Show business runs in Griffin Loch’s family.
His mom is versed in set design and film production. His dad is an editor at a production studio. And his grandfather is known locally for showmanship as none other than The Great Razooly.
Griffin, at 15, is already an award-winning film director. And for the next few weeks, he will be at various locations in Humboldt County working on his third feature-length film titled “A Spark in Nothing.” It’s based on an original screenplay.
“Essentially, boiled down, it is about a reluctant guardian angel who has neglected his charge,” Griffin said of the plot of the new film. “His human has a choice of finding true love or being an amazing solo cellist. We follow both. The ticking time bomb is time. Simply like a spark in nothing.”
Thursday evening he was at his grandfather’s home in Bridgeville, a spot called the Forgotten Castle. He seems at ease in black slacks, a white button-down shirt and a brightly colored tie. His canvas shoes sport a Hawaiian theme. A compact visitor’s cabin is decorated for the Fourth of July. His dad is on hand putting together the rigging that will hold the camera for the evening shoot. His mom is mixing sparkly lipstick for actress Abby Stevens, also 15, who plays the role of God in the film.
Abby said she has known Griffin “basically since I was 2,” after meeting at “fairy tale theater” classes. Abby acted in Griffin’s previous films and “a few commercials,” she said.
In her role as God, Abby spent hours working with a linguist to nail various dialects.
“I speak eight languages in the script,” she said. “I saw a linguist for the last two and a half months for about an hour.”
Griffin said the role was tailored to Abby and written with her in mind.
“It’s such an empowering role,” said Griffin. “I’ve never seen a 15-year-old girl portrayed as God. That was a big thing.”
Fellow 15-year-old Skyler Verkouteren, who is an associate producer on “A Spark in Nothing,” met Griffin in middle school.
“Griffin just has this way of hypnotizing his friends into helping him on the film,” laughs Tonde Razooly, Griffin’s mother.
Griffin’s second full-length feature, “The Adventure of TP Man and the Flusher,” which screened in Fortuna earlier this year, had a budget of about $7,000. “A Spark in Nothing” has a slightly larger budget of around $12,000, according to Tonde Razooly.
“The movies are getting bigger and more professional,” noted Skler.
They’re also getting noticed and gaining recognition. “TP Man and the Flusher” was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director at IndieFEST. Griffin took home the best director award.
“It was a great honor to go to a film festival,” said Griffin. “It was a real festival of the true independent movies.”
“We had to get refunds for tickets for the after-party,” said Tonde Razooly, because neither Griffin nor Skyler, who also worked as a producer on that film, were old enough to get in.
Tonde Razooly also said the film, which addresses teen suicide, has been well received by school districts across California.
Humboldt-Del Norte Film Commissioner Cassandra Hesseltine also has good things to say about the young director.
“He’s a very enthusiastic young filmmaker,” she said in an email. “It’s exciting to watch him pursue what he loves at such a young age!”
She said she expects to see “great things” from Griffin.
“Whether it’s going to an excellent film school or landing a job due to all his current projects, I don’t doubt based on his ambition that Griffin will go far,” she said.
Grandfather Tom Razooly, better known locally as The Great Razooly, is enjoying helping out, whether it’s helping build props for the film or portraying the role of a forest angel in the current film.
He pointed out a “Jumanji”-esque safari outfit he will wear laid out on a table inside the “Forgotten Castle.”
“He was going to wear a gold suit but Griffin said you can’t outshine God,” said Tom Razooly’s partner Amber Hughes. “So he got a safari suit.”
How to help
A GoFundMe is set up to help fund the filming and production of “A Spark in Nothing.” To donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/GriffinsFilmStudio.
Want to be an extra?
“A Spark in Nothing” is looking for a few people for some upcoming video shoots.
Upcoming shoots are set for:
• Aug. 16-17 at the skating rink in Fortuna
• Aug. 18 at Phatsy Cline’s in Eureka
• Aug. 19 at College of the Redwoods
The shoots are open to all ages, except for the event at Phatsy Cline’s, at which the minimum age is 18. For specific times and details about costumes, email email@example.com.
Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.