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Watch Comic Short Film ‘The Takeover’ (The Old Switcheroo)

Watch Comic Short Film 'The Takeover' (The Old Switcheroo)

Here's your look at filmmaker Shequeta Smith's comic short film, The Takeover, which is a satirical racial takeoff on what used to be called the old switcheroo.

Starring Chrystee Pharris and Lindsey Santefort, the film deals with "best friends Ashley, a Caucasian fashion designer, and Tisha, an African American comic book artist, who debate the difficulty of dating; each arguing that the other has it easier. After help from a friend and his potent espresso, the ladies trade places and experience the dating scene in each other’s shoes for 24 hours."

A finalist in the Sundance Filmmaker's Lab with previous experience in the music business, and on TV sit-coms and reality shows, Ms. Smith says that, the idea for the film came from actual conversations she had with one of her long time friends and former college roommates (who is white), about what would happen if they actually traded places.

In fact, she says that, just yesterday, she was interviewed by a reporter doing a piece on the film. However the reporter never once asked her about the racial undertones in her film, how the film came together, or even about her.

All he was interested in was in Santefort, the white actress, therefore proving her point in the film that black women are constantly being ignored.

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Comments

Akimbo

I didn't read the comments for watching, so I was completely blown away by how bad this short was. Overwritten, corny, shallow, and poorly acted. I was appalled when the two actresses swapped bodies and took adopted these completely stereotypical characteristics that the other never exhibited and embarrassed at the awful dialogue. I'm curious what material got the filmmaker into the Sundance Lab…is she typically a drama person?

Melissaenafrique

Groveling at a black man's feet while he has his eye on a white woman seems to be the 'strong' black american woman's most visible talent. Heck I live in Africa and I am aware of the black american woman's broadcasted 'predicament'. There is no corner of the earth that doesn't know what bw cry about every night. If you want to retaliate and include african women in this fuckery, so be it. I personally think its a uniquely black american thing to care about who is dating who.

CareyCarey

Conjunction junction, what's your function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses. Conjunction junction, how's that function.

I had to preface my comment with the jingle from Schoolhouse Rock's to highlight the thoughts behind the words WHAT'S YOUR FUNCTION?

Having said that, I wholeheartedly agree with AFRICAMELEON'S comments. Of course I've said this before but if it was apropos a week ago, what about a time called now? Blogs are reminiscent of highway truck stops. Their functions are individualized by each visitor who stops or drive by.

So now, here at S&A, we have Shequeta Smith stopping by to drop her wares. She's closely followed by Shadow and Act's opinionated viewers. Oh lord, what's their function, purpose and motives? I don't know… they all may have "good" intentions but only the shadow knows the good and evil that lurks in the hearts of men.

But having visited a few truck stops, I've seen lounge lizards, truck lizards (we all know what they are, right?) pimps and hoes, good food, good conversation, and tons of mess. Families have been known to stop-in just to shop and watch other folks do their thang.

Hmmmm… in many ways that's the ingredients of many blogs. However, today, my focus is on the "good stuff", which leads me back to AFRICAMELEON. She stayed focused on the good elements of the film (the rewards, the conversations and messages it can inspire) while trying her best not to be influenced by the cookie cutter "negative" voices of disapproval… "we have a right to bitch and moan and vent our frustrations… and don't call us haters b/c it's all constructive criticism". Yeah… riiiiiight.

"I'm in the minority of people who liked the short or at least who are willing to acknowledge that I liked it and that there were some good points. But I will continue to be an un-silenced minority" ~ AFRICAMELEON

Well Ms. Africa, I leave you with the following words that speaks to those who stand-up for what they believe in. And I know most of you are saying, "Thank God"

"Many people fear nothing more terrible than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody" ~ MLK

jeftcg

This could/should have been 15 minutes shorter, particularly that opening scene that could/should be 2 minutes tops. Overall: a firm 5 on the 1 to 10 scale. Give it a re-edit.

lauren

Harmless and slightly entertaining… main problem for me was the acting not the concept.

Africameleon

I don't think anyone is on the "black men ain't shit" wagon here. I didn't get that from the film or any of the comments at all. I also think that is apparent at the end of the film, when "black love prevails." As corny as it sounds, I like that. So I'm corny, and apparently simplistic, but what ever. I think this is all a comment on how black people relate to and reaffirm each others existence and desirability in a country that continues to place meaning and social currency in one's race. It's about power, the power that exists in being able to choose and be chosen by others as a mate and a partner. It's economic, it's social, it's political, it's sexual, it's cultural, it's actually a big deal.

On another yet related note…. I actually like the "What Black Men Think" documentary by Janks Mortan. So if anyone is thirsty for a conscious and admirable effort regarding black people and relationships and other stats that distort our varied "truths" about partner selection, then PLEASE watch Mortan's documentary. I'd also watch "Dark Girl" by Bill Duke. It speaks to some of the underlying issues facing not just black women, but sisters of a darker hue, our chocolate sisters who are degraded, discriminated against, and have their spirits hurt because of prejudice inside and outside of black communities. When black women are denied the kind of love that we feel we should receive from black Men or black Women (so let's not be hetero-normative) it hurts, it's not ok. It's a reality, but there are some instances of denial and rejection that black women endure that need to be commented on and if the short film or long film format is a space to do this creatively then that's great. But it's true, we should not just state this issue as a "problematic." But in the desire to move forward or not be "cliche'" or "tired" we miss the opportunity for healing and for new ways to both show love and make love.

I know that last bit was real soap box-ish, but like I said, I'm corny – not patronizing.

monkeysuit

Finally watched it. I feel silly even commenting on this tbh cause it was that bad. I mean, I don't live in LA, and she did mention it's different on the east coast. But I'm still finding this soo hard to believe even when you consider her use of hyperbole for humor. I just never got on that black men ain't shit wagon.

But even if you're going with the hypothesis– that black woman are treated as completely undesirable by our men– how can you equate that constant feeling of rejection to a white woman being bothered by creepers all night? I don't see what lesson the black woman could have learned here other than having her suspicions reaffirmed. When the white woman insisted it's better to be ignored and the black woman laughed and agreed, I almost turned the movie off at that ridiculousness. In what world is that true, honestly?

And the end. When the bike shop guy reveals he wanted the black woman all along. Based on what? Her looks and the fact that she draws comic books? How is this romantic? He had a conversation with both of them, but he still chose the black woman who at the time was inhabited by the white woman. So he really chose the white woman when you think about it.

This is a fucked up version of the Truth about Cats and Dogs. The politics are all messed up.

ShebaBaby

Watched it, went away, came back to see if there was any real comments (other than Africameleon's) about the actual movie or it's contents and just like I thought, nothing. I thought it was creative and real. The comments here prove that black men don't seem to care about and aren't even interested in hearing what's going on in the minds of black women. But they really should because no matter who they're dating, their daughters are gonna be black women and are gonna be in the same predicament as the lead actress in this movie soon enough. But I digress.

Africameleon

This is not the coming of the apocalypse. As far as who black men are and are not dating, ummmmm wasn't there a hit film just last year on this topic? "Think Like A Man" I believe, so it's not 1980's urban -ish. I had issues with that film, but I was also entertained. There were also a FEW books published last year on this topic by academics and others, more specifically discussing why black women are/are not marrying. Though most of these books and films are problematic b/c they buy into stereotypes and data polls that misinformed and distorted realities, they do speak to the relevance of partner selection among Black women and men. So this is a contemporary issue, it's not as cliche' as some would think. "F* that noise," yes we need to F* a lot of noise. If you didn't like it then oh well. I would jump on the criticism band wagon if this film was terrible, but it wasn't. And nope, I don't like harsh comments b/c it doesn't move the conversation forward. I don't think this film should be dismissed, nor should we dismiss the issue of who black people are dating as "tired." It ain't nevah tired, trust! We aren't children, but some of us are acting like children. I wasn't patronizing, I complimented what the film tried to accomplish. It seems like I'm in the minority of people who liked the short or at least who are willing to acknowledge that I liked it and that there were some good points. But I will continue to be an un-silenced minority. The director has some work to do, but she's off to a good start!

BluTopaz

I got to 3:07 and shut it off. My constructive criticism–in 2013 Black women should not be sitting around lamenting who BM are dating. That is so 1990's Essence magazine, and it was tired even back then. Plus the artwork in the opening intro is very 1980's urban lit-ish.

Africameleon

I thought it was funny and creative. People laugh at "obvious, dated, and lazy" comedic tropes all the time – and there's nothing wrong with that. And if this is Ms. Smith's first film, then the sky is the limit! I applaud her for venturing into the subject matter in the first place. The scene at the party when White Ashly is surrounded by black men, and Black "Ashly" is on the outside…. that's exactly how it feels to be a black woman at some of these LA/Hollywood parties and clubs. Her depiction was extreme and satirical but there is a truth that inspired the scene I'm sure. It was entertaining, and I'm also glad to see a black female "comic book illustrator" as the lead character. This filmmaker is accomplishing a lot in this short film. Good Job!

miktal

Jesus, and holly Christ are they annoying. They didnt even have a personality to swap in the first place!! If you really have something to say about the subject matter, then why do you, as a film maker, use the most obvious, dated and laziest manner in which to express it?? Just another celebration of modiocraty

Sweeta

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