South Tech grad returns here for movie project

Bill Milligan photo

Bill Milligan photo

By BILL MILLIGAN

A 1989 South Technical High School graduate is back home from Los Angeles this month with an independent film crew to produce a feature-length film titled “My Dad.”

Andy Meyer, 37, grew up near the intersection of Butler Hill and Kerth roads.

Here as assistant producer with the Los Angeles-based film group, Meyer said he always wanted to be involved in films.

“I always wanted to give an audience the feeling I used to get when I watched movies,” he said. “You forget your troubles.

“Films give you a nice feeling. I wanted to be a part of that.”

After graduating from high school, he worked the elephant and bird shows at Grant’s Farm, then transferred to a similar Anheuser-Busch position at Sea World in San Diego.

Like most of the Los Angeles-based crew, this is Meyer’s first attempt at a feature-length film project.

Writer and director Lonny Zion earned a master’s degree in film production from the University of Southern California in 2001.

Originally from Champaign, Ill., Zion attended Washington University and it was that experience that led the filmmakers to St. Louis.

“It’s interesting to come back here and work in a town I know with lots of friends,” Zion said. “Since we came here, we decided to set the film in St. Louis, but it could be Anytown, USA.”

Craig Stenson, Zion’s roommate at Washington University, owns Booyah Realty, which has provided the home where the crew is shooting “My Dad.” He also is a co-owner of Onesto Pizza and Trattoria, where the film crew dines.

“This community doesn’t get a ton of filming activity,” producer Ben Karson said. “In LA, you have to pay so much for permits — on top of that, a location fee to bribe somebody to use their house. People here say: Please come, shoot at my house. I’d love to watch. I’d love to understand more about it. It’s a lot easier and cheaper in a lot of ways.”

Filmmakers call “My Dad” a modern fairy tale about the rifts between fathers and sons. The mood traverses territory from the laughable to the endearing.

Filming began in July and will continue through the end of this month. It should be ready for viewing by this time next year, filmmakers say.