Film and Book Feature: Natalie Rodriguez’s The Extraordinary Ordinary, plus director interview!

Hi, readers! We have a real treat in store for you today...a film by Natalie Rodriguez, a talented author and director! 
Congratulations on your latest work! We wish you lots of success with the movie. :) 

Let's welcome Natalie to Writing in the Modern Age, and check out the details, shall we?


Hi there, Natalie!


Hello! Thanks for inviting me!

Of course! Tell us something about this film...



On Friday, August 28, 2020, my directorial feature film, “The Extraordinary Ordinary," made its GLOBAL premiere on Amazon Prime, Google Play, and YouTube Movies through Indie Rights Movies. The film will soon be available for streaming on Google Play, iTunes, and more platforms. After being attacked in high school, a college student named ERICA (@maddisonbullock) moves to California to pursue her passion in #polaroid #photography, in hopes to recover from her trauma by finishing a project. Feeling pressured by her overprotective mother, CATHY, Erica turns to her father, ROB (@johnposey27), for support. Erica also learns how to cope with her own trauma and wellness after befriending ALEX (@alex_montalbann) & BIANCA (@anamarte), who have a history of their own.”


We have a wonderful and talented cast, including John Posey ("How to Get Away With Murder"), Ricardo Montalban's grandson, Alex Montalban, in his feature film acting debut ("My Dinner With Herve"), Maddison Bullock ("Ice the Movie" and "Thirteen Reasons Why"), and Ana Marte (over 185K IG followers/"Need For Speed" and "Amigos").


So far - we have a 5/5 star rating on our Amazon page. You can now RENT or PURCHASE the movie on Amazon Prime, Google Play, and YouTube below. Stay tuned for the movie’s availability on Tubi and iTunes in the upcoming weeks:


·  Amazon Prime, watch here

·  Google Play, watch here

·  YouTube, watch here 



Be sure to check out our latest trailer, interviews, and follow our social media platforms for updates.


You can also find more cast and crew bios at the G-drive link in our film deck:



 Official Trailer via Extraordinary Pictures: 

·  Official Trailer via Indie Rights: 

·  16-Second Promo Teaser: 





·  Facebook:

·  Instagram:

·  Twitter:




·Women and Hollywood, “Weekly Update for August 28: Women Centric, Directed, and Written Films Opening”

·Latin Heat, “The Extraordinary Ordinary” Global Streaming Premiere

·Knockeye, It's Okay to Cry | Meet Alex & Natalie, Leading Male and Director/Writer of EO Film 

·Knockeye, John Posey & Maddison Bullock About Their Role as Dad and Daughter In the EO Film 

·We Are Moving Stories, Panic Attack! 





The Extraordinary Ordinary is a story about three young adults and how they cope with their mental health when old wounds resurface. A few years after a traumatic high school experience, a young photography student moves across the country from New York to Southern California in search of a fresh start. She quickly finds that she is not alone in her struggles with anxiety and depression and learns that the road to recovery is paved with more love, understanding, and community than she ever could have imagined. The Extraordinary Ordinary is a gripping and heartwarming narrative that seeks to challenge the stigmas associated with mental health, trauma, and recovery and recognize the courage of those young adults struggling in silence everywhere.


The film was recently an official film selection at the Awareness Film Festival (AFF), Glendale International Film Festival (GIFF), and the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (LADFF). We also won the 'Best Film About Women's Empowerment' at GIFF and scored nominations for Best Director, Best Female Director, and Best Feature. Our leading actress, Maddison Bullock, also won 'Best Performance' at the LADFF, where we held our world premiere.


Currently, The Extraordinary Ordinary is available to stream NOW on Infobase's 'Films On Demand' and 'Access Video On Demand.' The film is available to subscribers of the products for public libraries (Access Video On Demand) and colleges & universities (Films On Demand). Ask your library for details.





Bullock delivers a mesmerizing performance…

--Thomas Doran, ScreenwriterU (Southern CA)--


Way to keep your vision and light alive in the creating of this film :) How deeply feeling you and your team have collaborated on to fully illustrate this young woman's challenges and her commitment to break through them.  To reach dimensions she alone knows dwell inside her! The use of shadows and light....the sculptural backdrops and homage to the CSUF Titans was so collegiate and creative!

--Cheryl Brawler, CEO of Indievision2000 (Southern CA)--



The Extraordinary Ordinary is basically a movie based on the issue of Mental Health and how to cope up with that. The movie involves three friends - Erika, Bianca, and Alex. I really loved the bond between three of them. They were going through some mental issues in their own lives. The story is really very inspiring and emotional. Erika thought of joining the photography classes away from her home where she met Bianca as her project partner. She started doing a part-time job as well where she met Alex (unknowingly brother of Bianca). The climax is totally amazing and one might get goosebumps as well while watching the anxiety, being alone, and irritation feeling of characters. You can actually feel those emotions while watching. I am now sure a big fan of all the characters, the way they acted is so phenomenal and real. The bond between a father and a daughter is also shown which I loved the most. The background music is very soothing. My fav part of the movie is when Erika reads out the letter from Bianca, full of inspiration and motivational words. Hats off to the work of Natalie and good luck for the future. The movie is worth watching and you will surely end up feeling positive in your life! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars from my end!!

--Arushi Kulshreshtha, blogger and reviewer (India)--



The actors portrayed their roles very well by showing the right demeanor for the type of character they played. Maddison deserved the recognition she got at the LADFF. She was very natural in her role and I could very much relate to her, not because I had the same traumatic experience, but because I was also in a very dark place where I didn’t want people to get involved with whatever I was going through. The panic and anxiety attacks that were shown on the film were very realistic. Those are the exact behavior of a mentally unstable person whenever there is an overwhelming event, or whenever there is pressure. I could also very much relate to the triggers – like her mom nagging or being overly protective of her instead of providing support, trust, and understanding. I love her dad’s personality, who’s also like my dad when he was alive. He was just cool about things, but he was there when he was needed. I almost cried during the part when Erica was reading the Extraordinary Ordinary project to her father, same time that Bianca was reading it for the class. That part was very heartwarming. Overall, this film is definitely 5 out of 5 stars. It is encouraging and it teaches the value of communication and support within a group of trusted people. It also shows that people cope with anxiety and depression in different ways. Natalie and everyone who have been a part of this film did an awesome job that will benefit many, many."

--Shey Saints, blogger and reviewer (Philippines)-- 



"The Extraordinary Ordinary" gives young people one of the most important things necessary - conversations. Conversations to learn how to navigate challenging and scary moments in life. To see these scenarios on the screen gives the audience an opportunity to reflect on the fact that they are not alone in their experiences and even when it's scary, they could be understood and get help when they are willing to speak about what they are experiencing. Kudos to Natalie and team for creating such a relevant and impactful movie.

--Liz A. Garcia, former therapist and current executive performance expert (Southern CA)--



MAIN LINK (with all rental and purchase links here): 












Rotten Tomatoes: 


Official Trailer via Extraordinary Pictures: 



Official Trailer via Indie Rights: 



17-Second Promo-Teaser: 


Wow, this looks intriguing! ;)

Let's have a deeper chat with the director for a bit...

Marie:  Please tell us a little about your latest feature film. What steered you toward working on this project?


Natalie: Thanks again for letting me visit your blog! The idea for my first directorial feature film, "The Extraordinary Ordinary," came years before production/filming started on the project. I was in high school when I wrote the first screenplay draft of the film after watching multiple independent feature films that discussed social issues. Growing up, I struggled a lot with my own self-esteem and developed an anxiety and panic disorder due to some life events (that I am still in recovery for). But the most important element of the story's birth was simply being angered by the stigmas coming with social issues. I despised hearing or seeing characters being portrayed as "doomed" or "messed up" due to their struggles; especially if their back story or journey was about wellness and recovery. Later down the line, that first script turned into another project (a TV drama). Then, the rewrites and edits on the screenplay started on "The Extraordinary Ordinary" into my junior year of college when I enrolled into my first screenwriting class. Unfortunately, I had a professor who advised me to 'never' pursue this screenplay as, in his words, "People hate watching dramas, let alone one on mental health." That was the real motivator to pursue the project even more. Fortunately, I did. 

Marie:  What is your target audience?

Natalie: I would say the target audience of "The Extraordinary Ordinary" is for anyone who is a fan of independent feature film drams; fans of earlier work by directors like Catherine Hardwicke ("Thirteen"), George Lucas ("American Graffati"), and more. The film has been positively received by all genders, ages, and backgrounds. 

Marie:  Have you directed a film or written a screenplay such as this in the past?

Natalie: I have written, directed, and self-produced feature film sizzles / concepts (or short films) of a similar nature. In 2015, after taking a brief hiatus from directing and filmmaking since a high school production class, I wrote, directed and produced a short film on suicide and recovery awareness called "The Scars of Our Lives". Doing this film truly motivated me to keep going which, ultimately, led to self-financing the earlier two sizzle / concept short films of "The Extraordinary Ordinary". 

All three projects can be found on my personal YouTube channel:

  • The Scars of Our Lives: " Two strangers encounter at a bus stop and realize that they share a similar past when one of them sees a scar on the other's wrist." Watch at:
  • The Extraordinary Ordinary: Erica & Alex: " A photographer and a musician confide in each other when one of them has a panic attack." Starring Maddison Bullock ("Thirteen Reasons Why") and Jesse Posey ("Selena"). Watch at
  • The Extraordinary Ordinary: Bianca & Erica: "Three college students bond over life and discuss the stigmas that come with mental health disorders and recovery." Watch at 



Marie:  I am curious about something. What was it like working with the cast/crew?

Natalie: Working with the cast and crew on a smaller scale feature film, or in this case, a self-financed project is both stressful, rewarding, and memorable. There is a saying in the entertainment industry of that first feature film being your baby; therefore, you do everything you can to protect it. Also, a lot of the stressful and fun moments do come with many people on the team wearing multiple hats. I remember running back home on some nights after production dates to create and email out our call sheet / schedule to the cast and crew. Other times, it was an intern. Even my director of photographer, Trevor Roach, and I took turns to AD the set. But that is the nature of working on independent feature films is you learn the ropes, or hone and improve those skills, of working on set. 

Marie:  As a fiction writer myself, I know location is everything in a story. Is there any special significance to the film’s setting for you? Was this filmed on story location, or on a set/in a different place?

Natalie: I chose the story to take place in Southern, CA because of budget restrictions; originally, the film was to take place in New York but as you know with the smaller films, you often make changes and compensate. Fortunately, we were able to cheat the New York setting locations in the film which most of the scenes are shot interior / indoors. When I first visited New York in 2006, it was for a middle school orchestra field trip where we got to play at Carnegie Hall! I fell in love with the city due to the different world it was from a city called Diamond Bar, where I was attending middle school. Ever since I visited, I made an oath to return as soon as I could; and fortunately, I did when my mother took me to New York as part of my college graduation gift in 2014. As soon as I returned to New York, I remember I dropped off my luggage at the hotel and immediately ran outside to tour Times Squares. Like the main character (Erica) in "The Extraordinary Ordinary," the scenery and sightseeing of New York brought a sense of calm and hope for me during my trips to the city. 

As they say, "anything is possible," when one is in New York. At least, that is how I feel. 

Marie:  Without giving away any spoilers, what message do you hope our readers might glean from this movie?

Natalie: What I hope viewers and readers can take away from this movie is there is always HOPE and your past does NOT define you as an individual; it is possible to recover from hardships and there are people out there who will love and accept you for YOU. If they don't, then it is okay to keep distance from them.


If you are interested, my sophomore directorial dark comedy feature film, "Howard Original," makes its VOD / streaming release this spring 2021. You can find more information on our website here. We also just landed our first AMC screening in Austin, Texas.




Let’s also take a brief look at Natalie’s YA thriller novel, Elephant





Genre: Young Adult Thriller, Fiction


Summer of 2006. Four childhood best friends. A family secret. "Elephant" is a story about four childhood best friends who discover a family secret, during their summer break before starting their freshman year in high school, which changes their lives forever. After a strange encounter leaves him hospitalized, a timid teenage boy named Matt “Matty” Smith comes home to a continuous series of events met with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Under the guardianship of his grandma, Lucia, Matt lives with unspoken questions about his grandfather and parents. The elephant in the room. As Matt develops over the summer, the secrets only grow more profound and complex. Will the answers ever come? While searching for answers, Matt and his three childhood best friends encounter the meanings of love, forgiveness, and fate.


“Elephant” was released in June 2020. Matty Smith and his friends' journey will continue in the sequel, “Skeletons,” which is slated for a January 2021 release date.


From MAY 18th - MAY 22nd, YA Bound Book Tours had a virtual tour. You can check more details here. Recently, Xpresso Tours just wrapped up the second virtual tour, where bloggers and reviewers reviewed the book. Details can be found here.


·  ORDER on Amazon, click here 

·  ORDER on Barnes & Noble, click here

·  WATCH the official trailer here!


Universal Reader link:


Leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Google Books. For future updates, you can also follow the social media pages for the book below.



Social Media:

·  Twitter:@ebookya

·  Instagram:@elephant_bookya 

·  ShoutMyBook:



Latest Interviews & Reviews:

·  Knockeye, Scary Book Challenge With Writer/Director Natalie Rodriguez

·  Knockeye, Eating Poke With Writer / Filmmaker Natalie Rodríguez

·  Nomadic Musings, Author Interview: Natalie Rodriguez, Author of Elephant

·  Nomadic Musings, Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez: Book Review (book review)

·  Through Sonam’s Eyes, Interview With Natalie

·  Through Sonam’s Eyes, Elephant (book review)

·  The Strange Kamelion Show (Podcast), Interview with Natalie Rodriguez

o Apple Podcast

o Facebook Live

o iHeartRadio



Shey Saints also said, When I read the book, I had no background of the author - didn’t know if it this was her debut novel, didn’t know what connections she had, didn’t know a thing about her, except that she wrote the book. Then when I started reading, I was instantly captivated by the writing style. I thought, this couldn’t be her first novel. The vividness of details and descriptions and the metaphors in her narrative made me pause for a while and check out her background. Then I found out she’s in the entertainment industry and that she was an award-winning writer and filmmaker! And that explained why it didn’t make me feel like I was reading a book - it felt more like I was watching a movie. This book has mixed vibes – a cross between Christopher Pike and Stephen King. Screen-wise, it was like Black Mirror that didn’t revolve around technology. Truth is, it didn’t feel like it was written by a girl. It was hard to understand because of all the weird things happening, but it was one of those books where you just had to keep reading even if you were clueless about it. All the actions and emotions seemed like they were real, and almost as if the author experienced them herself. You could easily tell she has good visualizations while writing the book. In fact, this is a story that will be more appreciated as a movie, or a television series. Overall, I’m giving this 5 out of 5 stars. The storyline was insane, but I couldn’t stop reading because I had to find out the missing pieces. This psychological suspense and mystery drama would probably be more appreciated by male readers, or those who are interested in mind-boggling stories. I’ve had a rollercoaster ride of emotions in reading this and you will too. Warning: there are no rainbows, unicorns, and butterflies in this story.



Additional Reviews: 

·  U.K. Reviews

·  Asia & India Reviews




Thanks for stopping by, Natalie! Love the premise of your book!

Get your copy of this YA novel today, readers! Or check out the movie! :)



About the Author/Director:

NATALIE RODRIGUEZ is an award-winning writer, director, and mental health advocate. In 2014, she graduated from Cal State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-TV-Film. Her films have screened around the world, including at Hollyshorts, ShortsTV, NALIP, Culver City Film Fest, and Glendale International Film Fest. Some of her writing work can be found in publications such as the HuffPost Blog, Thrive Global, Hello Giggles, The Mighty, and more. In 2017, she founded her production company, Extraordinary Pictures, focusing on films, TV, digital series, and social issue projects. Her directorial feature film, “The Extraordinary Ordinary,” which she also wrote, produced, and was the executive producer on, premiered August , 2020 through Indie Rights Movies. Her first YA thriller, fiction novel, Elephant, was also published in June 2020.





Natalie's Book:



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