Harold Cronk

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Harold Cronk
BornHarold David Cronk
(1974-10-27) October 27, 1974 (age 39)
Reed City, Michigan
Alma materCentral Michigan University
OccupationDirector, Producer, Writer
Known forGod's Not Dead
Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy
Jerusalem Countdown
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Harold Cronk
BornHarold David Cronk
(1974-10-27) October 27, 1974 (age 39)
Reed City, Michigan
Alma materCentral Michigan University
OccupationDirector, Producer, Writer
Known forGod's Not Dead
Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy
Jerusalem Countdown

Harold David Cronk (born October 27, 1974) is an American writer, director, producer and founding partner in 10 West Studios and EMC Productions. In addition to co-founding, 10 West Studios, Cronk has directed Kevin Sorbo and Kristy Swanson in the feature film What If... (2010), Lee Majors, David A.R. White, Anna Zielinski and Randy Travis in Jerusalem Countdown (2011), and is the writer-director of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy (2012) starring Lee Arenberg, Derek Brandon, Patrika Darbo and Christopher Lloyd. Cronk won the Best Director award at the Beverly Hills International Film Festival in 2006.

Early life[edit]

Born in Reed City, Michigan, Cronk went to school in the Baldwin School District until about sixth grade and then attended school in Scottville, Michigan, where he was active in the Theatre department and graduated from Mason County Central High School in 1993 [1][2] Cronk graduated from Central Michigan University in 1998, with a Bachelor of Science in Art and K-12 Education.[1][2]


Cronk taught high school Art courses and was voted Teacher of the Year, for two of his four years at Evart High School.[3] In 1998, the Reed City elementary school hired a male Art teacher, Cronk made a point of introducing himself to the new-hire, Matthew Tailford. The two Art teachers found that they had a lot in common, both had participated in college athletics, both had studied sculpture and both had acting experience in school.[4]:2

Back then, Cronk concedes, “I didn’t even know people made livings as art directors.” To him, movies just appeared on the screen, almost magically. “I didn’t understand that it could take hundreds of people on a movie set to make it happen.” [4]:3

"Two Filmmakers Bring Michigan Movie Industry to Manistee", by Jeff Smith, April 27, 2010

During Spring break (2000), Tailford landed a job as the Art director on a television pilot. Dear Doughboy, Cronk and Tailford traveled to Los Angeles to perform Production Design and Art Direction duties for the show.[4]:2 The experience in Los Angeles motivated the pair to try their hand at producing Cronk's screenplays South Manitou and The Agent. Using their own funds, Cronk and Tailford completed the South Manitou and The Agent projects and considered the life-experience as equivalence of film school coursework.[4]:3 Upon completion, a film screening was set up by Compass College of Cinematic Arts with producer Ralph Winter in attendance. Winter enjoyed the film(s) and encouraged Cronk and Tailford to continue with film-making, buoyed by the reception of the work, Cronk moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2004.[4]:3 Within months of the relocation to Los Angeles, Cronk and Tailford found themselves on location in Ireland, working on the Secret of the Cave (2006), starring Kevin Novotny and Patrick Bergin, with Cronk as Production Designer and Tailford as Art Director.[5][6] Other assignments followed, direction of a Magic Johnson Foundation, Lincoln Navigator commercial starring Earvin “Magic” Johnson[3] and Cronk directed, Eve Ensler's, The Vagina Monologues, Vday West (2006) at the Ivy Substation during this time period.[3]

Cronk and Tailford also had greater ambitions to develop their own screenplays, Cronk found that he enjoyed directing and Tailford was interested in producing and acting. With some industry experience behind them, they returned to Michigan to create a ten minute short, War Prayer, based upon Mark Twain's short story, The War Prayer, a controversial war-story that was embargoed by Harper's Bazaar, until six years after Twain's death.[7] A wind-damaged stand of pine trees near Evart, Michigan served as the set and battlefield props were fashioned from junkyard remnants.[4]:4 After receiving several rejection notices from various film festivals, the War Prayer was accepted by the Beverly Hills International Film Festival, the festival's Best Director Award for 2006, going to Harold Cronk, came as "... a total shock."[4]:4[8]

10 West Studios[edit]

See also: 10 West Studios

Cronk is currently the CEO of 10 West Studios. The win for Best Director, at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, resulted in a three picture deal with Origin Entertainment.[9] The location of 10 West Studios was never in doubt, Cronk just had to work out the details of which part of Northwest Michigan the studios would be located in. Cronk had already spent a year and a half on his screenplay, set in West Michigan, Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy, a children's comedy adventure film.[1][2][4]:2 In search of a location for their production company and studio in 2008, Cronk and Tailford decided upon Manistee in western Michigan, the town has a Victorian look with nearby farms, forest, beaches and sand dues on the shores of Lake Michigan. Seven large buildings in the marina were converted to five sound stages and an iron-works factory was converted into production offices.[10]


God's Not Dead, starring Kevin Sorbo, David A.R. White and Willie Robertson, is Cronk's first significant opening box-office with a gross of $2.8 million on Friday (March 21, 2014),[11] and $8.5 million for the weekend in a limited 780 theater release.[12] According to Todd Cunningham of the The Wrap, an on-line magazine, "The big debut may have caught some in Hollywood off guard...";[13] Mark Bord, Freestyle Releasing co-president, noted that the film's Facebook page hit one million followers on opening day and was trending well on Twitter and Fandango.[13][14][15]

2006War PrayerBest Director, Beverly Hills Film Festival[8][10]Won
2005Midnight ClearArt DirectorJenkins Entertainment
2005The Red Veil (short)Production DesignUnder the Fog Productions
2005The AgentCo-DirectorMendicant Pictures[4]
2006War PrayerDirector10 West Productions[8][10]
2006Secret of the CaveProduction DesignerCarmel Entertainment, School of Visual Art and Design, Southern Adventist University[6]
2010TugProduction DesignJumpstart Pictures, TicTock Studios
Filming Dates June 2008
2010What If...Co-producerJenkins Film Group
Filming Dates 28 June 2009 - 14 July 2009
2010Christmas with a Capital CProduction DesignerPure Flix Entertainment[18]
2010JohnnyAssociate Producer10 West Studios, Pure Flix Entertainment
Filming dates: September 2009 - September 2009 (15 days)
2011Return to the Hiding PlaceAssociate ProducerSpencer Productions, 10 West Studios[20]
2011Jerusalem CountdownDirector, Screenwriter10 West Studios, God & Country Entertainment, Pure Flix Ent[18][21]
2012Mickey Matson and the Copperhead ConspiracyDirector, Screenwriter10 West Studios, EMC Productions[18][21]
2013God's Not DeadDirectorPure Flix Entertainment, Red Entertainment Group[11]
2013Silver BellsDirectorFilmed in Manistee, Grand Rapids and Ludington in March, 2013. Budgeted at $591,213.[22]


  1. ^ a b c Harold Cronk, Paula Homes-Greely (9 March 2009). Newsmaker: Harold Cronk, filmmaker (MP3) (Radio broadcast). Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c ALWAY, ROB (19 January 2012). "Scottville director nears completion of movie". Mason County Press. Retrieved 17 March 2013. "Cronk wrote and directed the movie, which was filmed exclusively in Mason and Manistee counties." 
  3. ^ a b c "V-Day West LA 2006 Director Harold Cronk". Celebrity-Network.net. 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Smith, Jeff (27 April 2010). "Two Filmmakers Bring Michigan Movie Industry to Manistee". Traverse (magazine). p. 5. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Harold Cronk". Filmography. Fandango. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Secret of the Cave (2006)". Overview. AllMovie. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Twain, Mark. "The War Prayer". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Guis, Dee (16 April 2006). "Beverly Hills Film Festival: And the Envelope Please...". Canyon News. Retrieved 25 February 2013. "Harold Cronk won the Best Director Award for War Prayer, an intense short film inspired by a Mark Twain story, proving that great art can come in small packages." 
  9. ^ Ratny, Ruth L. (30 March 2009). "10 West Studios ready for business in Manistee". ReelChicago.com. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c YUNG, KATHERINE (26 October 2009). "Manistee studio steals the show". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  11. ^ a b King, Susan (22 March 2014). "The religious drama 'God's Not Dead' surprises at box office". Movies Now. The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. "Directed by Harold Cronk ("The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure"), "God's Not Dead" revolves around a Christian college student (Shane Harper) who finds his faith challenged by a philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo of "Hercules" fame)..." 
  12. ^ Cunningham, Todd (23 March 2014). "‘Divergent’ Scores $56 Million Box-Office Opening, ‘A’ CinemaScore – And a Franchise Is Born (Video)". The Wrap. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. "The independent faith-based movie “God's Not Dead” finished a surprising fifth, taking in $8.5 million from just 780 screens..." 
  13. ^ a b Cunningham, Todd (22 March 2014). "‘God's Not Dead’ Stuns With Strong Limited Opening at Box Office". The Wrap. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Timline Photos". 1 million fans. FaceBook Official Page. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Bowles, Scott (23 March 2014). "'Divergent' emerges as box-office champ". USA Today. Retrieved 26 March 2014. "The biggest surprise of the weekend was God's Not Dead, the independent religious film released on only 780 screens." 
  16. ^ "Tug: Production Credits". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "What if...". Overview. AllMovie. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c "Harold Cronk on AllMovie". Credits. AllMovie. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Johnny". Amazon. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Boissoneau, Ross (July 2010). "Northern Michigan's Movie Moguls". Vol. 16 - Number 12. Traverse City Business News. Retrieved 17 March 2013. "Right now, the duo has four films in various stages, from the completed What If starring Kevin Sorbo, to Jerusalem Countdown, which found the two back in California wrapping up production. The others are Johnny and A Return to the Hiding Place." 
  21. ^ a b "Harold Cronk". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  22. ^ Serba, John (7 March 2013). "Ludington director's 'Silver Bells' family movie approved for Michigan film incentive". MLive. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 

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