TRAVERSE CITY — Chad Engel has gumption, not to mention creative talent.
The 22-year-old, former Traverse City resident, moved to Los Angeles three years ago to pursue his dream of breaking into the film making business.
"I didn't know anyone, didn't have a network," said Engel, the former Traverse City West Senior High School student and graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy.
Not only did Engel land a job working with a top special effects makeup artist, he set his sites on producing and directing his own film.
Engel credits his fascination with fantastic films to watching the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy as a youngster.
"I got excited, intrigued about what happened behind the scenes; I knew I wanted to go into films," he said.
A film class during eighth grade confirmed Engel's interest and proved he had a talent for the art form.
"I fell in love with editing, filming," he said.
After completing high school studying film at Interlochen Arts Academy, Engel didn't waste time before making a move to the west coast.
"I moved to Los Angeles and started working in special effects makeup for Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice."
Engel soon became an assistant to special effects makeup artist and two-time Academy Award nominee, Kazuhiro Tsuji.
While he loved working with the man he considers a mentor, Engel says the idea of starting out on his own was growing.
He took advice from Tsuji and was inspired to write and direct the film he considers a thesis of everything he has learned so far.
"He told me, 'make sure your ladder is on the right wall before you start climbing.' My heart was really in making movies," he said.
Earlier this year, Engel made the decision to dedicate all of his time to producing a short film, "Ayden and the Stork."
The children's story tells of a boy who tries to catch his little sister's stork because he doesn't want her to be born.
"It is a bit of self-reflection, the boy is definitely a part of me," said Engel, who wanted to tell the story of becoming an older brother.
With the collaboration of many talented friends, funding from two coveted grants and hours and hours of work, the film is nearly complete.
"I received the Panavision and FotoKem grants so we could shoot on 35mm film," he said.
The edited version is currently in the process of being transferred from film to video. While grants allowed Engel to film in his preferred medium, the cost of finishing his prize project is more than his tight budget has allowed. He is turning to friends, fellow filmmakers and his community for help with post production costs.
"I'm hoping to finish it in time to shop it around at festivals, gain attention. I already have ideas for a feature length version," he said.
For more information on "Ayden and the Stork," including a trailer and information on donating, visit aydenandthestork.com.
Chad Engel, who has worked in special effects, is producing own movie
TRAVERSE CITY — Chad Engel has gumption, not to mention creative talent.
FINAL: Joliet 5, Traverse City 2
The Traverse City Beach Bums lost their 2013 Frontier League season opener 5-2 to the Joliet Slammers on Friday night.Continued ...
UPDATE: Beach Bums, Slammers tied 1-1 in 4th
The Traverse City Beach Bums are tied with Joliet 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning of their 2013 Frontier League baseball season opener.Continued ...
Trojans sweep regional meet
It came down to the final event, but when all was said and done Traverse City Central came away with two regional track championships on Friday.Continued ...
Prep sports scoreboard: 05/17/2013
A roundup of high school sports results from across northern Michigan:Continued ...
Parking garage rates to rise
The Downtown Development Authority authorized an increase in transient parking rates at the city’s two municipal parking decks.Continued ...
Ex-Traverse City Manager Lewis to head St. Joseph
The city of St. Joseph picked Traverse City's former Manager Richard Lewis as their next city manager.Continued ...
Festival spotlights science, math
Newton’s Road, a regional nonprofit organization committed to increasing access to and appreciation of learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, continues its Northern Michigan STEaM Film Festival on Saturday.Continued ...
Heroin overdose kills man
Benzie County's struggle with fatal heroin overdoses continues. Authorities confirmed Justin Smith, 23, of Benzonia, was found dead Wednesday night of a heroin overdose. Law enforcement officials arrested a suspect in Smith's death, the fourth heroin-related fatality in the county since 2011.Continued ...
Gladiators capture tennis regional
St. Francis tennis coach Jeff Hughes juggled his lineup during the season — and it paid off with a Division 4 regional title Thursday at Traverse City Central.Continued ...
Editorial: Obama must set tone for IRS, Justice Dept.
The issue: IRS, Justice Department have much to answer for. Our view: Leadership begins and ends with President Obama.Continued ...
Couple's film focuses on Latin American coffee farmers
Have you ever taken a moment to consider where your morning cup of java comes from?Continued ...
TCC girls beat Midland, qualify for state finals
Traverse City Central qualified for the girls tennis state finals for the 32nd straight year, handily winning the Division 1 regional at Midland.Continued ...
Beach Bums open tonight against Joliet
Jacob Clem will get the start in tonight’s Traverse City Beach Bums opener at Joliet.Continued ...
No food truck buffet rolled out on first day
Diners who hankered for food truck fare on the first day the mobile restaurants were allowed downtown came away hungry.Continued ...
Papa Roach is still swingin'
Papa Roach is still producing hit songs. It’s just getting harder and harder to get radio stations to play them.Continued ...
Letters to the Editor: 05/17/2013
Second to none; Teach more about less.Continued ...
Firings anger Grand Traverse Band members
Tribal officials fired six of their Natural Resources Department employees for shooting a rifle off their office’s deck, a move that’s angered some Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa members who said the punishment is too severe.Continued ...
One-woman show helps gardens
Emily Dickinson, one of America’s earliest poets, died in 1886. She comes to life this weekend in the acclaimed one-woman play, “Belle of Amherst,” performed by professional actress Sinda Nichols.Continued ...
Prep Sports Roundup: Schiller throws no-hitter for TC Central
Ryan Schiller threw a no-hitter as TC Central defeated Benzie Central 15-0 in a three-inning softball doubleheader opener. (Plus more)Continued ...
Weekend in Brief: 05/17/2013
Do the BBQ; Benzie Players; Garage sale. (Plus more)Continued ...
Low-flying helicopters are coming
Don’t worry: the low-flying helicopters buzzing through northern Michigan are not from the United Nations or some secret government agency.Continued ...
Nursing home promises to repay Benzie $484K
The Maples nursing home officials told Benzie County leaders they will repay $484,000 the county loaned the facility by March 2014.Continued ...
Traverse City Light & Power joins SUN project
Traverse City Light & Power board members approved the final step in implementing a community solar project in partnership with Cherryland Electric Cooperative.Continued ...
Sports in Brief: 05/17/2013
Roller derby bouts this weekend; Blue Star hosting baseball tourney; Screening of 'Signals for Survival.' (Plus more)Continued ...
Movie Capsules: 05/17/2013
New this week — Star Trek Into Darkness: After the crew of the Enterprise finds an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.Continued ...
- FINAL: Joliet 5, Traverse City 2