T he summer of 2013 was one to remember for 14 year-old Derry film-maker Louis Kerr.
Abounding in the same sort of initiative displayed by a teenage Steven Spielberg, Louis and his friends shot a short film called ‘Loose Ends’.
The film is only several minutes long and when you consider it was made by a group of teenage friends with time on their hands over the summer, you can’t help but smile and be impressed.
“If it wasn’t for my dad, Warren, I think I would have given up,” said Louis smiling.
“My dad knows a lot about computers and he convinced me to keep going when the editing part of the movie proved difficult; I am so glad I followed his instructions.”
After completing the final cut of ‘Loose Ends’, Louis only let his close friends and family watch the film.
“My dad contacted Marty Melarkey at the Nerve Centre a few months ago and after watching the movie, I was invited to screen it during the City of Culture’s ‘Cinema City’ event in the Nerve Centre,” explained Louis.
Not only did St. Columb’s College student, Louis, get the chance to show his film but he packed the cinema out with friends and family too.
“All of my friends who worked on the film were there, as were my parents, Warren and Amanda, and older brother, Alexander.
“It was a great night and one I will never forget. I am so thankful to the Nerve Centre for letting me screen my film.”
Louis might only be 14 years-old but he has been attempting to make short films ever since he was seven.
‘Back to the Future’ is Louis’ favourite film of all time and when it comes to directors he regards British film-maker, Edgar Wright as one of the best.
“I think I have watched ‘Back to the Future’ so many times that I can literally recite the script to you now,” he laughed.
“I’ve every intention of turning this passion for films and film-making into something I can make a living out of.
“When I get older I want my job to be something I absolutely adore and I can only see that being possible by following my dream of becoming a full-time professional film-maker.
“I plan on studying Moving Image Arts for GCSE and although I am years away from picking where I would like to go to university, there’s part of me that wants to go to film school in America,” he said.
Louis used a Canon 600D camera to shoot ‘Loose Ends’ but it wasn’t until he visited America on a family holiday that he stumbled across a piece of equipment which would give his movie an authentic feel to it.
“I spotted a pancake lens in B&H Video store in New York. Pancake lenses are very expensive here but I managed to get one for a real bargain.
“The lens makes a lot of what I shoot look a little more professional - well I hope it does anyway.”
Louis was only able to buy the pancake lens because he spent the entire year leading up to trip saving his money but like most other 14 year-olds he has very little money to spend on other things.
“I just have to show initiative and think outside the box,” he smiled.
“One thing I needed for my future movies was a sound blimp. A sound blimp is what you see on virtually every film and television set around the world. It’s the thing the sound man will hold over the heads of the actors when they are talking to record what they are saying - it’s usually covered in fur.
“Sound blimps are really expensive and there’s no way I could afford something like that so I went to a few local pound shops, bought a few things and made my own - it works fine,” he smiled.
Louis agrees that if 2014 is as exciting a year as 2013 he will be happy but the Prehen teenager said making films is his dream and it’s a dream he intends on turning into reality.
“There’s no reason why I can’t do it. I just have to work really hard and also, as long as I have that passion I am sure that will help me too.”
Louis is currently working on several ideas for new short films and is keen to hear from any aspiring young actors.
If you would like to get in contact with Louis Kerr drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org