Local teen’s film garners film festival recognition

(From left to right) Nathan Bock, Robert McPeters, Griffin Loch and Skyler Verkouteren filming Loch's movie "A Spark in Nothing" in Santa Clarita. Courtesy photo.
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Santa Clarita teen Griffin Loch is well on his way to his goal of creating four feature-length films by the time he turns 18.

“My entire life, I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker,” Loch said. “There’s nothing I can imagine myself doing differently than telling stories through the beautiful art medium of film. It’s what I’ve always been drawn to.”

The 17-year-old recently released his third feature-length film, “A Spark in Nothing,” which shares the message of two things Loch said we could all use more of: love and hope.

Griffin Loch (left) films James Crosniak (right) in Santa Clarita for his film “A Spark in Nothing.” Courtesy photo.

While the pandemic slowed his progress on the third film, Loch is still determined to meet his goal, recently completing the script for the fourth film.

“It’s been a fascinating adventure I must say though,” Loch said of the pandemic’s impact on his filmmaking progress. “What’s interesting is it really teaches us all you can’t predict anything. Everything’s completely unforeseen, (and) anything can happen.”

Eric Mickelson, who met Loch when speaking at his school about his day job in film marketing, said it’s been inspiring to work with someone who is truly thrilled to be creating new and unique content after starring in his latest film.

“It’s a world of possibilities with Griffin,” Mickelson said. “Seeing the moments cut together, the music chosen for the scenes, and the visual effects added to the end product, that’s why it’s called ‘movie magic.’ It’s great to collaborate with a filmmaker that knows what they want and works to make sure that vision is never compromised.”

(Below from left to right) Brianna Ripkowski, Griffin Loch, Benjamin Snow, (above from left to right) Kaley Spitiri and Cayden Rosehaley in Fillmore filming Loch’s movie “A Spark in Nothing.” Courtesy photo

As a teen herself, Arielle Gottesman said it’s inspiring to see someone who has already found a career path that they’re passionate about and already excels at it.

Gottesman, who has starred in two of Loch’s films now, said it’s his contagious smile and positive attitude that makes it so much more honorable and fun working with him.

With each film, Loch hopes to boost the production value and said that not only has “A Spark in Nothing” certainly been the biggest production, but it’s also had the best streaming success thus far.

“It’s really just been a fantastic journey the entire way,” Loch said, adding that, looking back, while it’s interesting to see how his skills have developed, he loves knowing that aspect will continue. “I think what’s amazing about making films is the fact that there will never be a point where I’m not learning something new. … No matter how comfortable you may feel with one specific aspect of creating the film, there’s always going to be that new element that somehow finds its way in that you’re going have to figure out.”

(Below left to right) Cayden Rosehaley, Griffin Loch, (above left to right) Blake Borders and Robert McPeters filming Loch’s movie “A Spark in Nothing” in Newhall. Courtesy Photo.

Loch’s hard work through the pandemic on “A Spark in Nothing” has seemed to pay off, though, as the film has garnered a lot of attention at film festivals recently and continues to take home wins.

Of those were best feature film awards for the film at Bridge Fest, Iconic Images Film Festival, Rome Independent Prisma Awards, Naples Film Awards, an award of excellence at the IndieFEST Film Awards, among other recognitions. Most recently, the film was selected as a finalist at the Rocky Mountain International Film Festival.

“It’s been thrilling to get the feedback from the audience,” Loch said, adding that it’s brought a “surge of energy” back into the film, which has again motivated him to continue moving forward.

“A Spark in Nothing” can be found on Amazon Prime at amzn.to/3Ca7Opq 

(From left to right) Sam Grossinger, Griffin Loch, Skyler Verkouteren, Benjamin Snow, Corrine Mica, Kaley Spitiri and Robert McPeters in Newhall filming Loch’s movie “A Spark in Nothing.” Courtesy Photo.

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