Dominic Zamprogna stars as Robert Westfield, a grieving man who finds solace in the presence of his wife (Danielle Rayne) and daughter (Julie Romano) in the moments before he has to eulogize his mother.
Starring Dominic Zamprogna, Danielle Rayne, and Julie Romano
Written, Directed, and Edited by Nate Hapke
Produced by Rose Grace and Sophia Zach
DoP Dana Fytelson
Costume Design by Rosie Grace
Production Design by Zachary B. Friedman
Score by Caleb Parker
Production Sound by Brandon Walz
UPM Julia Balayan
1st AD Lexx Truss
Script Supervisor Nina Leonard
Hair and Make Up by Michele Miguel
Gaffer Mario Hurtado
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I am also a firm believer in using writing as a catharsis for emotional pain.
There was a period in 2018 where I would have these day (dreams) nightmares; no matter where I was, I'd be hit with the image of my mother on her death bed. Vulnerability and fear on her face in a way I'd never seen before. Days later, it was Dominic Zamprogna's last day at General Hospital and he leaned into me and said "send me something, I just want to play." And then it clicked; extrapolate out myself down the road when my mother has just passed away, I've seen this face, I've lost her, and I'm here in this impossible situation of being tasked with a finite period of time to eulogize her. What would I say? What would I need?
The words flowed. I sent it to Dom, and he was in "for a million reasons." At the time, I had no idea about his own mother's recent passing. There was a very real, very tangible, very emotional connection that we both had to this piece.
The original name for the project was Imperfect. I had briefly also considered Fallible.
Next came the role of the wife. I worked with Danielle Rayne on One More in 2017 and absolutely loved the experience. I had been meaning to write something new for her, and was simply looking for the right fit. I sent her the character breakdown and she was in.
From this project in particular, I've learned never to decide definitively on a title before finishing the script. Fallible and Imperfect worked initially because I wanted to explore the idea of that moment when you have to accept the fact that your parents are not perfect, that they make mistakes, and that they're human. As this script was revised, I decided to use a phrase that was very near and dear to me in "To the moon and back" as a through line for the main character's relationship with his mother and then with his daughter. I decided to change the title right then and there.
After making the announcement of the title change, I get a message from Danielle saying that it was fate. That phrase was something she had said to a loved one who had just recently passed. I had no choice but to smile.
Julie Romano is a talented actress that I've been wanting to work with for years. I was so thrilled when the role of Freddi Westfield needed a zealous, wise beyond her years actress. Julie was perfect for Freddi. What I didn't know was that she was incredibly close to her grandmother who is also no longer with us. The scene where she's talking about her grandmother's smile, and great memories with her rang true. She wore some of her actual grandmother's jewelry in the film, playing a grieving granddaughter. It was meant to be.
Question & Answer Following World Premiere
Featuring Stars Dom Zamprogna, Danielle Rayne, Julie Romano & Writer/Director Nate Hapke
Moderated by Actress/Host Niya Wright
Articles in the Media
World Premiere at Downtown Independent, Los Angeles, CA 11/2/19