(Posted Aug. 5, 2016)
By Christine Bryant, Staff Writer
Two excommunicated art thieves attempt to steal one last piece of art to escape the clutches of the organization that made them.
The story sounds like a film right out of Hollywood, and if London natives T.J. Ruesch and Jack Spahn have it their way, one day it—or another story of theirs—will be.
While some may call them budding filmmakers, they are anything but, having made movies for years.
Ruesch and Spahn, both 2014 graduates of London High School, will present their most recent film, “Creative Theft 2,” Aug. 11 at the State Theater, 67 S. Main St., London. The film took them on location to the wilderness of Maine, the beaches of Florida, and back home to London.
The premier begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $7, with 50 percent of ticket sales going to the ALS Association.
“We decided this would be a perfect opportunity to not only highlight the importance of creativity and imagination on a small town, but also support a great cause,” Ruesch said.
The evening will begin with a red carpet event at 7:30 p.m., during which the cast and crew will arrive and walk the red carpet into the theater.
“Creative Theft 2” is a sequel to the 2012 film “Creative Theft,” which was directed by Spahn’s brother, Sam, Kenneth Herron and Burke Mayne.
Despite having a brother who practices the filmmaking craft, Jack says there’s no single moment or group of moments that led him to creating films.
“I can definitely site my brother as a major contributor toward getting involved with film, but there was also a bit more to it,” he said. “As a child, my family and I would see movies every weekend, mostly at my brother and I’s beckoning, but as I now think back on it, seeing those early films set the groundwork for my future.”
This allowed Spahn to embrace film as not just entertainment, but as a skill and an art, he says.
“And maybe that’s the difference that led me down a path in film—the viewing experience,” he said.
Creating a captivating movie experience for viewers was a top priority when filming “Creative Theft 2,” which is why the duo not only invested a year and a half of their time into making the movie, but filmed it over the course of three months—some of which included traveling out of state to find authentic shots.
Ruesch and Spahn also wore several hats, with Spahn writing the script and both serving as co-directors. With little to no professional equipment or help, both also served as the producers, production designers, directors of photography and any other title that is typically handled by someone on various stages of production— all of this on a $0 budget.
“We didn’t crowd source or raise funds through any other means,” Spahn said. “We simply used what we had and somehow made it work.”
That isn’t to say Ruesch and Spahn didn’t have help.
“Our friends are truly some of the best people in this world and spent nights upon nights upon nights helping us make our vision a reality,” Spahn said.
There was no casting process or interviews, just friends calling friends.
“I wish there were better words to accurately describe the amount of work those who helped on the set displayed, but all I can say is that they are truly amazing people and gave 110 percent every time we began to shoot,” Spahn said.
Ruesch found his love for movies watching flicks with his family on Friday nights and has been making films since he was young using his parents’ VHS camcorder. He says his goal is to impact people with stories and create an escape for those who need it.
Though they attend different colleges—Spahn at the University of Miami in Florida studying motion pictures and screenwriting and Ruesch at Emerson College in Boston studying visual media production with a concentration in screenwriting—they say they hope to continue working with each other.
“I believe we both still have adventures untold, and that together we can make awesome art,” Ruesch said.