2011 Feature Film shot in Camden, ME
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A Real Dude.

I know we’ve talked about so many great women involved in this production but I want to take a moment to talk about a dude. A gentleman and a badass. A real dude.

Ryan Croke

It takes a great, confident, kind guy with a sense of humor to work on a film crew with so many women, especially with a female producer, director and DP. And we lucked out with each person – guy or gal – who came onto this project. I constantly could not believe my luck or why these talented folks would want to jump on board with a first time director but jump – and jump fully – they did.

The dude I want to write a few words about is one Ryan Croke. Ryan had worked before with Eve Cohen, our cinematographer, and we were fortunate that Eve convinced him to come along for the ride. Ryan’s role was that of Grip but with our tiny crew (and even tinier budget) he served so many roles; it feels like false advertising that he is listed in our credits simply as “Grip.”

On one of our rare days off during our six-day shooting weeks, Ryan joined me on the front porch of the Mountain Street house in Camden, where we unwound each day by talking of life and film and drinking our free, sponsored PBRs. On this afternoon, before we joined the rest of the group for a lake swim, I got to hear about an incredible story Ryan was bringing to life through film.

I cannot begin to do Ryan’s friend Grant’s story justice, so I am not going to try. Ryan has promised to share his story in another post shortly but in the meantime, please do see his link below. Ryan spoke to me of Grant’s life – his injury, his recovery, his spirit, his continued athleticism and his joyful, adventurous living. Ryan’s celebration of this inspiring man reminded me of the power of documentary film, not just narrative, in portraiture, in expressing the gift and challenge it is simply to be human. Grant’s story and very person could hold one captive for hours, as it did me that July afternoon last summer with Ryan on the porch. Through his filmmaking, Ryan will be able to share this story – a story which really needs to be shared.

Each day I was in great awe that this cast and crew, most of whose experience greatly outweighed my own, were here serving this film with me and giving their every fiber of energy and talent. Hearing their stories of their own film pursuits was pretty awe-inspiring as well. Here was Ryan, having flown across the country to give his summer to work for next to nothing in Maine, taking on every responsibility that could come up on set and never losing his chill, positive vibes. Such a rock to each person lucky enough to meet him, such a giver. A true gentleman. And a badass. A real dude.

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