Across The Tracks

Atlanta, Georgia | Film Short

Drama, Family

Michael Cooke

2 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $20,476 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

193 supporters | followers

Enter the amount you would like to pledge


In 1960s Georgia, two sisters Ella and Tara grew up surrounded by prejudice due to their "blackness". But Ella was born with fair skin. And when schools integrate in their small town, she sees a chance to change her destiny. Ella decides to become white. Click the STORY tab to read more.

In Partnership With

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

The Story


My parents and grandparents grew up during the civil rights movement. They never let me live a day without understanding how blessed I was to live NOW. The struggles of my forefathers got me to where I am today, and our current struggle pales in comparison to what Ella and Tara had to go through. I chose to examine a universal element that drives everyone, regardless of race or creed, and that is the need to belong. This is further complicated when the need to belong is ultimately rooted from within. Ella’s need to find herself comes at a time when things were not equal and the advantages of being one race over another were clearly evident. What if you had to give up a part of yourself to belong, reject who you are? Could you do it?



When Michael and I were writing this story, I understood completely the heartbreaking choice that this young girl made in the face of intense turmoil. I’m a mixed Asian woman who grew up in middle America at a time when there weren’t a lot like me. And even in Korea, my mother’s country, I didn't feel I belonged. The in crowd wasn't an option. I was sometimes white, sometimes Asian. Always different from them.  

As an adult, I’ve come to realize that what I felt as an outsider on the fringe of society was the way everyone feels on some level. Everyone has suffered prejudice. Everyone has struggled with identity and wanted to be accepted. The choice young Ella makes in the film may not be the same decision we all would, but for a young girl at that time, passing for white meant the difference between going to prom or going to the back of the bus.

What choice would you make? 

We wrote this film to pay respect to the folks who stood together, changed the laws and redefined our lives. It wasn't an easy choice to make, but we are grateful they made them.



We have partnered with From The Heart Productions, a 501c3 non-profit organization, so all your donations are tax deductible! Michael and I have invested our own money but without your help, we can't make this film happen, so thank you thank you thank you for caring to read and caring to give. All your gifts will be used to rent equipment and vehicles, buy food and water, insure everyone's safety, and to thank our phenomenal crew with a token gift for spending a week away from home with us. 




Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Boom Operator

Costs $500

We'll need pristine sound in this film

Production Insurance

Costs $700

We can make sure everyone on set can work with peace of mind.

Grip Van

Costs $1,750

This van comes built out ready to hold our production gear, camera supplies and even our wardrobe


Costs $2,700

Going as far south as we're going, our vehicles will need gas. Help us get there!

Hard Drive

Costs $750

Storing all our beautiful footage that we shoot.

Crew Meals

Costs $3,600

Crew needs to stay fed during this production. Help us get some good Southern cooked meals!

Craft Services Food

Costs $600

While we're shooting our cast and crew will need hydration and nourishment.

First Assistant Director

Costs $500

A good 1st AD is the only person that can keep a film on schedule.

Make Up Artist

Costs $500

Anna Bearman is an extraordinary make up artist. She'll keep our actors camera ready.

Hair Artist

Costs $500

Licensed cosmetologist Lindsey Wisemen will be gracing this film with her services.

Costume/Wardrobe Stylist

Costs $500

Talysha Monee has an unmatched eye for styling. She'll keep our cast looking well tailored.

15 Passenger Van

Costs $1,200

We're taking our crew pretty far south. Help us get to set and get around to our locations.

Lighting Package

Costs $150

Beautiful light fills all our locations. We just want to add a little extra to enhance the magic.


Costs $1,200

We've got a great deal on a steadicam package.

Lomo Square Anamorphic Lenses

Costs $250

Lomo Square Anamorphic Lenses. Classical glass to give our film that proper vintage look.

501(c) Non-profit

Costs $1

ALL YOUR DONATIONS ARE %100 Tax Deductible! From The Heart Productions is our Fiscal Sponsor!

Mobile Home

Costs $400

Our locations are remote. We'll need hair,makeup, wardrobe and a bathroom, on the go.

Camera Operator

Costs $500

Kyle Wullschleger is an amazing Cam Op who is donating almost all of our camera package.

First Camera Assistant

Costs $500

A solid 1st will help us maintain the camera and keep our film in focus.


Costs $500

Lights and electrical currents will need to be routed. Lee Walker is just the guy for the job

Camera/ Electric Swing

Costs $500

Multi talented Cam Williams will support both camera and electric departments.

Walkie Talkies

Costs $450

Some of our locations are pretty far reaching. Walkies are the only service we'll get out there!

Hotel Room

Costs $1,750

Our crew will need a place to rest their heads after a long day of shooting.

About This Team

Michael Cooke, Co-Writer, Director & Director of Photography

An Atlanta native, Mike was fortunate enough to begin his career as a camera assistant at Turner Broadcasting. His humble beginnings cleaning lenses and hanging lights quickly led to camera operating positions. Turner Broadcasting, parent company to notable networks like CNN and Cartoon Network, put Mike to work shooting content to match each of their diverse brands and it wasn’t long before the opportunity arose to begin his career as a Director of Photography. Turner provided practice in the skills of light, color, and composition, but music videos and commercials crafted Mike’s shooting style. His first feature film, God Loves the Fighter, was filmed on location in Trinidad and won Best Narrative feature at the 2013 Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. Mike has shot for clients and brands all over the world, including upstart interactive software companies and Billboard 100 artists who trust him to execute their vision and bring their story to life.


Kimberly James, Co-Writer & Producer

Kimberly is a Writer and Producer with 13yrs of experience in international TV & Film. Born and raised in the Midwest, she spent half her life moving to Asia, Africa and different parts of the US, and has worked in over 30 countries and wandered through 17 others. Concepts she has written were official selections in 3 major TV pitch competitions in Asia. Various seasons of The Amazing Race that she worked on have won 5 awards internationally, including an Emmy Award for The Amazing Race Australia. She has dangled off of skyscrapers and snuggled up to cheetahs, but she counts this film as her greatest leap of faith. Kimberly is a member of the Producer's Guild of America and is now based in New York City.


Errol Sadler, Producer

Errol is the founder of Supremacy Films and is one of the most sought after producers in the Atlanta Film Industry. He has taken at least six films to festivals around the world including a feature to Sundance and a short film to Cannes. He said he’s been tracking Michael’s career for years and knew that if Michael wanted to make this, only good things would come of it. All we can say is, likewise. :)


Don Battee, Producer & "Walter Lee"

Don has credits in The Matrix Trilogy, X-Men Wolverine, and recently in the fantastic musical film that swept the world, The Sapphires. He’s been on panels discussing diversity in filmmaking and has great distribution contacts all over Asia and Australia — places where stories like ours are just as relevant as in America. He’s also agreed to play “Walter Lee” in the film, so we’re excited to have him on board. 
Isabella Way, Co-Producer/Casting Director

Isabella has been in the business for over 10 years as an actor/dancer/singer and has recently jumped into casting and producing. She's enjoyed dancing in the Making of Frozen to the BET Awards and acting credits include Criminal Minds, Entourage, Master Class, Cabaret and many commercials. She recently directed the LA-Northwestern Alumni Showcase and cast a super top secret video game voiceover project. Currently, she's writing/producing her own webseries, thirtydumpling. Isabella can be found splitting her time between Los Angeles and New York City.


Kyle Wullschleger, Steadicam/Cam Op

Kyle is an internationally traveled IATSE Local 600 Cameraman and Steadicam Operator. For the last 4 years he has worked on countless TV series and feature films, including Saturday Night Live. He has worked under some award winning directors and cinematographers. Kyle will bring a level of advance operating and technical prowess not seen in most indies.


Lindsey Wiseman,  Hair Stylist

Since childhood, Lindsey has seen herself as a Hair Stylist.  She has been sharing her passion for the beauty industry for over ten years and continues to learn innovative techniques by attending educational seminars and hands-on workshops to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. She is also the Creative Director for Salon Modello, where her hair and makeup team resides, and a National Educator for Aquage. Over the years, she has earned several awards and certifications. With a Master Cosmetology License, Lindsey’s talents include specializing in color, cutting with precision, sculpting beautiful eyebrows, and special occasion hair artistry. 


Anna Bearman,  Special Effects Makeup & Artist

Anna's make up abiltites are not limited to one style. She is an artist at both tradition and special effects makeup. With her talents Anna's has had a successful career, styling for award winning films and photo publications throught the country.


Talysha Monee, Wardrobe Stylist

Talysha has been styling herself since she was in single digits. For almost half a decade, here, in New York City, she has steeped herself in the Art Department’s on countless films, TV shows, and editorial shoots. Her unique style and keen thrifting abilities bring depth and authenticity to each story she encounters. She specializes in period pieces, because the history of clothing and artifacts are timeless.


Cam Williams, Camera/Electric Swing 

Cam draws from more than 5 years of professional experience working in both the film and photography industry. Multi- Talented professionals are such a growing demand in production. Cam will take his extensive knowledge of lighting and camera maintence and support both departments on this film. 


Current Team