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Between the Creag and the Sky

A Green Beginning:

The seed for Between the Creag and the Sky was planted over 10 years ago in a Green Theatre Class at Missouri State University. A performance student named Jessica Morgan, when given the assignment to write a character-driven one act play with ecological undercurrents, wrote a work titled The Space Between the Sand and the Sea. In the play, a father takes his adolescent daughter to a coastal overlook to spot whales, only to be confronted by the discovery that ecological changes may have forever denied her the opportunity.

The Screenplay:

In 2019, "Sea" was adapted into the short screenplay, Between the Creag and the Sky. The adaptation retains vital environmental themes by capturing a liminal moment between a father (Ed Swidey) and his estranged daughter (Kathryn Harter) whom he has led into the wilderness as an attempt to re-build a connection. The cliff-side environment around them is ever-present as a third character, as the father and daughter struggle desperately to re-connect.


In 2020, with the support of Missouri State University and independent producers, a team of 20 committed to bring the story to cinematic life. Creag was shot over a compact two-day period in the wilderness of Northern Arkansas, perched on the edge of a creag (mountain cliff) in the midst of an ice storm. Bringing the emotionally delicate script to life required a diverse team of practitioners including film professionals and faculty from MSU, as well as university students. Armed with ropes, harnesses, a multi-cam set-up, and a cast of two, the team made quick but articulated work. What had begun more than a decade earlier in a dusty theatre found new life in the sweeping wilderness of the Ozark mountains, and ultimately, in the imaginations of cinema viewers.

A Green Goal:

Creag wasn’t developed to bring notice to the team players involved, nor to be a stepping-stone for careers toward larger budget projects. A true passion project, it’s driven by the goals of sustaining the natural world around us and demonstrating that cinematic art is a vital tool in shaping our socio-ecological outlook. As part of its aim, audiences don’t watch Creag and immediately think “this is an eco-film.” It presents its themes more subtly, notably by exploring a moment of crisis in a parent-child relationship and providing the possibility for a positive narrative outcome in relation to the natural beauty surrounding them.

Screenplay and Direction by

Kurt Gerard Heinlein

Adapted from

Jessica Morgan's The Space Between the Sand and the Sea

Produced by

Kirchner Films

with support from Missouri State University College of Arts and Letters

and Missouri State University Department of Theatre & Dance


Kathryn Harter

Ed Swidey

Director of Photography

Josh Pfaff


Andrew Twibell

Audio Design

Bobby Lewis

Associate Producers

Courtney Heinlein

Austin Herring

Brent Sexton

Developmental Producers

Richard and Lucie Amberg

Music by

Tyler Durham

First AD

Jackie Crawford

Script Supervisor/Art Dept.

Natalie Laturno

1st Camera Operator

Chris Olson

1st Assistant Camera

Logan Triplett

2nd Camera Operator

Andrew Trice


Cooper Kelley


Carter E. Williams

Makeup and Wardrobe

Emma Keifer

Production Managers

Amalea Cox

Dung Troung


Hitman Stunts


Logan Triplett


Emily Trent

Dung Troung

Special Thanks:

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Cecil the Tree Cutter

Lucie and Rich Amberg

Lisa Brescia

Edward and Robin Brown

Michele and Tim Campbell

Craig Carnelia

Leighton Heinlein

Sutton Heinlein

Levi Horrell

Maggie Marlin-Hess

Sean McEwen

Cathy McFall

Jeff Nicholson

Caleb Norman

Joe Price

Running Dog

Shawn Wahl

Robert Westenberg


Filmed at the McElroy Game Management Area

Madison County, Arkansas

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