iLEAD Legacy Maker: Griffin Loch

iLEAD Legacy Maker: Griffin Loch

SCVi Exploration’s Griffin Loch is our latest iLEAD Legacy Maker.  The successful young filmmaker is completing his third full-length feature film, A Spark in Nothing. This spring, Loch will graduate from SCVi after having completed all of the high school requirements in only two years. 

With limited production staff and funding, Loch writes, directs, edits, and produces each of his films. He even acted in his two feature films, The Adventure of T.P. Man and Flusher and Calling the Shots. “Once I had finished those, I was afforded the opportunity to step behind the camera as a full-time director.” 

With his parents’ guidance and support, Loch’s feature films have been fully insured and also permitted by the cities that served as film locations. “My parents were firm from the beginning that if I was going to do this, I had to be as professional as I could,” he said. 

Loch also depends on his family and facilitators to be cast and crew. “I knew no one would take a 13-year-old kid seriously, except those who knew me well,” he said. 

“Since our crew has primarily consisted of me and my parents, we all do a little of everything,” Loch said. “In fact, I do everything besides make the coffee.”

Loch remembers being interested in movies and filmmaking at a very young age and admiring directors and creatives including Buster Keaton, Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick and Federico Fellini. 

“As long as I can remember, I watched films with a director’s eye,” Loch said. “I never got too caught up in whether things were real but rather in how they were made. I wanted to tell stories through this medium.”

Loch is part of the iLEAD Innovation Studios program, which allows learners to incorporate their individual passions into their learning. It is a personalized approach to project-based learning. 

Facilitated by Emilie Evenson at iLEAD Innovation Studios, Loch’s personalized education plan has been a perfect fit. “Because this approach allowed me to make films, each subject became deeply important to me. I wanted to learn,” he said. “Taking leadership in my education encouraged me to excel at both school and filmmaking.”

Loch said that SCVi was supportive of his passion right from the start. “My first shorts were screened at the junior high level with all the learners,” Loch said. “To see my film flicker across the faces of every class was intoxicating.”

As he began his filmmaking career, Loch said everything opened up for him through the iLEAD community. “Facilitators and staff I had not even officially met volunteered to act or help on the weekends by chaperoning my shoots. The SCVi grounds were open to me for any filming,” Loch said. “Because of this, you will see several locations in all my films that are on SCVi grounds.”

Both of Loch’s first two films were screened in the SCVi Shakespeare Theater as fundraisers for his film projects. He asked supporters to be extras in his films. Key iLEAD staff are extras in his latest film including 7th and 8th grade iLEAD Innovation Studios facilitator Emilie Evenson, along with school founders Dawn Evenson and Amber Raskin. 

“There has never been a moment of my filmmaking when I have not found encouragement from SCVi,” Loch said.

Loch’s latest film A Spark in Nothing is about a reluctant guardian angel in search of redemption. Loch said the audience will identify with both of the two main characters. He said the villain is not one of the characters but the concept of time. 

In addition to initial local screenings, Loch plans to make this film available in digital formats as well as the film festival circuit. “I want as many people as possible to see what we have created,” Loch said. “We are following every specification of quality to apply to platforms like Netflix.”

Loch said his ultimate excitement comes from audience reactions. “I want them to be entertained, moved with emotions,” Loch said. “Perhaps they walk away knowing something more about themselves by seeing my character flaws and trials.”

Loch’s first film, Calling the Shots, placed at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase in Los Angeles. His second, The Adventure of T.P. Man and Flusher, garnered Loch the IFS Best Director Award and a nomination for Best Film and placed at the Indy Film Fest. Loch’s film work has also attracted recognition from the Roundtable Global Youth Awards.

“Griffin is an amazing talent,” iLEAD Founder and CEO Dawn Evenson said. He has been able to use his passion to learn all subjects in a real-life environment. If you ever get an opportunity to see one of Griffin’s films, I highly recommend it. We know Griffin will make his mark on the world.”

The power of story and emotion attracted Loch to the medium.  “Humans are fascinating. We crave interaction,” he said. “Film allows us to look into the eye, see the souls of others sharing a journey with us. A good film allows you to connect and ask yourself what you would do in that situation.” 

Loch credited iLEAD and SCVi for nurturing his vision. “None of this would be possible without the incredible support of my parents and my entire iLEAD-SCVi family.” 

After his early graduation from high school, Loch plans to complete his fourth feature film before he turns 18.

Loch said he’s aware the film industry is changing quickly, with Amazon and Netflix contending with movie studios. He’s part of a new generation of filmmakers, some who are making entire films on their smartphones. 

“I will absolutely make films for the rest of my life, if possible. This is my passion, my love, my calling,” Loch said. “I will continue to try to create the stories I know I was meant to tell. How these stories will be viewed is still unknown.”

A Spark In Nothing is scheduled to release soon. Loch’s previous films are both available at Amazon Prime. For more information and updates, visit GriffinLoch.com. You can also find him on social media: @GriffinLoch on Twitter, @griffin_loch on Instagram and Griffin Loch on Facebook.