Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Christian Post covers Beyond the Mask

New Faith Based Film 'Beyond the Mask' Uses More Green Screen and CG Effects Than Any Other Christian Movie

And they pull it off well! I got to see Beyond the Mask with over 700 people in San Antonio at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. They all leapt to their feet as the credits rolled. After the show John Fornof, who directed Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings and Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey in The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty, told me, "Tonight everything changes."

Then he sent me this: "I remember when Star Wars came out--it revolutionized how movies were made. I got that same feeling watching Beyond the Mask. Rich and I were stunned. We both agreed. This is truly a breakthrough movie in Christian filmmaking. It fires on all cylinders--an intriguing and exciting story of God's redemption with plenty of surprising twists and turns, solid acting, captivating cinematography, blow-your-mind special effects and sets, and a powerful music score. Beyond the Mask sets a whole new standard for what a faith-based film can be--and should be.”

I was thrilled that The Christian Post included me with the featured stars and also highlighted the NYC screening! If you know anyone near the NYC area please send them to www.RichDrama.com/BeyondTheMask. We still need to fill 84 seats before the event happens.

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Beyond the Mask Featured in BreatheCast

Jeannie Ortega, who used to open for Rihanna, covered Beyond the Mask in BreatheCast:

Action Film 'Beyond the Mask' Set to Hit Theaters April 6 in NYC For Special Screening

I was grateful she highlighted my performance in the film and our NYC screening!

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Faith Flix

I was recently featured in Faith Flix, an online magazine: Rich Swingle--Actor.

Thankfully my interview got lost, and resubmitted it with information on the NYC screening of Beyond the Mask. Hopefully that helps us fill the 84 remaining seats to make it actually happen!

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Beyond the Mask


Beyond the Mask, in which I play Dr. Bonneville, will be in theaters across America on April 6. If you're near New York City, I hope you'll join us...


We need to have 55 seats reserved by March 26 in order to actually make it happen. Tickets are only available online. You'll be turned away at the door if you don't have a ticket.

Invite your friends to our Facebook Event: Beyond the Mask in NYC and send them this email.

The Christian Post included me and this screening in their article "New Faith Based Film 'Beyond the Mask' Uses More Green Screen and CG Effects Than Any Other Christian Movie."

They most certainly pull it off! I got to see Beyond the Mask with about 1000 people in San Antonio at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. They all leapt to their feet as the credits rolled. After the show two-time Emmy Award winner John Fornof, who directed Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings and Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey in The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty, told me, "Tonight everything changes."

Then he sent me this: "I remember when Star Wars came out--it revolutionized how movies were made. I got that same feeling watching Beyond the Mask. Rich and I were stunned. We both agreed. This is truly a breakthrough movie in Christian filmmaking. It fires on all cylinders--an intriguing and exciting story of God's redemption with plenty of surprising twists and turns, solid acting, captivating cinematography, blow-your-mind special effects and sets, and a powerful music score. Beyond the Mask sets a whole new standard for what a faith-based film can be--and should be.”

All of these fantastic elements come together in a fictional story based around actual historical events. I play a doctor who helps an assassin recover in a village that thinks he's the expected pastor. He must immerse himself in the Word and there comes face to face with Grace. He's ready to leave his past behind him, if only his former boss--played by John Rhys-Davies (who carries a significant amount of screen-time) will let him.





Rich plays the doctor who nurses a
reformed assassin back to health in the
village where he is thought to be the
new pastor.
Faith Flix and Jeannie Ortega, who used to cover Rihanna, also covered my performance and the NYC screening: Action Film 'Beyond the Mask' Set to Hit Theaters April 6 in NYC For Special Screening.

You can watch the first minutes of the film online.

We had been hearing about the film for over a year before I was cast in it, and I believe the first time we heard about it was when we were on the set of IndescribableBeyond the Mask is a spectacular story, written by Paul McCusker, who wrote for the children's radio program Adventures in Odyssey.

I was cast as Dr. Bonneville by Bev Holloway and got to work with acting coach John Kirby, both of whom I've worked with a number of times over the years.

It was a delight to reconnect with crew from Christmas GraceThe ScreenwritersIndescribablePawn's Move, and Alone Yet Not Alone, and to work with a lot of new friends, many of whom I would work with on later projects like Princess Cut and Polycarp.

John and I both think Beyond the Mask is going to be a hit. He was thrilled with what he was seeing in the monitors.  


To learn more about the film and get involved in spreading the word, go to www.beyondthemaskmovie.com.
 

This is the set, where I performed my scenes.
Here's a Behind the Scenes piece they did on the mansion. You can see me briefly at the start.



I thought it was a beautiful parallel that the mansion is a place of healing, and that was the central scene that we shot there. I pointed that out to director Chad Burns, and he invited me to pray before we shot that scene, which he also did before the film screened at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. 

Here's an article on the project: 'Lord of the Rings' actor John Rhys-Davies joins new Christian action film.






Christians should also know:

*The film is rated PG. 
*There’s some swashbuckling action, mostly aimed at stopping the villains. At one point someone gets conked on the head with a candlestick, but it’s stumbling over the fallen candlestick that puts an end to the fight. You see him tripping from the knees down, and then there’s a cut to him lying on the fireplace hearth. At one point someone gets electrocuted, but it’s seen from a distance.
*There's one smooch to celebrate [Spoiler Alert] an engagement.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Spiritual Lives of Characters

Today I'm speaking at the Christian Worldview Guild about "Exploring the Spiritual Lives of Your Characters" as a part of their Acting Track.

Here are references and links to some of the things I mentioned:


Audience members who are highly transported often experience attitude and belief changes in line with those expressed or demonstrated in the story.” 

Green, M.C., & Carpenter, J.M. (2011). Transporting into narrative worlds: New directions for the scientific study of literature. Scientific Study of Literature

Kansas State University’s Department of Hospitality Management and Dietetics video: Caroline's Story

Patricia Mauceri (Spiritual Lives of Characters): www.PatriciaMauceri.com

John Langlois (Spiritual Lives of People): www.Anglicantas.org.au

Seasons of Gray: www.SeasonsOfGray.com

Our actor who explored the spiritual life of Joseph/Grady was Greg Tull.


Now taking applications for the filmmaking program at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Help make history with Beyond the Mask

We've now seen Beyond the Mask and absolutely loved it! It looks like they spent many times more than they did! They're on target to become the most requested film through the theatrical on demand model, but we still need to fill 112 seats before it actually comes to NYC. Please remind your friends they must book their tickets online by March 27.

You are invited to see the movie, Beyond the Mask!
View this email in your browser

You Are Invited!

Beyond the Mask is a revolutionary new family film that brings history to life in a faith-filled adventure that celebrates grace, liberty, and true freedom that can only be found in Christ.
Rich Swingle plays the doctor who nurses a repentant assassin back to health in a village where he is thought to be the new pastor. He must dig into Scripture in order to preach, and runs headlong into Grace.

Adventure. Romance. Patriotism. Faith,
and Family values.

This is the upcoming movie, Beyond the Mask!
Synopsis: The leading mercenary for the British East India Company, Will Reynolds has just been double-crossed and now is on the run to the American Colonies.

Working to redeem his name and win back the affections of the woman with whom he's never been fully truthful, Will must gain the trust and help of his beloved Charlotte - and Ben Franklin - as he races against time to defuse a plot of historical proportions.

You can watch the movie trailer and more by visiting the link below.


“A film that will give Hollywood a run for its money!”

- Stephen Kendrick // Producer of Fireproof and Courageous
ONE NIGHT ONLY
Monday, April 6 @ 7:30PM
- - -
WHERE
Union Square Stadium 14, NYC
RESERVE YOUR TICKETS
Let your friends in the New York City area know!
Share
Tweet
Forward

  • Limited space is available, sign-up early!
  • A minimum number of 116 tickets must be reserved for the theater to "go live" or "tip" and enable the showing to happen. Your card will not be charged until enough seats are reserved.
  • There will be no "previews" with material that is inappropriate for families.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Streams in the Desert

Joyce preached a special sermon on Psalm 126 this morning. Bill H. opened with thoughts on our first song, "My Soul Magnifies the Lord," and Psalm 66. Liz H. shared about a recent documentary on singing nuns.



There are 114 tickets to sell before Beyond the Mask is confirmed for a screening in New York City. Buy your ticket today at www.RichDrama.com/BeyondTheMask, then send your friends there. Tickets are only available online and must be purchased by March 27.

This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you've been blessed by the ministry of Westchester Chapel we'd be blessed by any contribution, which could help us continue our work for the Lord.

Other Options

WCCC Worship 3/1/15 by RichS on Grooveshark
Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.

 Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Join us for Beyond the Mask in NYC... or anywhere in the US

You are invited to see the movie, Beyond the Mask!
View this email in your browser

You Are Invited!

Beyond the Mask is a revolutionary new family film that brings history to life in a faith-filled adventure that celebrates grace, liberty, and true freedom that can only be found in Christ.
Rich Swingle plays the doctor who nurses a repentant assassin back to health in a village where he is thought to be the new pastor. He must dig into Scripture in order to preach, and runs headlong into Grace.

Adventure. Romance. Patriotism. Faith,
and Family values.

This is the upcoming movie, Beyond the Mask!
Synopsis: The leading mercenary for the British East India Company, Will Reynolds has just been double-crossed and now is on the run to the American Colonies.

Working to redeem his name and win back the affections of the woman with whom he's never been fully truthful, Will must gain the trust and help of his beloved Charlotte - and Ben Franklin - as he races against time to defuse a plot of historical proportions.

You can watch the movie trailer and more by visiting the link below.


“A film that will give Hollywood a run for its money!”

- Stephen Kendrick // Producer of Fireproof and Courageous
ONE NIGHT ONLY
Monday, April 6 @ 7:30PM
- - -
WHERE
Union Square Stadium 14, NYC
RESERVE YOUR TICKETS
Let your friends in the New York City area know!
Share
Tweet
Forward

  • Limited space is available, sign-up early!
  • A minimum number of 116 tickets must be reserved for the theater to "go live" or "tip" and enable the showing to happen. Your card will not be charged until enough seats are reserved.
  • There will be no "previews" with material that is inappropriate for families.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Receive All

Joyce preaches on Romans 15:7-13. Pastor Jim Warren opens with a reading from Psalm 9 and shares announcements. He also prays for the Ukraine. Tim B., who led worship, prays for the families of the 20 Egyptian martyrs.



Pastor Joyce mentions our denominational position on women in ministry. Here is that link: Why women pastors?

Join us April 6 for Beyond the Mask.



See more preview videos and order your tickets at RichDrama.com/BeyondTheMask. Reserve now to insure that the film is shown.

This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you've been blessed by the ministry of Westchester Chapel we'd be blessed by any contribution, which could help us continue our work for the Lord.

Other Options

WCCC Worship 2/22/15 by RichS on Grooveshark

Grooveshark is a third party source. If you listen on their website you will encounter advertisements, none of which are vetted or endorsed by Westchester Chapel. We encourage you to click Settings, then Preferences, then check the box for "Only show me family-friendly themes." If there are still ads that you find offensive we encourage you to click the "Report Ad" link below the ad.

Photo of Joyce courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.


Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Michael Day

With Mike with the van he never let me drive. I believe it's in front of his
parents' home.

Mike with our host in the depths
of Hexham Abbey
before my performance at
Queen's Hall.
I was just shocked to learn that Michael Day​, who managed my tour of A Clear Leading through England 14 years ago, just died of heart failure. He was a physical trainer, and one of the healthiest people I've ever met!

If you're waiting to give your heart to the Lord, don't bet your eternity on later. I now treasure more than ever the long conversations Mike and I had about the Lord on that 16-city tour.

Why not give your life to the Lord now.

Mike in Plymouth, Devon,
with our host at that
performance.
Favorite memories with Mike
His creative excuses for not letting me drive: Mike: "You're not on the insurance." Hundreds of miles roll by. Me: "There's the rental shop!" Mike: "Yeah, but because you're an actor they might assume you'll connect with other actors and make mischief." Me: "You just don't want me to drive." Turns out his father was a lorry driver, and one morning he met a car coming off the slip THE WRONG WAY after traveling at least 14 miles on the wrong side of the expressway!  He was sure that the "wrong way" driver was a foreigner so my chances of driving on that trip were zero.

Mike atop Hadrian's
Wall.
The incident that landed me in Martha Bolton's book Living It Down by Laughing It Up: On the way out of one host's home the lady of the house asked how I was able to pack all of my costumes, props and clothes in one suitcase. Mike said, "That's because he only brought one pair of pants." I proudly smiled at the ingenious packing plan I'd shared with Mike early in the tour, but a few hours up the road I remembered that in England pants are what you wear under your trousers! I was relieved to know that our hosts had spent enough time in the States to know that I didn't do laundry every other day... or worse.

One night we were parking, and I mentioned to Mike and his daughter Rachel (who was with us at the time) that in the States I had never seen anyone park on the sidewalk. "It's a path," Rachel corrected. Me: "What?" Rachel: "It's not a sidewalk, it's a path." Between Mike's family and the many wonderful people I met on that journey I picked up 21 new British phrases on the 21 days of the tour. They were all things I'd never heard before at that time of my life.

Mike was insistent on some cardio work before stretching, so my acting students have Mike to thank for many of the regulars in my warm-up routines.

Though I haven't seen Mike in almost 15 years, thanks to Facebook we reconnected rather recently, and I just sobbed and sobbed when I read the news of his death. It's amazing the impact one soul can have on another. My prayers and condolences cross the Pond to Linda and his girls and all who knew and appreciated him.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Word of God Visualized

Our Pastor, Jim Warren just launched WOHHStudios.com: The Word of God Visualized. His first offering is a pamphlet on The Armor of God. Here's the direct link.


Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Old Fashioned

I clapped and cheered so loudly when I saw this trailer. We're heading out now to see it on Times Square...



We just loved it. I've been praying for a film like this for decades. It lays out the principles which helped Joyce and I build a fantastic marriage that has been getting better and better as the years go by.

Seems it's answering a great many prayers! It broke the box office record for per screen: Over $1M in less than 300 theaters!


After it was over we struck up a conversation with two single women sitting behind us. They were concerned because it seemed that the man and the woman in the movie were unequally yoked.

This was a concern of mine as well, and it was the only thing that kept me from bursting out with applause at the end. But my brilliant bride pointed out that he was not in a grace-based relationship with the Lord at the start of the movie. Through the course of the story we see her digging into Scripture, breaking her old patterns, and leading him in a path of truly accepting Christ's forgiveness. Though the movie doesn't make it clear, there is a strong sense in which they will both enter marriage as Believers.

Looking at it another way, I pointed out to the women we met in the theatre, that by following the principles of building a friendship first, the man allowed the woman to fall in love with the One who made the man so special.

We ended up praying with those young women right there in the Times Square theater,  quite loudly once the ads for the next showing began. We prayed they would find men who respected them the way the man in the film respected the woman.

Rated PG-13 for some thematic material.

Christians might want to know:
* A dreamcatcher is displayed
* Characters are shown drinking alcohol and in various states of sobriety
* A woman dances suggestively and starts to strip (but doesn't get very far)
* A video series is mentioned several times, and it is suggested that in the videos college women strip. Clips from one of the videos are shown and heard, but there is no nudity.
* Past sexual lives are discussed clinically

Now taking applications for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp and sign-ups for Engage Rio.