From Toledo to Tinseltown

. March 10, 2016.

It takes something special for a small-town filmmaker to get noticed by someone in Hollywood. And whatever that something is, Steven Boatman has it. The Toledo native has been working independently with film since he was a child, and was integral to the making of  a new short film called Heat Wave. Working as the director of photography and sound editing and many things in-between, Steven was a big part of Heat Wave coming together. All of this happened because of a lawn mower.

Steven, along with his father Glenwood, are film fanatics. The movie bug bit Glenwood early, starting with his role in, what he refers to as a “fledgling film group in Minneapolis called the Midwest Film Academy” back in 1968. Steven grew up with a love of movies passed down from his father, and this influence would go on to help his films in a big way. “When Steven went to Bowling Green State University he made Supernatural Stalker (an early short film you can watch here). He asked me to shoot a few scenes and act as the monster in a scene. When I saw the film I knew he had filmmaking talent,”said Glenwood.

Soon Steven began thinking bigger with his short films. His next big project was Mowing Through Misery, a tale of a man fighting with everything he has to get his lawn mower working. Due to how it was shot, the film was a big step for Steven . As Glenwood explained, “We had to mount the camera on the bottom side of the camera platform on the camera crane and then put the camera crane tripod on the dolly platform and move the doll in sync with Steven pulling back on the starting cord of the lawnmower.”

Mowing Through Misery eventually caught the eye of Russ Russo, an actor from Los Angeles, at the Northwest Ohio Independent Film Festival in 2012. Steven said “Mowing Through Misery impressed him so much that he wanted to hire me to be the director of photography for Heat Wave.”

Hot Town, Summer In The City

Shot over two days in LA, Heat Wave involves a group of friends dealing with a death among them in the midst of an incredibly hot California day. Steven describes it as “a modern-day morality play inspired by the 1960's The Twilight Zone.” The film, directed and written by Russo, has been making its way through various film festivals around the country, but has many others in its sights. Glenwood listed a few of the festivals the film has been submitted to, such as the Palm Springs International Short Fest, and the Glass City Film Festival, which takes place in Toledo May 19th through the 21st.

Glenwood has high hopes for his son and the film, saying that Heat Wave’s success “is the result of screenwriter and director Russ Russo's story, together with very good LA acting talent, and Steven's camera work, editing and mixing.“ And what a success it’s been already. “So far, Heat Wave won Best Suspense-Thriller Short at The 20th Indie Gathering International Film Festival, Audience Choice Winner of the Toledo Film Festival, and a nomination for Best Editing at the Cincinnati Film Festival,” Steven listed.

For more information about Steven Boatman and Heat Wave, visit or his YouTube Page,