Congratulations to Kirsten Bornkessel for wrapping on Rooks early Saturday morning! Kirsten is an incredibly talented actress we were fortunate to have with us for this journey. I can confirm that her co-star Kaleal was going in for a congratulatory hug in this photo, despite the prop knife in his hand!
Rooks: Production Halfway Complete
We had a “family dinner” last night to celebrate a milestone. We’re halfway through production! I am fortunate and humbled to have all these amazing people in my corner, and it was a joy to take some time and celebrate with them!
We resume production on April 2, with a target wrap in early June!
Rooks: Production Update
I started writing this story almost two years ago. Every day I work on this project, be it writing the script, casting the actors, coaching them through their scenes, and even the tiny bit of editing work we’ve already done, I can’t help but continue to fall in love with these characters. Yesterday was a real treat for me… for the first time, these eight incredible actors were all in the same room, sharing a scene. Weirdly, it almost feels out of my hands at this point. They’re not mine anymore. These characters belong to their respective actors now, and I have the pleasure of watching the story unfold before me. And I couldn’t ask for a better cast to do that.
Now, trying to take a picture of all eight of them without someone telling a joke… that’s my new challenge.
Rooks: Now in production
Rooks is now in production! Day 1 of filming was completed yesterday, huge thanks to Nostos MMA and Conditioning Facility in Somersworth for allowing us to use their space for rehearsal and filming.
ROOKS: Stunt Training Day
Today was our first stunt training day! Justin and Mike did a fantastic job working with the cast, and Devon, John, and Nick rolled with the punches (pun intended) throughout the day. We’re extremely excited to begin filming in just 3 more weeks!
We're pleased to announce that we've reached 15% of our fundraising goal for Rooks! Please share this link with your network, and consider donating to the cause if you can. Just $10 gets your name in the credits! Each subsequent donation tier includes even more rewards, so no matter how much you donate, we're happy to show our appreciation. Thank you!
The fundraising campaign for Rooks is now live! We're so excited to begin production in a few months, but in the meantime, we're asking you to share this link to the campaign page, and if you can, please consider donating to the project. The cast and crew are incredibly thankful for all the support.
Cinematographer Sarah Elizabeth Bailey will shoot Rooks, supported by assistant camera Bobby Hill. Rachel Natzel will storyboard. Following our success with shooting one sequence of Crossing using this method, Sarah will shoot much of the film with the built-in 4K camera of the iPhone 11 series, as well as the built-in 4K Dolby Vision HDR camera of the iPhone 12 series, aided by the cinematography app suite designed by Filmic Pro.
The entire cast and crew of Crossing shares in this celebration… I’m humbled to be recognized by the Global Monthly Online Film Competition.
Happy Birthday to the incredibly talented Nicholas Pitcher! Nick composed the music for Crossing, and we’re thrilled to confirm today that he’s returning to compose an original score for Rooks.
Rooks First Meeting
Yesterday, June 26, we began preproduction for our latest venture, a feature film entitled Rooks. We had our first meeting as a cast and crew, bringing together the largest group we've ever worked with. We look forward to bringing you more updates this summer as we plan our production.
Crossing Easter Eggs
TLDR: You can rent Crossing for $5. Buy it for $8 for a limited time. Check out some Easter eggs in the film below.
Crossing is now available to rent on Amazon Instant Video for $5! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the film yet, now’s a great time to do so! Renting gives you access to the film for 48 hours, but if you’re interested in a permanent purchase, that’s also still available, and in fact, it’s on sale right now for $8. Any support you can offer us is greatly appreciated. If you’ve already purchased the film, thank you! Please consider writing us a review or leaving a rating on Amazon. It boosts our exposure!
Since the film has been out for a few months now, I thought this would be a good time to highlight some of the "cameos" and Easter eggs. Below are some behind-the-scenes photos revealing, I think, all of them.
Beth’s book Wesword Bound by Tara Ann Shaw references Wes Hutton, script reader Tara Prochorena, and art director Tanner Shaw. Her current read is The Homestead, published by Szostak-Wink Publishing, referencing Jordan, Alicia, and Brenda Szostak, and Donna Wink. The book is written by JoAnne Rogowski with a foreword by Denise Ménard. The book on Tom’s bureau is called Imperfect Armor, and it’s by Devon Kinsley, referencing propsbuilder Kinsey Manchester and writing consultant Devon Edward. Caroline did an awesome job of creating book covers that looked realistic, and also totally ridiculous if you look closely enough!
The coasters in Beth’s living room are from the “new restaurant that just opened” that she mentions, which is called “Maynard’s Bar.” The college recruiter’s business card on Tom’s mirror features a reference to every single film by Christopher Nolan to date, as well as a hidden reference to Bob Maynard. On the ticket to Alison’s high school play, the title is Epsilon Agent, which references the film I made in college. The other stars of that play are Elizabeth Hoyt and Christine Eddy. The Pitcher Theater is named after our composer, Nicholas Pitcher. And the phone number is a reference to my time in Scouting, being a part of Troop 109, 2010-Jamboree Unit 527, and the leadership course NYLT (spelled with telephone digits as 6958).
A few others that couldn’t be visually displayed here: Kim Prochorena Natzel is the voice behind Alison’s voicemail. Jacob’s wife’s maiden name is Ferguson, referencing our lead propsbuilder Caroline Ferguson. Jacob mentions Alison’s friend Cassandra, which references Cassandra Renee, and he also mentions a priest called Father Charles, which is a reference to both Charlie Neumann and the priest I grew up seeing each Sunday, Father Chuck.
The credits are also full of fictional people, including assistant propsbuilder Lucy Finn, named after Lucy and Finn, two dogs who walked with muddy paws across the “Welcome to Crossing” sign to help make it look older and dirtier. Transportation manager Sam Bluebird is actually my car (the Altima was once called the Bluebird, which works well since my car is blue). Personal assistant Natalia Carr is Tanner’s car. Sam and Natalia both appear in the background of one of the last shots of the film. John’s car, a Honda Civic, becomes Tom’s car on-screen and is credited as his personal assistant, Charlotte Siviconda. Rachel’s, Eleanor’s, and Ryan’s cars all are credited as their respective assistants: Frank Sonata, Dorulo Berry, and Chloe R. Vance. And finally, listed under special thanks is Barry Gimbalbrand, which was the production’s name for our gimbal.
Working on Crossing was a ton of fun. I’m excited to confirm that I am writing a new script, and though it’ll be awhile before I have anything official to announce about it, you’ll be happy to know that I’ve already written more references and Easter eggs into that script than all of what you see above. And there’s plenty more to come. I guess I’ll get back to writing now…
Crossing Soundtrack Available
Nicholas Pitcher’s fantastic score for Crossing is available now! Check it out on Apple Music/iTunes below. It’s also out on Spotify. Huge thanks to Nick as well as Eric Hagmann and Jeremy Quick for creating this beautiful element of the film.
Crossing: Viewing Figures
Hi everyone! I wanted to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who supported the cast and crew of Crossing by purchasing and watching on Amazon Instant Video. I’m excited to share that the film has been streamed for a total of 1,280 minutes, and has been purchased 28 times!
If you have seen the film, please consider writing a review on Amazon. It helps us to gain more exposure in the service, and we’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you again... it means so much to all of us!
Crossing: Welcome Home
The Crossing Digital Premiere Event begins tonight at 7pm. See you then!
Crossing: This Team Made It Happen
Making Crossing was no easy feat, especially this year. This team made it happen. I can't wait to show you their accomplishments one week from today!
Join us for the Digital Premiere Event on December 18 at 7pm, and let us know you’ll be watching.
Crossing premieres 2 weeks from today on Amazon Instant Video.
Join us for the Digital Premiere Event on December 18 at 7pm, and let us know you’ll be watching.
We were very disappointed to have to cancel the in-person premiere for Crossing. It was an event to which we were all very much looking forward, and it's the kind of celebration we hope to be able to host next time we're ready to premiere a film.
Despite that setback, we still think it's time to share our work with the world. Just... a bit differently. We’re very excited to share that Crossing will be available for purchase and rental on Amazon Instant Video.
Viewers do not need a subscription to Amazon Prime: only an Amazon account is needed to purchase or rent the film. You can then watch the film on any device that supports Amazon Instant Video, including Fire TV devices and tablets, Google Chromecast, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS devices, as well as on a browser on macOS or Windows.
Now for the details: from December 18, 2020, Crossing will be available for purchase in the United States for $9.99 and in the United Kingdom for £9.99.
Though we won't be in the same room, we'll be together in spirit on December 18 at 7:00pm EST. The cast and crew will be watching; we invite you all to watch along with us, to hit the play button right at 7pm and enjoy the experience of being "together" while watching the film. The film runs for 50 minutes, but if you need to pause it for a moment, don't worry. We've built some extra time into the schedule.
At 8:00pm, we invite everyone to join in our Digital Premiere Event on YouTube. Our Master of (Digital) Ceremonies Devon Stanley will host a panel featuring actors John Prud'homme, Rachel Kelley, Ryan Anastasi, and Eleanor Langthorne, art director Tanner Shaw, composer Nicholas Pitcher, and writer/director Robert Maynard. Devon will lead the charge, but we'd love to hear your questions, too! The YouTube Premiere feature allows you to live chat with us while the panel is streaming, so you can post your own questions. We'll do our best to answer them all!
If you reserved a ticket for the Crossing Premiere Event at Red River Theaters, we want to thank you for your support. We'll email you links to purchase Crossing on Amazon Instant Video and to stream the panel on YouTube. If you didn't previously reserve a ticket, but you're interested in joining us for the Digital Premiere Event, fill out the form at the page linked below to receive updates as they're made available.
For those who can't join us on December 18, Crossing will continue to be available for purchase, and will also be made available as a rental in early 2021 for $4.99 / £4.99.
We know it's not the event you were expecting. And it's certainly not the event we were hoping for. But we're excited to share this film with you, all the same.
All roads lead to Crossing. We hope to see you there on December 18.
All roads lead to Crossing... eventually.
This year we’ve seen no shortage of delays and cancellations due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, Crossing is no exemption. In a world dominated by disappointment, it’s a shame to have to delay the release of a film that esteemed film critic Fäke Persson of the well-known newspaper The Unprecedented Times called “one of the least cheery films of the year.”
But here we are.
Nevertheless, there’s a plan in place to get the film out there. We’ll share more details next week, but for now, we want to thank everyone who’s been following along for your unwavering support. We know this is a rough time for everyone, but the excitement and positivity you’ve shown us has been an incredible gift. One day, we hope to repay the favor with a film you’ll enjoy. I mean, Mr. Persson is still crying about it. But what does he know, he’s not even real.
Stay safe, everyone. We look forward to welcoming you to Crossing... soon.