A Wilmington High School graduate’s short film has been receiving praise from judges and viewers.
“Looking Back”, a film by 2007 WHS grad Zach Daulton, took home Best Drama at the My RØDE Reel Short Film Competition — one of the largest short film competitions — and was nominated for Best Cinematography, Art Direction and Judge’s Film.
While the accolades were appreciated, it’s the personal connection with viewers that has meant a lot to him.
The short film tells the story of an inventor’s granddaughter who finds an invention he left for her while moving him out of his house. The invention would allow the granddaughter to see her grandfather in his prime.
“The story is about connecting with someone you love and how they might want you to remember them,” said Daulton.
The inspiration for this story is very personal to Daulton.
“I would see my grandmother and think of all the fun that we had. Then when my son was born, she was in a nursing home. He never got to see her how I saw her. I thought it was unfair to him … seeing her in decline and not in her prime,” he said.
She was the only grandparent he ever knew; after her passing, the packing up of her house gave him further ideas.
He had the idea for a while, going back and forth on working the script for months, but he wasn’t working on it constantly. But when the competition came up, he decided to put more serious time into it.
“I thought I could probably enter this,” he said.
For their film location, he decided to use the house belonging to the mother of Blanchester native Troy Howard. Howard and Daulton, while attending different high schools, were good friends throughout high school, and made videos at his house.
“We were looking for an older house to film in and his mother had a lovely older home that’s been restored on Center Street, right in the heart of Blanchester,” said Daulton.
While receiving the Best Drama award at the competition gave him a sense of validation, what he’s loved the most is seeing the responses from regular viewers.
“I make films that are deeply personal to me. So, when we shared it online and people shared how it connected to them personally, that means a lot to me,” said Daulton.
If anyone had similar feelings while watching the short, Daulton encourages them to share those feelings with him.
The video can be seen at vimeo.com/zachdaulton or on his website, zachdaulton.com .
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574