Chase Crawford is beating the odds.
He said growing up in a small town like Monroe — literally and figuratively thousands of miles from Hollywood — and being a teenage father could have sidetracked his dream of working in the entertainment industry.
But here he is, the producer of another movie that has received a limited theatrical release with a world premiere event at Bogart’s in Cincinnati.
“This is really exciting” said Crawford, 23, a 2014 Monroe High School and Butler Tech graduate who lives in Cincinnati. “The progress that I have made is not typical. I had to send a lot of cold emails, work late into the night.”
Crawford described “Moondance,” his latest production, as a “zany musical comedy” that follows a rogue director who turns a run of the mill Hollywood love story into a big band musical with the help of his crew and the out of the loop actors.
The film features an ensembles cast of Jonah Robinson, Cooper Flannigan, Carolyn Rabbers, Sam Jones, Brandon Stewart with Kameron Jane, Jordan Mullins and Adam Conover. There are about 50 cast members and a crew of 30. He said the movie’s budget was about $500,000.
The 18-city theatrical release includes Cincinnati, Dayton, Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago. It opens March 12 at Bogart’s and will be shown March 22 at The Neon in Dayton.
“This is big,” he said during a phone interview from San Francisco where he was celebrating his fifth wedding anniversary with his wife, Alexandra. They have two daughters, Cambrie, 5, and Carter, 6 months.
Crawford has produced several independent films including Alan in the Fullness of Time, which was shot in Butler County, and The Cran starring Stranger Things actor Joe Chrest.
In 2017, Alan and the Fullness of Time, a faith-based drama/thriller that centers around a young boy’s struggle and the evil powers at work to stop him and a close circle of believers, was shot throughout Butler County, including Hamilton, Middletown and Monroe.
The film was written and directed by Markus Charles Cook, who graduated from Cincinnati Christian High School in Fairfield.
Crawford credits the instructors at Butler Tech and the equipment that was made available to him for kick-starting his movie producing career. He called the opportunities “career-changing” because he never could have afforded the equipment.
The summer before his senior year, he helped produce a Taco Bell commercial that introduced him to the “big leagues,” he said.
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