For husband-and-wife filmmakers Jon Russell Cring and Tracey Nichole Cring, making the romantic tale "The Night We Met" was as much fun as it was hard work.
"It was great because we were able to run around Schroon Lake and hike and fish during the day, because the film takes place almost entirely at night," said Jon.
Their film, shot in 2015 and released in 2016, will be shown Wednesday at 7 p.m. as part of Proctors' "LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!" series showcasing exceptional cinema shot in Upstate New York.
The couple, who live in Troy, will introduce the film at the GE Theatre and stay around after the showing for a Q & A session. "The Night We Met" won five awards at the Atlantic City Cinefest and was an official selection at the Palm Beach and Adirondack film festivals.
Of their filmmaking approach, Jon says, it's "pretty much done by the seat of our pants. We've made about 18 feature films ourselves and probably assisted on 12 others." Tracey was an editor on "The Neighborhood That Disappeared" on WMHT, a documentary about clearing out streets and homes to make way for construction of the Empire State Plaza.
"The Night We Met," says Jon, "Is sort of about that magic night where you meet somebody and it’s kind of that Romeo and Juliet moment. Almost a modern John Hughes film." He said it is based on an experience his wife had when she was a teen.
It tells the story of Stacey (Sarah Joy Byington) and Nick (Lorenzo Rodriguez), who meet when a mutual friend suggests the troubled Nick give her a call, because, well, she just might listen. Stacey is described as an outspoken, compassionate, and wildly entertaining young woman, and Nick as a handsome, driven, and emotional young man.
"Together they share, laugh and explore their innermost hopes and dreams," says the film's press material.
"I kinda feel like the way people are feeling in this day and age, the tensions and the fears, a movie like this brings you back to that magic you can feel with someone," said Jon. "It's a feel-good movie, and I'm very happy about that."
Also featured in the 93-minute film are local actors Haley Beauregard of Saratoga Springs, who plays Stacey's best friend, and 10-year-old Lawton Denis of Albany. "He did an amazing job," said Jon. "He's gone on to some big things. He did an episode of "Gotham" and "Sleepy Hollow." Both aired on Fox.
Why Schroon Lake?
"We started out going there because of the Adirondack General Store, and the people who run it ended up being executive producers," said Jon. "They wanted to be more involved in the film, so we shot at their cabin and their dock, and at the theater in Schroon Lake, the Seagle Music Colony and all through downtown. It took about 14 days to shoot."
The film brings back memories of when young actress Natalie Wood came to Schroon Lake to film "Marjorie Morningstar" in 1957.
On Thursday night, another film in the "LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!" series will be shown at Proctors. "Man Underground" (2016), shot primarily in Greene County as well as in Schenectady, Gloversville and Schoharie, is a story about a former geologist and UFO conspiracy theorist. It starts at 7 p.m.
Filmmakers Michael Borowiec and Sam Marine will introduce the film and stick around afterward for a short Q & A.
Suggested donation is $5 for the films, both at the GE Theatre, with proceeds going to support film at Proctors.