For the longest time, I’ve always wanted to make my own proper silent film. Originally, I wrote a short story titled “The Table” for this silent project and it was well received. The only issue some had reading the script was that it would be more realistic to have the characters playing poker instead of blackjack. So, I had asked a mutual friend with great knowledge of poker to change the blackjack scenes into poker scenes and that is what The Assignment became now. With this project, I wanted to show my love for Asian cinema from the 1970’s throughout the 1980’s with directors like Chang Cheh, John Woo, Wu Ma, among many others. I also wanted to blend in elements, themes, looks, and especially music to give a certain feel of a throwback vibe to that era.
The Assignment is the tale of an unknown character who travels throughout the bright lights of Las Vegas until, for reasons unknown, reaches his search of the dark alleys of high stakes underground poker gaming where he joins two players in a session. As the stakes rise and the tension with unknown against another player rises; he’ll soon find out that he had more than he bargained for.
I’m very thankful to have the cast and crew that I did for this project. First off, I should say I’m very thankful that a studio who was shooting an alien movie at the time, allowed us to use the space for a day. So we didn’t have to search too far for creepy underground areas. Second, all of the troubles we had to go through to get it complete I’m happy that my Producer Pat and my Editor Ches hung around with me to see this to the end. Furthermore, given that I do have a big imagination though I don’t always know how to express it, I’m happy that since this was my first project I wanted a poster for. I’m glad that my Poster Artist Deborah understood the vibe of what I wanted and hit it perfectly.
Our main camera for The Assignment was the RED Dragon using Sigma’s 18-35 f/1.8 lenses. The only time we used a different camera was only for the opening credits sequence, utilizing Sony’s A7S ll. Our wonderful Director of Photography Omie understood my appreciation for 70’s and 80’s cinema especially Asian cinema and we agreed to shoot it in the 2:39:1 aspect ratio. Also added bonus was that Omie added unique colors to specific characters as so to enhance the viewer’s perspective into knowing what the characters are feeling.
I feel very blessed to have the cast and crew that I had for The Assignment. This is a film I’m very satisfied with the final result. From start to completion I learned so much from them which I personally believe I became a better filmmaker and I’m very grateful for it. So far, this film has helped me quite a bit, I’m currently working on a new short film titled “The Come Back” and possibly doing much more. Since The Assignment is currently going through the film festival circuit, my hope is that audiences do go out to see it, as this was a project that when creative minds unify together, from all of the cast and the crew, great things will show up on the screen.
Roger Julian Cross
Roger Julian Cross
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