LIMA — Nick Kellis has a passion for Lima and movie-making. He formed Heartland Image Foundation and together are putting on a Lima Movie & Student Film Bootcamp Kickoff for area students grades six through 12, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the City Club. There is no charge for the children to participate in the Bootcamp.
“I don’t want any kids to have to pay. I’m hitting up everyone for tuition donations. I will take every kid I can, I just have to cover my staff,” Kellis said.
The bootcamp this year will focus around Kellis’ movie, “A Walk with Grace,” which will be filmed June 7 through July 1. Students will have the opportunity to choose a position they are interested in and then work with mentor’s and actual Los Angeles film people to make the movie.
“We have a great crew, we’re bringing in probably 10 people from the state of Ohio that are all working pretty actively in the film business. We’re bringing in core people from Los Angeles and then we’ve got 10 to 12 people from Lima that are core crew already prepping from everything from casting to locations to transportation,” Kellis said.
“There’s a job for every aptitude and talent. We have found that there is something for everyone,” Kellis said.
Kellis, a 1984 Shawnee graduate, went to Los Angeles in 1990 and stayed for more than 20 years.
“I came back in 2010 to teach the first bootcamp. So I came out for two weeks and stayed almost seven years. That’s what happens when you fall in love and realize how much you hate Los Angeles,” Kellis said.
The Lima Movie and Student Film Bootcamp Kickoff is an integrated arts program. Vickie Shurelds is the curriculum director.
“We have an actual project for the kids to not only practice their skills on, but learn from seasoned professionals,” Kellis said.
Kellis is the writer, director and producer of “A Walk With Grace.” The film already has the interest of Amazon’s Dove Channel for pending distribution.
“A Walk With Grace,” will be shot in totality in Lima.
“It’s a 21-day shoot and scheduled to start June 7 and run through July 1. There are a lot of places featured, there’s a nice musical number that takes place at Vino Bellissimo, factory stuff at Wannemacher Total Logistics and potentially another facility that we’re still pending with and then Trinity United Methodist Church and just all parts of Lima,” Kellis said.
“After the movie is done the kids will come in and we will edit for two to three weeks. I want all the kids to do a one to two minute movie about their job. There’s an end goal out of bootcamp that it isn’t just about having an experience about the movie but it’s turning kids into young adults that are thinking responsibly about the next phase of their lives,” he added.
Lima could be the place where people come to make films.
“That is so the end game. It’s economic development. If we do it right once, we can do five, six, seven of these movies. And I’ve got them. We would just keep going. The writing is coming really fast, the goal would be doing one every six months. Dove wants them,” Kellis said.
Kellis is bringing so much more to Lima than just the movie-making. He’s helping to bring income in and helping Lima’s youth at the same time.
“The kids that come to bootcamp will make a movie about making a movie. Helping kids, our city and everything. It’s the synergy,” Kellis said.
He is hoping to host a mini film festival once filming and editing are complete.
“The outcome is we will premier this thing [“A Walk With Grace”]. But we will also premier the kids’ stuff. Imagine we do the premier and invite everybody to the Civic Center and it’s in Crouse Hall and we watch the movie and then we watch the kids’ movie about the movie. It’s involves everybody, and that’s what I want to make happen. That’s what I’m excited about,” Kellis said.
“I have a plan is my point. I love being back in Lima. You can get a lot done and have a good life right here. That’s what’s behind it all,” he added. “A lot of people in Lima have been working really hard to make changes here. You just see that there is a concerted effort to upgrade Lima. If this is done correctly this is the first of many and if we don’t do it right, this is the only time it’s going to happen. That’s why I need Lima to help me. If we get it right, we can keep doing it. If done correctly this movie becomes a nice advertisement for all that Lima has to offer. And I’m excited about that too. My heart’s in it.”