George Ogilvie directed The Crossing:
When talking about the characters of Sam (Mammone), Meg (Spencer) and Johnny (Crowe), he said, "They're all equally important, so we had to carefully and gently draw the audience through their three lives and families, sustaining the momentum, but still retaining balance".
In casting, Ogilvie, whose work with actors is legendary, says: "I needed not only the right people for the roles, but people who could support each other throughout the shoot." His choices were vindicated by the performances delivered by Crowe, Mammone and Spencer and by their obvious fondness
and camaraderie during production (Russell Crowe stayed strong friends with Robert and became Danielle Spencer's partner for some years after filming).
With his strong theatre background, Ogilvie finds workshopping with actors the best method for casting."If you spend 15 minutes with someone you can get only a superficial idea of what they can do. So a whole day of workshopping relaxes them, and finally you see what they can do."
Working with young actors, the main problem which presented itself was not directing them in how to act or interpret character, he says but in helping them to understand what he calls "the nature of filmmaking." "For example, Robert Mammone (Sam), who has done a lot of drag car racing, was raring to go when we filmed him on the open road. He delivers beautifully in characterisation and in the style of his driving. Even the stuntmen were impressed. Then we had to encourage him to transport his acting into a situation of typical film illusion. His car was being towed on a low trailer surrounded by cameras and lights and he had to merely pretend to be driving, yet still look intensely concentrated."
"I think this film is about how many people forget that love is the only important thing. Without it life becomes a compromise. To me the period is the least important thing, except in so much as it meant we could reveal the story without the influences of the modern world. So you get a certain innocence and love exposed. Today, people manage to hide their need for love very well."