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.
I’ll let Nick explain in his own words his process for working on Crossing: “Music composition is an incredibly personal process. When I begin a new piece, I spend hours at a piano with a particular sound in mind, but no hard and fast ideas. As I improvise new sounds based on my theoretical knowledge of music and the sound I'm after, I write down anything that I believe comes close to fitting my intention. Once a few ideas are down on paper, the process of editing and tailoring them to fit the scene can begin, which for me was a labor-intensive note-by-note process. Each note of each melody has some intention and direction behind it, and perfecting the relationship between each note, the line as a whole, and the intended effect on the audience is a balancing act which I have little practical experience with before working on this project.”
It’s funny… for this article, the above paragraph is how Nick described his process. In texts with me, however, he simply wrote, “Much of what I'm doing is just f***ing around until something sticks.” And no, folks, he didn’t use any asterisks.
My role in creating the score began with offering simple sound and melody ideas to Nick and then working with him on refining certain details as he developed the music you hear in the film. We discussed countless composers and scores throughout our planning process, but the names that I recall coming up most often were Ludovico Einaudi, Marco Beltrami, Gustavo Santaolalla, Hildur Guðnadóttir, John Paesano, Peter Sandberg, and Ludwig Göransson. Part of what I love about that collection of talent is their drastically different styles and approaches to crafting music, and the very distinct corners of the world from which they all hail (two are American, two Swedish, one Italian, one Argentine, and one Icelandic).
The score for Crossing features 9 tracks:
1. Borders (3:46)
2. Dawning (2:00)
3. Cloverleaf (1:54)
4. Tau (4:16)
5. Mirror (2:33)
6. Herald (2:29)
7. Laminin (3:39)
8. Hachikō (5:22)
9. Over (1:56)
At face value, none of these titles seem even remotely related to our story. But Nick cleverly found ways to weave references to crosses, transitions, and intersections into the titles. Borders signify a beginning, a transition, the boundaries we experience in life, the invisible walls which protect us from feeling too much, and the progression of time which plods along unaided. Dawning can be synonymous with learning or becoming enlightened, a concept often represented by a cross in Christianity. The shape of a Cloverleaf of course resembles that of a cross, a rare natural beauty. Tau is a Greek letter that looks like our capital T, itself an intersection through which only one line passes, while the other is unable to continue. A Mirror displays an inverted image, but the symmetry of a cross results in an identical image, and thus crosses exhibit a degree of fortitude and steadfastness. Herald references the Heraldic or Maltese Cross, and is linked to the concepts of an official messenger bringing news and of seeking solitude on an island, such as Malta. Laminin is a cross-shaped protein found in all living things, responsible for helping to attach cells to one another. Hachikō is the name of a famous dog from Japan whose owner passed away, after which Hachikō continued to loyally wait for his owner at the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo every day for nine years before dying as well. Over, specifically in the phrase "crossing over," again suggests a transition to a new physical place, as well as offers a suitable final title.
It should be noted that, much like the film itself, the score would never have been possible without the dedication and hard work of many individuals. Amanda Roswick and Justin Hubbard both contributed extensively to solidifying the raw ideas and rough drafts, bringing them to life and allowing them to be even further built on.
Perhaps most notable, though, are the two performers, because without them there would literally not be any music. Jeremy Quick recorded a guitar performance for a duet, bringing a beautiful humanity to Nick's already fantastic score. Eric Hagmann, meanwhile, performed every piano note you hear in the film, and went a step further as well, mixing and editing each track. Eric's talent wowed me in every track... I can't wait for everyone else to be able to hear why!
The score for Crossing will be released online on December 12, the day after the premiere, but we decided to post one of the tracks early: listen to Borders at the link below.
Learn more about Eric and Jeremy at their websites, linked below, and support their music!
See Crossing on December 11.
I shot a feature-length film in college, which was a ton of fun despite the many challenges we faced. With Crossing, though, I knew I wanted to up the ante. There would be plenty of opportunities to improve on the visual style of the film and hopefully to create something of higher quality, and I wanted to take those opportunities at every turn, if I could.
One area I knew I wanted to improve on was the resolution of our recordings. Filming on digital was always the only option for a production of our size, but prior to Crossing, I only used a DSLR shooting in Full HD, 1080p. We still used that camera (a Nikon D3300) and resolution for about 21% of Crossing, but the option to shoot in 4K was too enticing to ignore. 4K DSLRs, while fantastic in their quality, were far out of our budget. Thankfully, many of us were walking around with 4K cameras in our pockets already.
iPhones have been able to shoot 4K for about 5 years, and I’d done some work with iPhone cameras in the past. The biggest issue they have is stabilization: trying to avoid jitter and generally keeping an iPhone still while recording is extremely difficult. Tripods are an option, but I’ve never been a fan of the true stillness they necessitate. I like to be with the camera, and I like to encourage a feeling of momentum using an even slightly mobile camera. So with tripods out, some other form of stabilization was required to make filming on an iPhone possible.
The answer is a gimbal: a motorized arm that uses sensors to counteract motion in the wrist of the camera operator. Effectively, it ensures the camera only moves smoothly and minimally. I used an Oslo Mobile 3 gimbal to shoot Crossing, and I can say without doubt that a large number of shots would never have been possible without it. I worked with the gimbal in the months leading up to production to acclimate myself to it, but the true test of its capability was the very first shot we filmed. The camera had to move backwards, pass between two camera operators, and time its motion with a moving vehicle. If memory serves, we had the shot done in about an hour after only 4 takes. It set the tone for the production: using the gimbal would be a challenge, but the footage we’d record would far surpass anything we could do without it.
The camera itself is an iPhone 11 Pro Max, recording at full 4K quality. Much of the film was shot at 2160p, though we did natively shoot one sequence in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, which worked out to something like 1606p. Actually, I ended up loving the 2.39 framing so much that I opted to crop the rest of the film, which had been shot in 16:9, in order to fit the 2.39 scenes. That in and of itself was a bit of a challenge, but I find it looks much more cinematic.
The stock camera app on iOS is limiting, but not terrible. However we did upgrade to using an app called Filmic Pro for our final day of filming. The app opens up countless settings to the user, notably including exposure, focus, and color balance. It also records with a higher bitrate: the 15-minute sequence we shot that day is by far the best looking of the film.
I edit in Final Cut Pro X, which functions both as an editing suite and a tool for sound mixing and implementing visual effects. Several shots underwent work in CoreMelt’s SliceX Plugin, allowing further visual manipulation. The final film was exported on November 4, 2020, with a total runtime of 50 minutes, 22 seconds.
See Crossing on December 11.