His goal is to be “the youngest film director of all time.” A 15-year-old sophomore at Clark High School, Evan Hara has already starred in musicals, a movie, won a local filmmaking competition, runs the news channel at his school (which he also created), and has written a TV series. He is currently raising funds for his next project: a short sci-fi film that he intends to submit to film festivals like Sundance. Evan Hara is a star in the making.
Tell us about your first experience with a camera.
My filmmaking began when I was around 7 or 8. I loved to make little videos of my Hot Wheels cars with my Dad’s camcorder. After that, I figured out how to make stop-motion animation videos and used all of my Legos to create elaborate stories. My first experience with a real DSLR camera came later at Dallas Young Actors Studio when we shot a short skit. Everything was so high-quality and crisp compared to the old camcorder!
Your goal is to be the “youngest film director” of all time?
Well, my goal is to become one of the youngest directors of a major feature film! This goal originally popped into my head when I realized that there were no “kid” directors. If a child is qualified to direct a film, why can’t he or she? I intend to fulfill my goal by submitting my films to film festivals around the country, getting feedback, and then fine tuning my editing/directing skills. At the moment, I am trying to get my name out in the industry with a TV show. My partners and I have an ingenious idea that we believe could become something amazing. We just need a little help networking. My competition for “youngest film director” are people like Ed Burns, who directed The Brothers McMullin at 26, and Richard Linklater who directed Boyhood recently, but directed his first big film at 23.
You’re working on a TV show?
It’s called Runaways. Five young adults decide to drop everything and run away from their boring lives in L.A. They travel the country in a beat-up old van belonging to the main character, Chase. It’ll have comedy/drama/action. We have already planned out the rest of the series along with some other possible future season plot lines. Some social media stars we are looking to cast are JC Caylen, Eliza Rose, Grace Auten, Payte Parker, and Mikey Murphy. Together, they have about 11.4 million followers. Many of the actors are committed, we just need to get picked up so that we can start shooting.
You just played the lead role in Round of Your Life. How was that experience?
I loved it. There really is no other experience like it—it was amazing to get to know what it feels like on the other end of the camera. I’m used to doing all of the work behind the scenes and it was really nice to sit back and watch everything that was happening. Now that I know how it feels to be an actor, I understand how to talk to my actors to make sure each scene is clear and comfortable.
[Round of Your Life is a feature film shot in San Antonio which will be released later this year. Evan played the 15-year-old son of a PGA Majors winner.]
Tell me about your school news channel.
My school news channel is called CHS News. We report the latest sports events, pep rallies, announcements, and anything funny happening around the school. We started it because nobody listened to the announcements on the loudspeaker. My friend Andy Stratton and I anchor the report, and then I edit the episodes on a weekly basis. They get shown to the whole school on Fridays. Everyone loves it!
Check out one of their recent broadcasts:
How do you find time to make all this happen?
I basically have zero free time. On Wednesdays and Thursdays I have acting classes at Young Actors House, on Saturdays and Sundays I have film class at Dallas Young Actors Studio, I’m working on CHS News on Tuesday through Friday, and somehow I manage to fit in homework and studying! Probably one of the times where there really wasn’t enough time in the day was when I came back from shooting Round of Your Life. I had just missed three consecutive weeks of school and had to continue film/acting classes!
Best movie of all time?
I only get to pick one?! I’d say that my favorite sci-fi of all time is Interstellar because that movie really made me question what was real and what wasn’t. My favorite comedy of all time is Zoolander because it’s completely amazing. I will definitely be at Zoolander 2 opening night!
Plano’s hidden gem?
I really love the Shops at Legacy because they have so many great shopping places and it’s beautiful! I also love the Angelika Film Center because my film The Fearless Five premiered there last June!
Last year, Alex Lee (Alex from Target) was huge! So, since he just lived up in Frisco, I wanted to get him into one of my films. After about two weeks of emailing him, he said he’d love to make a film and asked me to send over the script. Well, at the time, it was just an idea. There was no script. That night, my father and I wrote a script about Alex from Target saving the world from commercial super-villains. We called it The Fearless Five and it’s kind of a cross between The Last Airbender and The Avengers.
Check it out:
Who do you look up to?
In the acting/directing world, I really look up to Ben Stiller. I love how he’s able to direct such amazing comedies and dramas, while starring in them at the same time. That takes some serious skill and I would love to be just like him one day.
This is Evan’s most ambitious project yet. He wrote a script last summer for a Sci-Fi short film (about 30-40 minutes in length) and is wanting to make this film between now and over the summer. This will be a much more professional and advanced film with paid actors that he plans to submit to film festivals like Sundance and others. He is trying to raise money for the production on Indiegogo and hopes to start filming over Spring Break and finish in the early summer.
The film is called The Boundary, click here to watch the trailer and to donate.