Lake Norman & Mooresville

He's got a camcorder and a dream

Thinking back to his childhood in Detroit, 27-year-old Eddie Conz recalls how he first got into movies.

He was an only child raised by his father, so he tried to find ways to entertain himself on a regular basis.

"One can only play basketball with imaginary superstars for so long," said Conz, joking. "I had already beaten Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan in one-on-one games."

He never got into sitcoms or cartoons too much.

Instead, he found movies to be more interesting and rewarding.

That began a regular practice of dragging his dad, Butch, to the local movie-rental store for a handful of movies.

He rented three or four movies at a time. It only took a couple days before he was ready to return them and get more.

The early movies usually combined his favorite pastimes of cinema and sports. Early favorites were "Rookie of the Year," "Little Giants" and "The Sandlot."

They're still his favorites, but when you know them word for word, they start to lose their appeal.

"Not to mention to ask a grown woman to watch one is like trying to get me to watch Baby and Patrick Swayze dance awkwardly across a camp theater hall."

Conz, who lives in the Diamondhead estates in Mooresville, and his close friends are making a movie they intend to launch at film festivals, for starters.

He's keeping the main plot under wraps. It's being shot and edited in digital, home-camcorder style.

Filmmaking is an expensive process.

The initial reaction from most movie buffs would be to compare this style of movie making to "The Blair Witch Project" or "Cloverfield."

The difference?

"We wanted to think of an idea in which using a digital camcorder was plausible," said Conz. "Not just use a camcorder, because those are the cards we're dealt with; but to create a movie that is raw, intense and believable."

There is no timetable for the movie's release date, or planned dates for festival entries. The original idea changed, now hopefully being used as a potential sequel, but the original star of the movie ended up moving so a recasting had to be done.

Just the process is fulfilling, for now.

"One day, maybe we'll be able to catch my name in the credits of a successful picture," said Conz.

Conz really started paying attention to movie details early in high school. He started to appreciate older, classic movies as well as recent classics. Some memorable ones were "Chinatown," "Citizen Kane," "Braveheart" and "The Shawshank Redemption."

Director names and attributes began to sway his decision at the local movie store.

"I also began paying more attention to all my dad's favorites," said Conz. "I was missing out on plenty of great titles."

His dad kept mentioning movies that Conz had refused to watch, so he waited until his dad was out of town until he rented them.

Once Conz got into the ins and outs of the movie process, he was curious as to what it takes to write a screenplay.

He wrote his first screenplay when he was in college and "it is probably the worse piece of writing man has ever known."

"I had no plot, plot points, characterization or any real ending for that matter," said Conz. "It was way too much dialogue."

Conz described the dialog as a boring conversation of his own opinions that were not funny.

"Unfortunately that was the point, humor," said Conz. "I have no idea where this piece of disgrace is, but it's finally gotten some laughs almost 10 years later.

"After writing a couple questionable screenplays with no software," said Conz, "I finally started to get it together enough to understand my own writing."