Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Christmas Snow at the end of the year

I was delightfully surprised to get mentioned in the year end report from Trost Moving Pictures:

A Christmas Snow -

This time last year we were also in the middle of casting for our second feature film, A Christmas Snow which was going to be shot in February of 2010. We had conducted an online casting call and found many great talents, in fact the part of Claude (Rich Swingle) was cast through our online casting call, and he has proved to be a great benefit in getting the word out about the film. We were also honored to have Muse Watson (NCIS), Catherine Mary Stewart (Weekend at Bernie’s), Anthony Tyler Quinn (Boy Meets World), and Cameron ten Napel (Barney and Friends) join the picture as well.
We had 18 days to shoot A Christmas Snow and although the budget was much bigger for us, in terms of Hollywood films and other Indie features we were still shooting with a micro budget. The cast and crew were great and the film has performed well at festivals and has enjoyed exposure at more than 200 screenings around the country, as well as both national and international TV airings. Our distributor, Destiny Image Films helped make it one of the best selling Christmas movies at numerous national chains. It was exciting to hear from our more than 5,000 fans on facebook that A Christmas Snow had become their new Christmas tradition and we are eternally grateful for that as well as the numerous emails and messages we have received from those whose lives have been forever changed from this powerful story of forgiveness and reconciliation. That is always our true measure of success.
The A Christmas Snow project also market award winning writer/director Tracy J Trost’s first foray into the world of authorship with his first book Restored – 11 Gifts for a Complete Life and it’s written as Sam’s Journal and follows him from a year before the star of A Christmas Snow all the way through the film. If you haven’t read it yet, you’ll want to head to your nearest bookstore and ask for it. Those who have read it after watching the film have become huge fans.
We also released a Soundtrack that contained songs from the film, songs inspired by the film, and remixed Christmas classics. Produced by Bryan Popin of Little Boy Wonder Music in Nashville and boasting such artists as Chris Kirkpatrick (NSYNC), Martha Munizzi (Top Billboard Artist), Kelly Morrison (wrote & sang the song Legacy for The Ultimate Gift) Erica Lane, and up and comers: Jason Eustice, Casii Stephan, & Alicia Larson the album is a wonderful collection that will be cherished for years to come.

For the full report click here: 2010 A Year in Review.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Covenant and The Light

Joyce preached this morning on Isaiah 42:5-9 in the Pictures of the Coming King sermon series at our church, Westchester Chapel.

This sermon is available for download on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Rich and Joyce Swingle" on the iTunes Store.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Snow in NYC


At tonight's New York City screening of A Christmas Snow people stuck around talking until the guard shut us down. Nico Boccio, who's been an actor for decades, said he thinks it's going to be a sleeper. He said, "Give it five years or so and it's going to be another It's a Wonderful Life."

A friend texted: "The people I'm near are still talking about how much they loved the movie. They said they are joy filled and encouraged!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Snow and a Tornado in and near NYC

I played Claud, a French chef in an Italian restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the film A Christmas Snow.

We'll be screening it in the Ellington Room of Manhattan Plaza at 400 W 43rd St, NYC, Wednesday night, December 22 at 8pm.  There is no charge.

It will also be on TV a few more times this week.  For listings, or to order a DVD, visit RichDrama.com/AChristmasSnow.


On Christmas Eve I'll perform Thomas Tornado Tinglehoop and the Three Christmas Clues, which I wrote with Pastor Jim Warren. The service at Westchester Chapel will begin at 5pm.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christ the King

Joyce shares how crucial the virgin birth is to our faith at Westchester Chapel.

This sermon is available for download on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Joyce Swingle" on the iTunes Store.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2010

We pray for blessings and joy for you this wondrous season of celebration of our Savior Jesus Christ’s birth.  May you take the time to share in the wonder of God’s marvelous provision for our salvation in the humble act of incarnation as a Jewish baby boy.  May the precious sacrifice mean more to you this year than ever before.

We Swingles have had our usual action-packed year.  We have settled into this not-so-new-anymore apartment and begun to make real connections with neighbors, starting with a free showing of Rich’s powerful play A Clear Leading and culminating in a recent Thanksgiving season Open House party.  We have very much enjoyed getting to know and spend time with our neighbors.

Joyce continues to develop her Christian counseling work (RichDrama.com/ReconciliationRoom), taking appointments in White Plains (where our church is) and in Manhattan (where our home is).  While difficult work, it is most rewarding to see clients discover who they were created to be and begin to achieve their dreams for their lives.  Joyce continues to serve as one of the pastors at Westchester Chapel Church of the Nazarene (WestchesterChapel.org), where the work is at times frustrating, at times rewarding and always filled with hope.

Rich’s year has been filled with excitement:
*   A last-minute call came to perform Beyond the Chariots at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  The ground was difficult but the experience blessed and joyful. 
*   Rich’s first commercially viable movie, A Christmas Snow, was followed quickly by three other films yet to be released: For the GloryPawn’s Move and a fourth film soon to be announced.  Be sure to sign up at RichDrama.com/Updates if you didn't receive this as an email.   This has been a long-time dream come true:  To bring Godly messages in a more persistent form, expanding the reach and impact for the good.
*  A tour of Asia, which included a return to Singapore where Rich performed Beyond the Chariots before an audience of about 5,600.  That trip also saw us standing in North Korea in the Joint Security Area in the DMZ, praying for God’s best for that region.  This last episode occurred during our visit to South Korea -- Joyce’s first and Rich’s second -- where we were blessed to be guests of Joseph Kim, son of the noted evangelist Billy Kim, who also hosted us at his radio station for breakfast and a chapel performance of Big Fish Little Worm.  We also visited Malaysia, where Joyce had the opportunity to preach and Rich to perform.

Our saddest moment this year was the loss of Rich’s dear Grandpa Miller -- a holy man of God who went home at age 93 in November.  He was a missionary, history professor and runner, all of which inspired Rich from an early age.  Rich helped create a memorial page: cliffmillerphd.blogspot.com.  We mourn his death but not his life and look forward to the day when we will see him again in the presence of the Lord.  


We already have many projects lined up for 2011:

* God of Hope, for which Rich recorded the voice of Paul for the Audio Book (to be released any day now: Keep checking RichDrama.com/GodOfHope), will be filming a live version for DVD.  That is expected to be released sometime before Easter.  Rich can perform the play live for your group any time: RichDrama.com/GodOfHope.

* For Rich's fourth film project he'll be flown to LA to record the voice of another character who looked the part but didn't have the right sound.
* Rich will direct the theatre program at The MasterWorks Festival for the seventh year.  He'll also be directing the play, Cyrano de Bergerac.  He'll be joined by a marvelous faculty soon to be announced.
* Rich has been invited by Terry Ewell, a MasterWorks bassoon instructor, to narrate a piece he's composing for bassoon and oboe based on Milton's Paradise Lost.  The piece is being submitted for performance at the International Double Reed Society conference in May.  It will be available for performance after that.
* We're both leading a trip to Israel and Jordan where we'll actually see the hills of Bethlehem, so we hope you can join us: RichDrama.com/HolyLand.
*  For more of what's to come, visit itinerary.richdrama.com.

We both consider it an honor and a privilege to serve our Lord with our lives and have found that any sacrifice this entails has been overwhelmed by the blessing it brings.  Among those blessings is our treasured friendship with you.  May you be enriched with all that God has for you now and in the year to come.

Merry Christmas!
Rich and Joyce

Tonight's rehearsal for Christmas: A Twitter Reenactment

Here's an excerpt from tonight's rehearsal for our Thursday night performance of Christmas: A Twitter Reenactment.  Read from the bottom up:
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Go. To. Bed. @
 Melchior 
God was the Spirit hovering over the deep, and if we follow that star I believe we will discover God's very Son, come to earth. 
 Melchior 
You can't get more ancient than that! God said, "Let us make mankind in OUR image." God was the Father of all life. 
 Melchior 
Can't sleep. Thinking about what @ said. WAIT! God isn't lonely! The Hebrew scriptures say, "In the beginning..." 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
The Vedas are the oldest scriptures in the world, given to us by the gods. Not just one lonely god who spoke only to Abraham. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
But don't think you're going to convince me that the Hebrews know more than our ancestors. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
As you say, my friend. It is good to call this night complete and join poor tired Balthazar in his slumber. 
 Melchior 
I'll tell you in the morning. 
 Melchior 
Sleep on that @
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Well, there aren't any scepters in the skies, my friend, @
 Caspar Gondofarr 
But serious, @ why should the writings of a band of nomads from the West have any bearing on our lives? 
 Melchior 
Oh! I forgot to finish the blessing! This is one of them: "A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel."
 Melchior 
It is getting late. Perhaps we should join Balthezar in a snooze.
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Too late. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Oh, gods, here we go again. Next he'll be quoting the Torah or the Kethuvim 
 Melchior 
...mouth with blessings.
 Melchior 
This is one of them: "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near -- a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out...
 Melchior 
Judea! I knew it! Moses tells how Baalam was called from our land to curse the Hebrew people, but the God of Israel would only fill his...
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Well, @, it's ah, to the West of us. If I have the coordinates right, somewhere around, eh, Judea. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Your ancestor maybe, @.
 Caspar Gondofarr 
@, I have discovered a new star - located to the west of us. A star that appears to not move with the earth. 
 Melchior 
Balthezar is sawing enough logs for us to keep this fire blazing for hours. 
 Melchior 
You go first. Please. Since you have called us together. 
 Melchior 
My favorite tells how our ancestor Abraham cut a covenant with the King of Heaven. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Do Tell? Please @, are we going to discuss this Hebrew nonsense again? I have a great discovery to share with you. 
 Melchior 
There are hundreds of prophesies foretelling a coming Messiah.
 Melchior 
Caspar, I've discovered something in the Hebrew writings.
 Caspar Gondofarr 
I believe that I have pinpointed the origin of this new star - which will only encourage @ with his Hebrew nonsense.
 Melchior 
Caspar, I have something to tell you.
 Caspar Gondofarr 
I really wish Balthazar would wake up. He is much help in mediating between myself and @ 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
It always comes down to science vs religion - although with @, they seem to be synonymous. 
 Melchior 
But now I've found something...
 Melchior 
Worshipping rats, trees, wind... that was just, well, chasing the wind.
 Melchior 
That other group carried huge metal houses by hooks that dug into their flesh. Uch!
 Caspar Gondofarr 
I have no idea why he keeps insisting that their stories of Yahweh and our Vendengan studies are related. 
 Melchior 
There was that time I was asked to stand on one foot for 24 hours. That did nothing for me.
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Perhaps I will just discuss it tonight with @, although he will probably start ranting about the Hebrews again
 Melchior 
I tried so many different religions! Maybe all my dead-ends convinced them religion wasn't worth pursuing.
 Melchior 
If only I could convince them that there is more to the world than what you can see or touch. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
And now Balthazar is dozing off anyways. And we wonder why some think us stodgy and boring. 
 Melchior 
He and Caspar are so dear. I'm glad Caspar has brought us together once again.
 Melchior 
Balthezar makes the best fires.
 Caspar Gondofarr 
I want to tell @ and Balthazar, but I am unsure as to how they will react. Gods know we've not always seen eye to eye 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Or perhaps it is the conflagration of two or more stars shining brighter than I have seen before. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
A new celestial being has appeared in the sky over the Western world. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
I thought I knew everything there was to study about the night sky, but once again the gods laugh at my ignorance. 
 Caspar Gondofarr 
Ah, Balthazar has the fire roaring. Time to relax and unwind with my two good friends.