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WCHS student works to film her first movie
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Warren County High School junior Maya Denning has an interesting way to spend her summer vacation. She is working to produce her first movie called “Dreams,” which she hopes to start filming in July.
“I’ve always written stories from the time I learned how to write,” said Denning. “Now I’m feeling my way around movies.”
Denning has already filled her six-character cast and secured sites where she can film. She says the movie will be shot at Riverfront Park, a field, and a house. Denning estimates the movie will be about 15 minutes long.
“Hopefully we can do all the filming in two or three days,” said Denning. “That will be best because I have a couple actors who are coming from out of town.”
The plot centers around a boy named James, who is struggling with his father’s absence. He begins to work through possible scenarios about what may have happened to his father in his dreams.
“His dad left and his mom won’t tell him why,” said Denning. “He works out his own theories about what might have happened and you see all the different scenarios unfold in his dreams.”
Two local residents will be playing James at different stages in his life. A young James will be played by Jackson Sauer, while an older James will be played by Jackson’s older brother, Kirkland Sauer.
Denning is using fundraising website Kickstarter to gain financial support for the film. She’s asking the community to visit the “Dreams” Facebook page at and link to the Kickstarter page from there.
Anyone can make a Kickstarter contribution of any amount. Denning has set a goal of raising $1,600 by this Sunday, June 9 at 6 a.m. So far she has raised $1,120.
“With Kickstarter, I have to reach $1,600 or I lose all of it,” said Denning. “That’s the way it works.”
Denning got interested in film production thanks to her theater arts class at WCHS. She says the film has already created some buzz around the community and she hopes this initial project serves as a springboard for other films. She says the movie will be eligible for various film festivals and it will also help build her résumé on, a movie database.
“I started on this last summer and it’s been revision after revision,” said Denning. “I deleted a whole character at one point.”
Denning is the daughter of Mike and Sheri Denning and has four siblings.