Across The Tracks pt 1

Things have been moving along pretty swiftly.  I've been knee deep in pre-production for my next project. A short film entitled "Across The Tracks" 

 Our "tracks" location

Our "tracks" location

The Plot

The film follows Ella and Tara in racially charged 1960s GA. Both sisters were born to African American parents, but through a unique twist of fate, Ella was born with fair skin. After a childhood of prejudice and bullying due to their “blackness" Ella saw her chance to change her destiny when schools were desegregated. That year Ella decided to become white. 

In the film we witness two sister's struggles, the incident that drove them part, and how their relationship has maintained over the course of 40 years. 


I wrote this film with Emmy Award winning super producer Kimberly Y. James. We both drew on our own experiences as minorities and growing up in a world where things were different on the other side of the tracks.  

 Our Initial script blocking w/ index cards

Our Initial script blocking w/ index cards

This film is not without its challenges. We've broken almost every rule in the book that pertains to shooting a short film. Traditionally you shoot a short that can be done relatively easy, a simple script, a couple of friends who have a weekend free, a VERY small budget and a location that you can easily get to from where you currently live. But our story is anything but traditional...

Instead we opted to embrace the hurdles that are ahead of us, and bank on the simple notion that this is a film that people will want to see. The rest would fall into place, and so far we've had a streak of amazing luck and support in getting Across The Tracks up and going.


We're shooting this film in Arlington, Ga. A small town close to the edge of the state, where my grandparents were born. Its a very picturesque town that still maintains some period piece charm of the late 60s. We took our story infront of the town council and immediately they green-lit us for production. With their blessings in tow, we began location scouting.


We've gotten alot of support early on and our team is strong. Across The Tracks has received 501(c)(3) non profit status through From The Heart Productions and we're currently gearing up for crowd-funding through Seed&Spark. I'll be updating on all other production details as we draw ever closer to principle photography in October. 

Michael Cooke
Director/Co Writer - Across The Tracks