such a special view,” notes Dunn.  “She is wonderful with the actors, understands the story so well—and it all comes from her heart.  Shana is very inspiring.  She’s a writer, she understands her subjects and what she is trying to get from the story, which has inspired me to go on a journey with her and draw out that story through the images, through the lighting, camera placement, movement that we created together.”

            Endless Love’s set was located almost entirely in and around Atlanta, from May to July 2013.  “Josh and I had never shot in Georgia before,” says Savage, “so this was our first time here.  There are so many different places to shoot—from the beautiful Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead, where the Butterfield house is, to the more urban spot where we found an amazing old garage for Harry’s place, to the gorgeous lake house on Lake Jackson outside of the city.  From the diversity of looks, the great local crews and the good restaurants—we really enjoyed our time here.”

 

Sounds of Romance:

Building the Soundtrack

Little is more important in a romantic drama about the fight to keep the one you love than the music that encapsulates those intense emotions.  To create a soundtrack that incorporated each mood experienced by Jade and David, Feste worked closely with producer Schwartz.  She shares: “Josh and I wanted a young, fun soundtrack for this film, but it was also important to utilize music that takes us through the ups and downs of David and Jade’s relationship and their intense growth.”

To compose the film, Feste sought out award-winning artist Christophe Beck, who has scored such beloved teen movies as Pitch Perfect and Crazy, Stupid, Love., not to mention drafted the signature sounds for the teen series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Of his interest in the project, Beck shares: “What made Endless Love fun was the challenge of scale.  Young love isn’t a soaring, operatic adventure; it’s a much more intimate experience.  So in approaching the music, Shana and I had to find balance between keeping the size of the musical ideas appropriate for the self-discovery and introspection that are central to the story, but still evoke the timelessness that people feel when they reflect on their earliest experiences of falling in love.”

Brought aboard to perform the film’s theme was a beloved duo.  Over the past 13 years, twin sisters TEGAN and SARA QUIN have built an avid global fan base with songs such as “Walking With a Ghost” and “Alligator.”  The duo’s hit singles have been covered by the likes of The White Stripes and Passion Pit.  Intimately familiar with teenage angst and the power of falling in love for the first time, Tegan and Sara have appeared on The CW’s 90210.  Schwartz, however, became a big fan of the duo after seeing them perform at Coachella in 2005.

Discussing the filmmakers’ choice, Schwartz enthuses: “Coming from Gossip Girl and The O.C., I knew the importance of courting musicians that speak intimately to our core audience.  Tegan and Sara understood the tone we were going for with the music and delivered in a manner that knocked us out.”

In addition to the contributions of Beck and Tegan and Sara, the soundtrack—brought together by accomplished music supervisor RANDALL POSTER—features fun-loving songs including FRANZ FERDINAND’s “Right Action,” NONONO’s “Pumpin Blood (The Jane Doze Remix)” and CULT’s “Go Outside,” and such romantic ballads as LORD HURON’s “Ends of the Earth,” ECHOSMITH’s “Surround You” and THE BIRD AND THE BEE’s “All Our Endless Love,” featuring MATT BERNINGER.

Feste sums up the contributions of the multiple artists who brought to life Endless Love’s soundtrack and themes: “Our goal with this movie was to seamlessly merge David and Jade’s feelings for one another into a cohesive soundtrack.  From the incredible talents of Randall and Christophe to Tegan and Sara’s recording of our theme song, ‘Don’t Find Another Love,’ I know that we have taken the audience along the gamut of the emotions felt by our hero and heroine, especially faith, hope and love.”

****

            With production wrapped, the cast and crew reflect on lessons learned from the shoot.  Concludes Stuber: “In the film, there’s a beginning love story between Jade and David, who are figuring out who they’re going to be in the world.  Then there is this decaying love story between Jade’s parents, and we wonder if they can possibly figure it out.  Love is a complex thing; it’s a muscle that has to be worked out.  Shana has shared so much of the complexity of love in this film.  It’s not just about the people you meet here….it’s about love in its broadest terms.”

****

            Universal Pictures presents a Bluegrass Films/Fake Empire production: Endless Love, starring Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson and Robert Patrick.  The film’s music is by Christophe Beck, and the music supervisor is Randall Poster.  The costumes are designed by Stacey Battat.  Endless Love is edited by Maryann Brandon, ACE, and the production designer is Clay Griffith.  The film’s director of photography is Andrew Dunn, BSC.  The executive producers are J. Miles Dale, Tracy Falco.  The romantic drama is produced by Scott Stuber, p.g.a., Pamela Abdy, p.g.a., Josh Schwartz, p.g.a., Stephanie Savage, p.g.a.  Endless Love is based on the book by Scott Spencer, and its screenplay is by Shana Feste and Joshua Safran.  The film is directed by Shana Feste.  ©2014 Universal Pictures.  www.endlesslovemovie.com

 

—endless love—

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