Who We Are
Rare Bird Films was founded in 2010 by documentary director and writer Andrea Nevins and producer Cristan Crocker. Since then, the team has found success and acclaim for their emotional, character-driven storytelling. Their work has premiered at major film festivals like SXSW and Tribeca, as well as consistently found national and international sales including distribution by Oscilloscope Laboratories, Showtime, HBO, Amazon, Netflix and iTunes.
Rare Bird Films first project The Other F Word, about aging punk rock icons turned fathers, made its national theatrical debut in 2011, distributed in every major US market by Oscilloscope Laboratories, and was sold internationally through Mongrel and Elephant Eye. Showtime then picked it up for a successful two year run. Today, The Other F Word continues to build a cult following with downloads on Amazon and iTunes. It is currently being adapted by Drew Pearce and Jason Segel into a major motion picture at FOX starring Segel.
Rare Bird Films subsequently partnered with Michael Strahan to tell the story of how NFL players transition into retirement and how to create a meaningful second chapter post superstardom.
This film, Happiness, premiered in November 2014 as the season opener of HBO’s State of Play, the sports and society documentary series produced by Peter Berg.
While filming Happiness and working with NFL superstar Tony Gonzalez, Nevins found another compelling story about the relationship between two brothers, the reluctant football star, Tony, and his older brother and wingman, Chris Gonzalez, whose heart’s desire was to play the game as only his little brother could. Play It Forward, produced in association with Strahan’s SMAC Entertainment, was selected as the opening night gala for the 2015 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. It is the only non-ESPN film in the festival’s nine-year history to win the coveted opening gala spot. It was bought at the festival by Showtime and can be seen on all of Showtime’s platforms beginning October 16th, 2015.
The Rare Bird team is currently in production on a feature documentary about the cultural icon, Barbie, as well as working with big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton, on a series of documentary shorts.
Our Latest Projects
Barbie – 2017
Play It Forward – 2015
A feature-length documentary, Play It Forward, is about the relationship between two brothers, the reluctant football star, future Hall of Fame tight end, Tony Gonzalez, and his older brother and wingman, Chris, who’s heart’s desire was to play the game as only his little brother could. It is available on all Showtime platforms.View Trailer
Selected to premiere at the Opening Gala of the 2015 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, April 16, 2015.
American Film Showcase Selection
Play It Forward was selected for the 2016-2017 American Film Showcase. AFS is the premiere film diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is produced by the USC School of Cinematic Arts. AFS promotes people to people engagement, offers contemporary insights into American society and fosters understanding across cultures.
State of Play: Happiness – 2014
Aired on HBO as part of Peter Berg’s acclaimed documentary series, State of Play in November 2014.
In Happiness, Rare Bird Films examines what happens to the hearts and minds of NFL players when they retire. With interviews from leaders in the fields of Positive Psychology and Neuroscience, this piece is an intimate look at the transitions of Brett Favre, Wayne Chrebet, and Tiki Barber from NFL Superstar and into the second chapter of their lives.
The Other F Word – 2011
What happens when punk rockers, the ultimate anti-authoritarians of the 70’s and 80’s, become society’s ultimate authorities — dads? With a large chorus of punk rock’s leading men, including: Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, and Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath, The Other F Word follows Jim Lindberg, 20-year veteran of skate punk band Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting his band’s anthem, “Fuck Authority,” to embracing his ultimately pivotal authoritarian role in mid-life, fatherhood.
Cristan Crocker started her career in front of the camera as a commercial and television actress. This production experience, along with more than 20 years as an informal critic for hundreds of television pilots as an entertainment industry insider, gave her a deep understanding of story and audience. After reading the biography Punk Rock Dad, written by her childhood friend, she saw story potential and pulled together director Andrea Nevins and documentary impresario, Morgan Spurlock, to ignite the F Word team. The Other F Word had a nationwide theatrical run, was picked up by broadcast partners worldwide, and was adapted as a feature film by Jason Segel and Drew Pearce for Fox. Crocker has since created collaborations with Michael Strahan and Peter Berg for her and Nevins’ Rare Bird Films, which led to both Play It Forward for Showtime and State of Play: Happiness for HBO. She will continue her role as producer on Barbie.
DIRECTOR & WRITER
Andrea Blaugrund Nevins is a Academy Award-nominated, Emmy award-winning producer, director and writer. Early in her career, she married her work as a newspaper writer and photographer, and her work with National Public Radio, and joined Peter Jennings’ documentary unit, where her work on Peter Jennings Reporting: Guns, garnered her an Emmy. At NBC, for Tom Brokaw, her documentary on a town tipping from white to black, Why Can’t We Live Together, won her a DuPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.
Her keen interest in lives in transition led her to chronicle retired dancers given a late-in-life chance to perform. Still Kicking, her first independent documentary, earned an Academy Award nomination. Her first feature length theatrical documentary, The Other F Word, about anti-authoritarian punk rockers donning the cloak of paternal authority, premiered at SXSW, and won quick theatrical distribution by Oscilloscope and network broadcast on Showtime. In examining the huge transitions NFL football players make from super stardom to relative invisibility, she directed the 2014 season-opening piece for Peter Berg’s HBO series, “State of Play.” Entitled Happiness, it follows three players looking for fulfillment in second chapters. Another documentary that grew out of this work was Play It Forward, about two brothers at mid-life as their dreams and sacrifices for NFL glory collide. This film was selected to open 2015’s ESPN/Tribeca Film Festival in 2015, and is featured on all of Showtime’s platforms. It was also selected by the U.S. Department of State as part of their film diplomacy program, American Film Showcase, because it depicts the rise from poverty to wealth that embodies the American dream, but also examines the enormous family sacrifices that are often hidden in the wake of success.
As both director of photography and supervising producer for Rare Bird Films, Geoffrey Franklin has a hand in all Rare Bird Films productions, from beginning to end. He joined Rare Bird Films in 2009, and served as DP and editor on The Other F Word, HBO’s State of Play: Happiness and Showtime’s Play It Forward. Prior to joining Rare Bird Films, Franklin served as linear general manager and producer for the first-ever interactive jukebox show on DIRECTV: Havoc on the 101. In this position, he produced 30 hours of live programming each week, trained and managed production staff, and developed viewer interactivity across mobile, web, and broadcast platforms. Franklin is director of photography on Barbie and will be working as assistant editor on the project as well.
Graham Clark’s senior project, a 16 mm film titled The Sprint Down Magnolia, which screened at the Oak Cliff Film Festival and Dallas International Film Festival, received accolades for it’s experimental editing techniques and cinematography. It was these skills that motivated Rare Bird Films to hire Clark to assist them with State of Play: Happiness. Since then, Clark served as editor and handled sound design for Play it Forward.
Prior to joining Rare Bird Films, Clark honed his editing and cinematography skills at the Plastic Surgery Channel, CRM Studios, an Ekocycle and Levi’s web commercial featuring Will I Am, and various Children’s Action Network commercials for Fox Network.
Clark is a Film and Media Arts graduate of Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts Film and Media Arts.