Santa Clarita resident Griffin Loch is 14, but he has already written, produced, directed and edited two feature-length films.
“I have always wanted to be a filmmaker,” he said. “I reached for the camera on my first day of preschool and said, ‘I wanna film. I want the camera.’ For all my birthdays, my parents would help me make movies with my friends and show them as a birthday premiere party. And I enjoyed making short films, but felt I had more to tell.”
That’s when Griffin began his first feature-length film script, “Calling the Shots,” in the fall, when he started seventh grade. The film is two hours long and available for streaming on Amazon Prime and Vimeo.
“Calling the Shots,” which Griffin wrote while he attended Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School, was an “experiment to see if I could go from short films to a full-length feature.”
He started a GoFundMe page that raised around $5,000 and cast his friends and family in the story of a boy who stumbles across the murder of a bank robber in the desert. The police officer chases the main character, Maxwell, and his friends as they go on a quest to find the money and get Maxwell’s father out of jail. The film premiered in October 2017, with the production company To The Moon Filmworks behind it.
Griffin’s current project, “The Adventure of T.P. Man and Flusher,” is “socially relevant to his generation,” he said.
“It addresses the growing epidemic of teen depression and suicide,” he said. “While ‘Calling the Shots’ proved that I could make a feature, with this movie, I wanted to make it better and as applicable to everyday as I could.”
Griffin’s second film will be about two best friends, Tom and Jim, who go on a nighttime adventure to help with Jim’s depression. On their last night together before Jim moves, the boys decide to “TP” their crushes’ houses — in other words, wrap toilet paper around the houses, as one last hurrah.
The trailer is available on Youtube and Instagram: @tpmanandflushermovie.
Griffin plans to submit the film to Sundance, South By Southwest and the Telluride film festivals in the fall.
“My grandfather actually inspired ‘The Adventure of T.P. Man and Flusher,’ and it’s based on his real-life adventure of TP-ing houses,” he said. “My family and friends have all been incredibly supportive, as well as the SCV Film Department which helped me get my film permits, and the SCV Historical Society which let me shoot at Heritage Park.
“I’ve always had a passion for filmmaking and want to study it later, too,” he said. “I figured I’d start early.”