Kristin Booth, Tyler Hynes, and Kat Barrell on the set of Shifting Gears, a new movie directed by Crystal Lowe. (Image: X/tylerhynes)

Four of Hallmark’s favorite stars are collaborating on a new movie. Tyler Hynes, Kat Barrell, Kristin Booth, and Crystal Lowe announced they have finished shooting Shifting Gears, a romantic comedy that will premiere in March.

Lowe directed the movie as part of Hallmark’s Make Her Mark directing program, a new initiative to make movies with women directors. In an Instagram post, Lowe thanked fellow Hallmark star Ashley Williams, who created the program.

“This woman!!!” she wrote in the caption. “@ashleywilliamsandcompany chose me to the the first recipient of the Make her Mark initiative. A project that took her five years to make happen. I am in awe of her tenacity, drive, talent and most importantly her light. She literally shines from the inside out.”

New movie

In Shifting Gears, Kat Barrell plays mechanic Jess Barro, who runs a garage with her father (played by James Burke). Business is tight thanks to competition from a big auto repair shop chain in town. When she finds out about an auto restoration competition, she enters in the hope of winning the prize money.

But she’s shocked to discover that she will be competing with her ex-boyfriend Luke (played by Tyler Hynes). As the competition revs up, Jess and Luke’s personal rivalry becomes a big hit with the audience and producers alike. After a few misfires, they work through their former relationship and start to bond again over their shared love of classic cars.

“As they speed toward the finish line, Luke has a disastrous painting mishap that threatens to ruin Jess’ chances of winning,” reads a synopsis. “And when she learns his dad plans to buy her family’s garage, she suspects the painting disaster was sabotage rather than an accident. Will their relationship break down again and be beyond repair, or will they be able to restore it and jump-start their romance once again?”

Lowe praised both stars in Instagram posts.

“#hynies you are in for a treat!!” she wrote. “A @tyler_hynes movie told through the female gaze. Hopefully you enjoy!”

In another post showing Barrell in her costume, Lowe wrote, “This is @katbarrell if you’re looking for the epitome of grace and power….that’s Kat. Showed up every day ready to play in the work, shine in her beauty and make us all laugh. Thank you Kat for being such an incredible leading lady!”

Tyler Hynes and his dog had fans cracking up during a recent Facebook Live appearance to promote the new Hallmark movie A Picture of Her. (Image: Hallmark Media)

Make Her Mark

Former Hallmark CEO Wonya Lucas announced the launch of its Make Her Mark program in 2022 at the Television Critics Association Summer Tour.

“Hallmark is a brand built around giving to and connecting with others, and the Make Her Mark program is our gift of opportunity experience, coaching, and guidance for such deserving and talented women in our field,” Lucas said. “I hope one day, when she accepts her Emmy or Peabody or Oscar, that she fondly remembers that Hallmark Media gave her that first shot…and then she pays it forward.”

The first movie in the series premiered as part of the 2023 Countdown to Christmas lineup. Dream Moms starred Tamera Mowry-Housley as a stay-at-home mom who gets a second chance at Broadway stardom. The movie was directed by Jessica Harmon, who was shadowed by Crystal Lowe.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Lowe was joined on the set by her Signed, Sealed, Delivered co-star Kristin Booth, who also appears in Shifting Gears.

“This woman,” Lowe wrote. “Through thick and thin and ups and downs my @kristintbooth one of the stars of #shiftinggears.”

Booth responded in the comments section with, “God I love you! I am so dang proud of you. You set your sights on your dream of directing many years ago and I was witness to both the conception of that dream and the birth!! I’m so honored to have been by your side and to watch you soar!! Can’t wait to see what you do next Wonder Woman!!”

Fans of Signed, Sealed, Delivered are still waiting to hear when they can expect a new installation in the series. At a recent press event, Hallmark exec Lisa Hamilton-Daly told a Variety reporter to “standby” when she was asked about a new Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

“The Signed, Sealed, Delivered fans are all over me every day,” said Hamilto-Daly, who is executive vice president of programming at Hallmark Media. “I love it, I hear them.”

Shifting Gears will premiere on Hallmark Channel on March 23.

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