Movie Review: Second Nature (NVFF 2016)
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Second Nature
Written by Michael Cross, JC Ford, Edi Zanidache
Directed by Michael Cross
Starring Collette Wolfe, Sam Huntington, Carollani Sandberg, Carolyn Cox, Riley Shanahan
80 Minutes
Cross Films | Mirror Images LTD
Release date: November 10, 2016 (Napa Valley Film Festival)

In the small town of Louisburg, WA, Mayor Gleason is having a drunken joyride with his mistress, complete with bonus fellatio and some not so bonus driving right off a cliff. This leaves his position open for election.

Queue Bret and Amanda, who both decide to run for Mayor. Bret and Amanda are not a couple. They were childhood political rivals where he won (of course), and now they work together (he’s the boss, of course). They’re initially presented as stereotypes of their gender — she does yoga and listens to affirmation audio, while he watches sports while having sex — but then things go haywire after they each make a wish about how men and women should act. This is the set-up for Michael Cross‘s gender-swapping political comedy Second Nature, starring Sam Huntington (Sully, Superman Returns, Detroit Rock City) and Collette Wolfe (You’re the Worst, Hot Tub Time Machine).

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Interview: Michael Cross, Director Of Gender-Swap Political Comedy ‘Second Nature’
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Long-time director Michael Cross will see the world premiere this week of his feature debut with the gender-swapping political comedy Second Nature. The film stars Collette Wolfe (Hot Tub Time Machine) and Sam Huntington (Superman Returns, Detroit Rock City) as small-town mayoral campaign rivals whose lives are turned upside down after they’re magically transported to a mirrored reality where gender roles are reversed and women are in power. It’s not your typical body-swap comedy, but it definitely deserves an honored place in the subgenre.

We got a chance to talk to Cross about his inspiration for the long-gestating movie, a project funded through Kickstarter; what it was like to film it in his hometown, and to direct his famous photographer cat; how he pulled off such a well-crafted comedy on a limited budget and schedule; what the world would be like if women ruled, and much more.

The director has also given us an exclusive first-look at a pertinent clip from Second Nature, which you can watch here below at the end of the interview.

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Kickstarter Spotlight: ‘Second Nature,’ A Unique Gender Role Reversal Comedy

Body-swapping comedies have been around for decades (case in point: Vice Versa, The Change-Up, Dream a Little Dream, etc.), but filmmaker Michael Cross, a graduate of the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts – the alma mater of Hollywood heavyweights such as Ron Howard and John Singleton – has an imaginative take on the genre in which instead of the lead characters swapping bodies, gender roles are reversed. He would like to turn this idea into a feature film, and he needs your help to make it happen!

Cross, a longtime director and editor of short films and commercials, is preparing to make his feature directorial debut with the comedy Second Nature, and he has opened a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $55,000 he requires to get it made. So far, the campaign has raised over $8,000 with a little over three weeks left to go.

Continue below for more on the movie and to watch the Kickstarter video.

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Geek Find: ‘Cat Cam: The World Of Cooper The Photographer Cat’
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I used to wonder what my three cats were doing when I wasn’t around. Judging by how they behaved while with me, I assumed that they did a lot of sleeping, eating, chewing on plastic, and hitting each other. So, I set up a webcam so I could check in on the kitties while I was away and guess what they were doing? Sleeping, eating… you get the picture.

Also getting the picture is Cooper, the Cat Photographer, in his new full-color photo book Cat Cam: The World of Cooper the Photographer Cat. Yes, a cat who takes photos! But you won’t find multiple shots of food bowls or toy mice in this book, as Cooper explores the outdoors, capturing scenarios unique to his take of the world living a foot from the ground.

Equipped with a small, lightweight camera on his collar that snaps a picture every two minutes, Cooper takes a weekly photography adventure through his Seattle neighborhood, where he lives with his human family and co-authors, filmmakers Michael and Deirdre Cross, and their baby Cameron.

Trust me, once you see these photos, you will be blown away that they were taken by a cat. While some of Cooper’s vivid pictures are abstract in nature, there’s a variety of beautiful landscape shots, encounters with fellow creatures, and portraits of his family in and around their house, all from the feline’s perspective. A lot of the images are fun, especially Cooper’s shadowy self-portraits, and you can imagine what the cat was thinking while bracing for the shots; others are truly endearing, like the quiet, heartfelt moment Cooper captured between Deirdre and Cameron at home.

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