Movie magic

Film Club prepares to shoot short film at high school



Junior Chloe Lutz and senior Ethan Winnett participate in a scene activity at the Film Club callout meeting on Feb. 21.

Payton Naftzger, Staff Writer

Ever since junior Chloe Lutz was a kid, she has had a passion for film. Starting with making films with her toys and eventually acting in her own films, Lutz found her future calling.

“I had always been interested in film since I was seven, making movies with my DS and my toys,” Lutz said. “As time went on, I got into taking videos of my own acting, which inspired my interest in film making and exploring a different way of storytelling.”

Lutz herself is an actress, landing roles in local indie films and the NBC series “Chicago P.D.” Lutz’s experience acting and the process of filmmaking led her to come up with Film Club. 

“Being involved in film outside of school and thinking about how many people could benefit from it being brought to them due to the fact that it’s such a hard industry to get even a little involved with is what inspired the idea,” Lutz said. 

After coming up with the idea, Lutz knew she had to find someone to help with the more technical side of film, so she talked to junior Cira Mazdai, someone she knew was also interested in the film industry and the tech side of things.

“I knew her from theater and photography last year, and I knew she liked the technical side of things, but she also is fairly interested in the film industry,” Lutz said. “I asked her about it, and she instantly was on board and matched my energy for the club. It was a perfect match.”

Lutz also needed to find a teacher to be the club sponsor, which eventually led her to English teacher Brad Buskirk after being directed his way.

“We had asked him after we were told to ask him because he knew a lot about film, which neither Cira or I knew,” Lutz said. “It was a pleasant surprise.

Film club introduces club members to the process of filmmaking by giving them the opportunity to create their own short film.  

“This year, we want to make a short film with a screening with local filmmakers to raise money so we can have more equipment next year and make more short films and expand upon this year,” Mazdai said.

The idea for the film came from a vote on ideas that club members had come up with before deciding on a couple to combine in order to create one film.

“The film has these people in a sitcom, and they are hanging out when they realize they can’t escape from the house,” Mazdai said. “They get letters saying so, and their goal is to escape at the moment. We haven’t finished yet, and we are using this as a jumping [off] point.” 

For the creation of the film, members of Film Club will be placed into varying roles based on their interests and where they best fit.

 “All roles are in the film as it is being made from start to finish,” Mazdai said. “We have leads, a costume designer, a head of sound, and a head of directing and filming. Every group has a smaller circle to help them as nobody can do it on their own, so they are helping each other from start to finish.”

With these roles, club members get to also try new things and roles as well as work with one another to find their passion.

“The writers are playing a huge part in creating the story for our first movie,” Lutz said. “But there are a ton of other opportunities within the club like being a director, editor, actor and heads of those jobs. Not to mention that everyone can try everything and help each other out.” 

Club members have also participated in a variety of activities in order to find out where they’d fit into the process of making the film.

“We’ve done multiple exercises to try and figure out what we wanted to do or where people wanted to help,” Mazdai said. “We had a day for those who wanted to direct or film to go out and film little made-up skits.”

Film Club serves as a creative outlet where students can try new things and pursue their passion all while learning about the film industry and meeting new people. 

“We are so open to tons of different people with all sorts of different talents,” Lutz said. “So much more goes into films than people know.”

The club also provides an alternative for students who want to act but not on stage in theater while providing opportunities to work in post production, setting design, costumes, and script writing.

“Film Club is important because there is nothing else like it at Center Grove, and we have a lot of talented people here who are trying to make it into the film industry,” Buskirk said.