LIMA — Connor Blank, 15, of Irvine, California, left Hollywood to learn more about filmmaking in Lima. Blank is a shirttail relative of Nick Kellis, founder of the Heartland Image Foundation. He’s in Lima this week for the Student Integrated Arts and Acting Filmmaker’s Bootcamp which started Sunday at Veterans Memorial Civic Center.
“I actually got into film before I knew about what he was doing and then about a year after I was in film through my school (in California), I heard about his bootcamp and so every year I take a vacation out to Lima so I just made sure my trip went around when his bootcamp was,” said Blank.
This is his second year attending the camp and says he’s found a family of like-minded people.
“I think it’s a really close-knit group of people because the area I’m in has such a high prevalence for education and we get tens of thousands of dollars in equipment. We get instructors that come from everywhere. We get guest speakers and stuff but I still can’t find a group of people that are more sewn together and that are more cohesive than what I have here,” said Blank.
Yarmony Bellows, 18, of Vail, Colorado, is looking for an acting career. It’s her first time at the bootcamp.
“I hope to understand how a movie or short film is put together, all of the behind the scenes, like the actors and the set construction and the filmmakers and everything like that,” said Bellows.
“Yarmony has studied theater, not only in New York but also in at The Globe in London and in Scotland,” said Kellis. “She came here because she wants an advanced workshop to dial her in for when she is going to audition for Julliard and other schools in New York.”
Students participating in the bootcamp locally represent Lima Senior, Heir Force, Elida, Bath, Shawnee, LCC and Findlay schools.
One new feature this year is some of the past graduates of the bootcamp are teaching their peers about filmmaking.
Kellis says they’ve got a strong group this year and they’ll keep busy producing mini movies.
“We’ve been developing scripts now since the middle of last week and we’re going to create two storylines that intersect and we’ll deal with kids that might be the class clown or the snooty kid and having to do some community service to be able to go to the big event at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center so it’s organic and they’ll overlap. It’s kind of a cool concept,” said Kellis.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.