The Last Responders: Life After Death

Death Investigator Theodore Davis returns to Chindi County Medical Examiner’s Office after an extended bereavement leave from the death of his partner Elise. He meets the enticing new employee Kai Cooper who seems to be the distraction he needs to overcome his overwhelming grief. But as their relationship deepens, he finds it harder to keep how much Elise’s death affected him. Up to now, no one but his partner Anderson has seen the cracks in his armor.

  • Andrea Magwood
    Director
    The Last Responders
  • Andrea Magwood
    Writer
  • Andrea Magwood
    Producer
  • James Ray
    Key Cast
    "Investigator Theodore Davis"
    Krampus: The Reckoning
  • Magdalena Durham
    Key Cast
    "Kai Matthews"
  • Kamilah Sheats
    Key Cast
    "Investigator Patricia Anderson"
    The Last Responders
  • Melissa Wiehl
    Key Cast
    "Detective Stacey Monroe"
    Celestrial Hunt
  • Jim Coates
    Key Cast
    "Don"
    The Dog Wedding
  • Project Type:
    Feature
  • Genres:
    Drama, Thriller, Suspense, Romance
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 44 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Andrea Magwood

After receiving a Broadcast Journalism degree from Arizona State University, Andrea M. Magwood began her film career. In 2002, she began as a production assistant on de’Shay DREAMVision’s “Pledge or Die”, a film about pledging a fraternity. Making new friends and colleagues, she gained experience and connections that would become worthy in all aspects of her life. During this time, she was also a production assistant at a homeschooling company in Chandler, Arizona, where she helped produce a lavish science video for the company. Her networking led her to become a teacher at a charter school, teaching video production in 2002. She enjoyed teaching the next generation on how to write news stories during her assignment there. At the same time, Andrea became the Assistant to the Producer of the Montage Corporation Ltd. (formerly Montage Communication), a multimedia production company, where she remained for four years.

In 2003, Andrea directed her first short film entitled “Like Mother…,” a film about a young man’s discovery of how his girlfriend’s family traits can be passed down. Later that year, she would help Montage produce their short “Last Confession,” a shocking and moving story of final redemption.

Andrea’s first accolades for her accomplishments came when she won the Best Short Film Award for “Like Mother…” at the 2004 Arizona Black Filmmakers Showcase. That year, she also co-wrote, produced and directed her second short film “Interview with a Genius”, where a journalist must prove a musician’s guilt or innocence in raping one of his fans.

While attending Scottsdale Community College (SCC), Andrea experimented with 16mm film while filming “The Stalker,” where an obsessed fan endangers a celebrity at her local coffee shop. In the fall of 2006, she turned a PSA she had filmed for another SCC class into the short film “Water Therapy,” about a young black woman learning to trust, love, and die through water.

Andrea realized a newfound passion in producing while volunteering at Phoenix Channel 11. This would lead her to producing the short film “Second Chance,” directed and written by Lee Quarrie, for the 2012 Almost Famous Film Festival 24-hour challenge. The film was a Top 20 finalists, winning second place, best director and the Brock H. Brown award (best script) at the festival. At the 2013 Desperado LGBT Film Festival, it tied for second place as well.

It was at the inaugural 2013 Jerome Film Festival that Andrea was inspired to write the 2014 short film “The Last Responders,” about a death investigator returns to work after his partner’s funeral. After helping out on other feature films in 2014-2015, she finally felt ready to tackle her own – “The Last Responders: Life After Death,” which completed principal photography in June 2016.

While in post-production, Andrea is working on writing another short- and feature-length script, and finding projects to solely produce or direct.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Death is a universal theme. Many people fear it, but it’s something that is inevitable.

For most of my life, I managed to avoid the effects of death. It happened to extended family members and I was usually shielded from it.

Then I applied for a position at a medical examiner’s office. Why? Because I felt I could do it. I spent three-and-a-half years there, then a few months at a whole body donation organization. I saw the ins-and-outs of how death and grief affected loved ones, learned the process of getting the decedents to a funeral home, and the involvement of law enforcement. It was by far the most interesting job I ever had. But it also scarred me. And so I’ve worked my way on trying to exorcise death’s grip on my psyche by making a film on the inner workings of a small medical examiner’s office.

The script had been a long time coming, but took a short film (the prequel) and a near death experience of my own to finally complete.

I chose to focus the film on the medicolegal death investigators because their job was the most interesting, and the least told. Medicolegal death investigators are the eyes, and ears of the forensic pathologists. They go to the scenes to investigate the deaths, to help establish a cause of death; not the crimes like CSIs or law enforcement do. I wanted people to see how they can’t escape death and the effect it could have on their personal lives, their work, and even the cases.

Death Investigator Theodore Davis (James Ray) returns to the Chindi County Medical Examiner’s Office from an extended bereavement leave after his partner Elise, another death investigator, committed suicide. He meets a new employee, the enticing Kai Cooper (Magdalena Durham), a releasing clerk, who threatens to reveal what he was doing during his leave. His return happens to coincide with the recent development of missing bodies in the county.

No one grieves the same. And the people who work at a medical examiner’s office are no different than you or I on a personal level. At work, they’ve learned to desensitize themselves. The film focuses on Davis’ grief as he gets to know Kai better. He tries to avoid showing any cracks in his armor, but Kai seems to be the only one of his coworkers who is willing to chip away at it.