Ohio native turns acting dreams into a reality

As a kid, every actor dreams of being a part of a production someday. For University of Toledo students,


this dream could soon turn into a reality.


Writer and director Bryan Bockbrader and producer Aurea Lara will be shooting a film in Northwest Ohio this spring. “Eat Lead” is a 1930s gangsters versus cannibals movie featuring actor Tom Sizemore in the short teaser.


"It's always been, like, a childhood dream of mine to bring a movie to Northwest Ohio," said Bockbrader.


Growing up in the small village of Pemberville in Wood County, Bockbrader frequently visited Toledo, he said. Upon graduating high school, he moved to California to pursue his dreams of acting at California State, Los Angeles.


However, shooting a movie in Northwest Ohio has always been on his mind, Bockbrader said. After being awarded the Tax Credit by the Ohio Film Commission, Bockbrader is putting his ideas into action.


“Most films get shot in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati,” Bockbrader said. “No one really shoots in Northwest Ohio and Ohio has a great tax credit.”


With limited acting opportunities available in Ohio, Bockbrader said while going to high school in the area, it was always a dream of his to be given an opportunity like this. For this reason, he’s looking to cast students from the University of Toledo Theatre Department in the spring of 2018.


Bockbrader wants to work with UT’s Theatre Department in creating costumes and facilitating other parts of the production. Bockbrader said, although they’re not a big Hollywood production, he knows the basics of production and is open to providing theater students with internships and experience.


In hopes of expanding their production, Bockbrader and Lara have started a crowdfunding campaign for a contest called “Hometown Heroes” headed by the Duplass Brothers, an American film and television production company that has produced several HBO shows, including Room 104, Lara said.


The Hometown Heroes and Rally is providing next generation filmmakers the chance to use their local community and resources to produce a movie. The top 10 projects to receive the most followers by October 13 will quality for finals and have the opportunity to pitch ideas to the The Duplass Brothers.


“What we need is to get 500 followers and 80 percent of our production goal on that site,” Bockbrader said.


With such limited time in their hands, Lara and Bockbrader shot the teaser in the span of just six days on Bockbrader’s old college campus.


“We got Tom Sizemore. He was huge in the 90s,” Lara said.


Bockbrader said they’re hoping to align this project with the contest’s goal to avail this opportunity.


"When I wrote this about a decade ago, I wrote everything that I already might’ve had and I just never really had an opportunity to have something like this coming up,” Bockbrader said.


Aside from acting, Bockbrader has also produced a film called VANish, which is available on Amazon. The entire movie is shot inside a van in the scorching heat of the desert, Bockbrader said.


With 115-degree temperatures outside and no access to air conditioning, the movie is centered around a kidnapping featuring actors, Maiara Walsh, Tony Todd and Danny Trejo. Bockbrader added that he wrote, directed, produced and acted as one of the kidnappers in the movie.


“It was really cool to hire all these guys in my film that I grew up watching,” Bockbrader said.


He hopes of having a similar kind of success with this project. Community members interested in learning more about the campaign can access this link: www.seedandspark.com/fund/eat-lead.

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