Making a film requires planning, a crew and numerous logistical challenges, which have increased due to the pandemic. And, despite all the work, there’s no guarantee of success. However, local filmmaker Anthony Wright is well on his way to a success with his 44-minute film, “Monarch,” which will premiere locally in March.
Wright describes the production as “a time travel to drama film about a young man who’s trying to prevent the death of his wife.” He said writing started during spring 2020 and he began rolling the cameras that June. Editing wrapped in July 2021 and a premiere showing of the film took place last fall in Chillicothe.
Wright became interested in film at a young age. “When I was 10, I was a huge ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ fan. My buddies and I would make these backyard movies with my parents’ old VHS camera,” he said. “We’d spend our weekends making these goofy little videos and then from there, it just started to snowball and evolve.” Much of his writing is inspired by the work of Stephen King; notably 11/22/63, It, The Shining and Stand By Me.
“Monarch” has already won “Best Pilot” at the Sci-Fest Film Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. The film was also selected to be screened by the Boden International Film Festival in Sweden and Central Florida Film Festival.
Wright, a Toledo-native who attended Central Catholic High School and the University of Toledo, also works as a wedding videographer. “Last year, in 2021, there was an eruption of weddings,” he said. “I shot over 20 and that really kept me busy. And it was a lot of fun. A little stressful but, overall, very exciting. I got to work with amazing couples.” The majority of the wedding business comes from word-of-mouth and other people seeing his highlight videos — which recap a couple’s entire wedding day. “These past two years have been great for development,” he said.
Wright’s film company was formed in March 2020 and, despite the pandemic, business has been steady, taking him all over Ohio to film. Wright has also worked with the Toledo Rep to film its rendition of “A Christmas Carol” and has created promotional videos for RE/MAX Preferred Associates.
As for what’s next, Wright began writing a Road Trip dramedy in January and looks forward to growing his business, Anthony Wright Films. Continuing to focus, not only on wedding videos, but also on narrative films.
“Monarch” screens at the Maumee Indoor Theatre, 601 Conant St, Maumee, Friday, March 25 at 8 p.m. Admission is free, a Q&A session with the cast and crew will follow the showing. More about Anthony Wright Films can be found on Facebook or Instagram.