A compilation of early Crooked Arrows reviews and articles:
A compilation of early Crooked Arrows reviews and articles:
I’ve never walked the red carpet for one of my own movies. Band Camp had a cast and crew screening at the Academy which was awesome, and I walked the carpet for Meet the Fockers, 13 Ghosts, and a few others, but it was definitely special to share the premiere of Crooked Arrows with my family and friends. I’m not too immodest to say it felt great to stop for photos, do a few interviews, hug the director and producers on the carpet, and celebrate the million-to-one miracle of getting a movie to the screen.
And there is no joy like that of hearing an audience laugh at jokes, cheer for big moments, and go silent when things get serious. I’m proud of this little movie for what it does well cinematically, but more importantly, for the culture and sport it represents.
I’m grateful to Todd Baird for bringing the script into the world, to producers J.Todd Harris, Mitchell Peck, Adam Leiff, and Marc Marcum for hiring me and keeping me on for three years, to my mentor and friend, the director, Steve Rash and his wife Maggie who championed me to rows of patrons in the theater, to our gracious and inclusive editor Danny Saphire, and to composer Brian Rolston. Neal Powless and Ernie Stevens kept it real for me, bringing the truth about Haudenosaunee culture and traditions to the movie, and the entire team at Sports Studio made the lacrosse action as good as any sports imagery you’ll ever see on film. It was great to hear the LAX Bros cheer amazing shots and big hits, then groan when the characters made mistakes on the field.
Many more thanks go to my wife, Mom and daughter who attended with me, my dad who brought me up in the sports world and tells the great stories of locker room lore, to local friends who attended — Shores, Babcocks, Boyers, Kesselrings, Newells, Folks — and all of my friends and family near and far who supported the movie and me throughout the writing and production process.
My short set visit only allowed me to meet a few of the actors, but it was great to see the kind, gracious, Brandon Routh again, as well as the beautiful, smart, and ridiculously talented Chelsea Ricketts. I finally got to meet Gil Birmingham and Dennis Ambriz (Crooked Arrow), and was grateful for the opportunity. They have such presence and experience, I’ll have to admit to being a bit intimidated.
The movie releases May 18 in selected cities, then goes wider June 1. Check the website for details of where to go when, and please support this fun, powerful little indie film about a sport and culture in need of recognition and celebration.
It was this time last year when I announced that I was leaving L.A. to take a tenure track teaching position at SUNY Oswego in upstate New York. I remember accepting the offer from the Dean while standing on the second floor balcony of the USC School of Cinematic Arts (Steven Spielberg wing), overlooking a gorgeous courtyard and the dramatic statue of Douglas Fairbanks with his riding crop. It was there, or the demolished building next door, really, where I got my start as a screenwriter, then later, as a professor. It was an emotional time as I thought of leaving paradise, and a difficult decision… plus, I had to get back to class. It was the last day of my Scene Writing class, and also the day we determined which MFA students would pass, need a rewrite, or earn distinction. When one of my friends and colleagues announced my departure and destination to all of the faculty at that meeting, one of them looked at me with confusion and said, “Why?” There were many reasons: family, career, environment, and the belief that it would not impact my writing. Turns out, all of those reasons were well founded and I’ve had an amazing year in every respect.
And yet, I’m moving again.
As the semester wound down at Oswego amidst senior capstones, Oswego Webisodes, advanced students finishing features and intro students completing first acts, I was offered a position at DePaul University’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media in Chicago. My year at Oswego was fantastic. I made what I hope to be life-long friends and colleagues among the college’s exceptional faculty. I worked with talented and inspiring students whose dreams are no smaller or less achievable than those of students I taught in L.A. The Creative Writing and Cinema and Screen Studies programs are the most robust on campus, with amazing faculty and committed administration. I’m going to miss it. The green, the quiet, the space, the air, and of course, the people. Yesterday, I packed up my office then spent some time at the shore of Lake Ontario — a lot has happened this year public and private, almost all within view of that lake, and I had to say goodbye even as I’m about to say dozens of first “hellos.”
DePaul’s CIM program is centered in the Loop campus and the heart of downtown Chicago. It’s a traditional film school, with writing, production and animation programs, offering MFA, BFA and BA degrees. The faculty and the overall energy there, as well as the possibilities and future plans were impossible for me to ignore. We’ve bought a(nother) house, we plan on (finally) settling down in Chicagoland, and I’m excited to do all I can to help grow an already exceptional program, which has designs on becoming the premier film school in the Midwest, and a close competitor to those on the coasts — including my beloved USC. Watch out Troy, here we come.
So, thank you again to everyone at SUNY Oswego, especially Amy Shore, Leigh Wilson, Bob O’Connor, Donna Steiner, Brad Korbesmeyer, Jacob Dodd, Josh and Jamie Adams, and department chair, Bennet Schaber. I’m a Laker for life.
A whirlwind winter “break” included trips to Florida, Kentucky, Los Angeles and NYC. While in LA, I was able to see a cut of Crooked Arrows and can report that it looks fantastic. Many talented people are working very hard to see it through to a Spring release in theaters, and I really believe a general audience — not just the lacrosse crowd — will love this film. Watch the trailer below.
Way back when I first decided to pursue a career in film, I knew I wasn’t the type who could drive L.A. with everything I owned piled into my car and simply put up a sign that said “Screenwriter.” I happen to know several people who went that route and have done well for themselves, but I needed the training, structure, network, and honestly, the nursery, that film school would provide. I also knew that I wanted to teach, and figured an MFA degree from USC might someday set me up for that. I had no idea I’d eventually end up teaching there myself. It was a dream come true.
As an adjunct at USC for the past six years, I cherished the opportunity to work with the best, most talented aspiring writers any professor could ever hope to have. My time there, becoming deeply involved in the MFA screenwriting program, teaching core-curriculum classes, developing new classes, and serving on admission, curriculum and thesis committees was tremendously rewarding and instrumental to my decision to pursue a long-term career in academia.
We have a young family, and a strong desire for more space and a new environment, so I decided to apply for full-time, tenure track jobs across the country. After trips and interviews to several schools, I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted a position to teach at the State University of New York at Oswego. Oswego boasts a large and well-established Creative Writing Program, and an exploding Cinema and Screen Studies major. This position provides a tremendous opportunity to make an impact and be part of building something.
I am, of course, sad to leave what I believe to be the best film school in the world, and all of the amazing people there who have made a tremendous impact on my life. USC is my home, the launching point for two careers I never dreamed were possible, and I’ll be forever grateful. We leave behind our family, as well. In a place like L.A., where nearly everyone is a transplant, your friends become family, and we have been fortunate to have a tight, strong tribe who supported us through good and bad. It is because of this family, my strong professional network, and my excellent representation that I know I can make this move and thrive.
Stay tuned… we’re off to Syracuse!!!