Ryan Moody will be submitting his short film "Last Call" to film festivals nationwide in 2013.
However, a local audience will get the first chance to see the film, which was shot in Trumbull County earlier this year. Moody, a 2004 Lakeview High School graduate, will screen the movie Friday at his alma mater.
Moody was putting the finishing touches on the movie last week.
"I just stepped out of the sound design room," he said during a telephone interview Friday. "We're gonna finish today. Now it's just a matter of getting everything printed."
"Last Call" was filmed over four days in February with much of the filming being done at the Horseshoe Bar in downtown Warren. It tells the story of two friends, one of whom is diagnosed with a terminal illness and discovers he only has a couple weeks to live.
Jack Kehler, a veteran character actor whose credits include "The Big Lebowski," "Waterworld," "Pineapple Express" and "Point Break," plays a character inspired by Moody's father, and Steve Larkin plays the man diagnosed with cancer. Local actor Tim Phillips plays a bartender, the only other character in the film.
WHAT: The short film "Last Call"
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Lakeview High School, 300 Hillman Drive, Cortland
HOW MUCH: Admission is free for crew members and Kickstarter campaign contributors. A $5 donation to the movie's Kickstarter fundraising campaign is requested for admission.
Moody brought his two stars and several of his crew members to the area from southern California, where he is a film student at UCLA, and he still is overwhelmed by how helpful everyone was locally.
"It was amazing the amount of support we got," he said. "So many local businesses supported us."
Looking at the finished film, Moody said he believes the effort to bring the production here paid off.
"The majority of my classmates shot around town (in Los Angeles) or on a built set," Moody said. "It's always refreshing to have that character, that Warren character, as a backdrop. It just makes it that much more personal to me."
Friday's event will allow those who worked on the film an opportunity to see it, and the director also hopes it will generate some money, which will be used to pay the entry fees to get the movie into various film festivals. An online Kickstarter campaign surpassed its fundraising goal of $5,000, and any additional money received at the door Friday will be applied to that campaign.
He also hopes the movie might inspire other budding filmmakers.
"In high school, I didn't really have the opportunity to see a lot of short films," Moody said. "I didn't know anything about indie filmmaking back then. I thought it would be a cool thing to come back to Lakeview, to come back and say, 'Hey, this is what I've been up to.'"
The event also will include a display of on-set photos taken by Warren photographer Sarah Bokone and a screening of the behind-the-scenes documentary "The Making of Last Call," produced by AVP Digital. The movie contains strong language and viewer discretion is advised.
Moody ultimately would like to turn "Last Call" into a feature-length film, but he already knows what his next project will be. And he has an Oscar-nominated actor attached.
James Franco, a Best Actor nominee for "127 Hours" and a Golden Globe winner for playing the title role in the television movie "James Dean," was one of Moody's teachers at UCLA. One of their class assignments was adapting a short story into a short film.
"I got 'A Walk in Winter' by Robert Boswell, and the main character is this guy who has to return back to his hometown to identify the remains of his mother, who's been missing for years," Moody said. "I thought it was a role he would be really good for, and he agreed to do it.
"It's already been a great experience. I've never been able to move so quickly on a project. He's an excellent teacher with a ton of experience, not only as an actor but he's directed several films."