Lemont Teens Create Short Films, Start Production Company

Emilee Geist

LEMONT, IL — Max Celis, Thomas Walus and Luke Mayer are all recent LHS graduates, but that’s not all the three teens have in common. In the last few months, the three have teamed up to produce short films and have even started a production company called DaVinci Street Productions.

Celis, Walus and Mayer released their first short film, “4:40” earlier this year and shared it on Instagram and YouTube. They created it as an entry to the Illinois High School state short film competition, but the competition was unfortunately canceled due to the coronavirus, Celis told Patch.

Now, the company is looking to release its second short film, “Lighthouse Keeper,” in August.

Celis said the film is about a teenager who is suspected of a crime, and the film retells his side of the story through interrogation with a police detective.

“We’re styling it to be ‘summer-esque,'” Celis said. “It’s set to take place in the 70s or 80s.”

Not only do most of the actors and crew have a connection to Lemont, but the film itself was shot in the area, including in downtown Lemont and a car wash in Homer Glen.

The three split the work when making the film, although it is a “very collaborative process,” Celis said, adding that he did the writing, Walus did production design and Mayer directed.

The script for the film is 16 pages, so a final cut will be around 12-13 minutes, Celis said.

Due to the coronavirus, it is more difficult to enter the film in traditional festivals. The group may hold a showing or a private screening since some theaters are now open, or they may pursue some local or online festivals.

“We wrote [the film] in August of last year,” Celis said. “Over that time, we’ve been chipping away until we got what would make a good short film.”

The three may be going their separate directions in the fall for college or freelance work, but Celis said they still plan to make films together as long as they can.

“Lighthouse Keeper” is set to release Aug. 14. You can check out the YouTube page for the company here.

This article originally appeared on the Lemont Patch

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