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Hudson students heading up production company to create short film

By KRISTEN TOMINS | Reporter Published: June 25, 2014 12:00 AM
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Two Hudson students are about to begin the filming and production process for their short film "What Was Left."

The short film tells the story of 17-year-old Eric who learns of his estranged father's death and goes in search of his only known possession, a trunk that Eric had been asked to pick up years ago after his father left the country following a disruptive divorce.

Jake Nathanson, the film's writer and director, said the story line is partly based in truth.

"My father moved abroad and asked me to pick up a trunk of his belongings," he said. "I just kept putting it off for several months. Then I thought about if something ever were to have happened to my dad, what would I do? How would I have felt?"

Filming for "What Was Left" will run July 8-12 and will take place throughout Hudson and much of Northeast Ohio, home to Nathanson and Producer Phil Beatty.

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Nathanson is an alumnus of Hudson High School and will be a senior this fall at New York University, studying psychology, film production and creative writing while Beatty attends Case Western Reserve University and studies history and philosophy. Both Nathanson and Beatty are co-founders of their video production company Tall Pines Pictures based in Hudson.

Compared to previous short films and projects, Nathanson said "What Was Left" has allowed him and his crew to expand on creativity.

"There's really no cap on what's possible with this film," Nathanson said. "We've got a group of amazing people who are motivated to really work on this project."

Although casting is still in the works, both Nathanson and Beatty were able to acquire a crew from all over Northeast Ohio, parts of New York and Chicago, and even people they attended high school with.

"We've found very talented people who are just starting their careers in film or decided to pursue film in school," said Beatty.

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Hannah Welever, a Hudson High School alumni, is among the crew that was put together and will be working as a producer and director of photography. She received a degree in cinematography from Columbia College in Chicago.

"I contacted [Hannah] about working on the film and she's brought a lot of expertise to the crew," said Nathanson.

By including local filmmakers and those just beginning their film careers, Nathanson and Beatty hope that "What Was Left" will draw in more support for independent filmmakers altogether. Once completed, Nathanson and Beatty plan to enter it in film festivals.

A Kickstarter page was created for the film where people can donate money to assist with the film's production needs. Their funding period ends July 4 at midnight and a minimum of $1 is required to donate; however, different incentives are offered for those who donate more. At a $10 donation, early access to the film will be granted. The funding goal for the project is $3,000 and as of June 23, $1,685 has been pledged.

Money is not the only donation the crew is willing to accept, said Nathanson. In-kind services and donations are also encouraged, including food donations, equipment loans and access to locations in the area to film. Nathanson said it's an opportunity for local businesses and restaurants to be featured across the Northeast Ohio area.

To make a monetary donation to "What Was Left" visit www.kickstarter.com and search "What Was Left." A box link will appear to make a donation. Contact info is also available on the page to donate goods and services to the film.

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