Brooklyn Student's Story Translates Over To Big Screen
A young Brooklyn writer who's at the very beginning of his career is already seeing his dreams come true as one of his stories is being made into a movie. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
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On Sunday, a crew took over a Brooklyn high school to shoot scenes for an upcoming film. An acclaimed Hollywood director is at the helm. As for the writer, he'll be back Monday morning for class.
"I mean, I've done writing before. But to have it turned into a film?" said High School Senior Luis Hernandez.
The film, "The Tale of Timmy Two-Chins", began as something Luis Hernandez wrote for English class last year at the Brooklyn High School for Collaborative Studies. It's about an overweight teenage boy struggling with his body image and dealing with bullying. It was chosen from hundreds of submissions to be turned into a film.
"We are all here because of his story, and we are in service to his story. So whenever a call needs to be made, we turn to Luis," said Scenarios USA Executive Director Maura Minsky.
The national non-profit, Scenarios USA, runs the contest and is producing the 13-minute movie. What would cost about $200,000 they're doing for just $50,000. Director Nancy Savoca and cast are working for free, and the crew for just a fraction of their normal rate.
After premiering in April it will be in film festivals, shown on television and used in classrooms across the country. They estimate it could be seen by up to about 15 million people annually.
"I was trying to get across that you have to love and appreciate who you are before you make changes to yourself," Hernandez said.
Luis has been involved in every aspect of the production from casting to wardrobe to staging. And on the first day of shooting in Bed-Stuy, he even had to re-write sections of the script on the spot.
"He's like, 'I know what I need. I know what I need to do.' And the director, Nancy, who was working with him, she was floored because she's like, 'I work with professionals all the time and this is not the response that I get,'" Minsky said.
For his part, Luis says making the film has been a life-changing experience.
"I always thought of myself as the doctor or the lawyer, never the artsy film director, you know. I can definitely see myself now doing that," Hernandez said.