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March 24, 2014 | posted in Filmmakers
Joshua Shreve was shooting a horror movie when producer Molly Mayeux sent him a script to review.
“When I read the script, I really liked the idea of doing something challenging and completely different,” he says.
So he took on “Chasing Ghosts,” a family-friendly drama/comedy. Shreve, a filmmaker based in Nashville, Tennessee, via Sweden and Tulsa, Oklahoma, always knew he wanted to be a filmmaker since childhood.
“I used to get my friends together and make little movies,” he says.
Although Shreve is no longer a kid making movies, 11-year-old Lucas (Toby Nichols), the film’s main character, is. He’s a young filmmaker obsessed with death.
“The character Lucas is starting to go down a dark path,” says Shreve. “He has lost his brother, and the family is broken.”
A challenging role for a child actor, but Shreve said Nichols fit the bill perfectly.
“I wanted someone who could portray this closed-off side, but also show a sense of vulnerability,” he says. “Toby was the right person for the job.”
Producer Mayeux agrees: “We all knew this kid had something special and that he was Lucas.”
Also cast in the film is Tim Meadows, who many may recognize from “Saturday Night Live.” Although Meadows is known for comedy, Shreve had a gut feeling that he would be perfect for the role of Chris Brighton, who befriends Lucas.
“From the very first moment I read the script, I saw him [Meadows] playing the part in my head and I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” Shreve says.
Meadows was sent the script and accepted the part. He told the filmmakers “that he read it [the script] three times and cried every time.”
If you think that “Chasing Ghosts,” which is premiering at the Cleveland International Film Festival, is just about death and dying, you’re dead wrong, say the filmmakers.
“It’s funny, touching, a little bit mysterious and has a lot of heart,” says Shreve.
If you’re like Lucas and recently lost a loved one, “this is a perfect film to watch,” says Mayeux.
“I’d be really honored if a family coping with grief watches our movie and is uplifted in some way.
After all, the film is about learning to live life again to its fullest.”
—Anne M. DiTeodoro
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ICYMI: The CIFF staff was thrilled to have welcomed National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to the office on Thursday morning. Our friends from Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, and Community Partnership for Arts and Culture joined in on the fun as well. What a perfect way to start the day! (And yes, Beth is wearing a flag dress.)
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