Filmmaker in the making

A junior taking steps closer to becoming a film producer


photo credit Haden Batchelder

Filmmakers and actors are working together to produce a film. Caleb Eschliman,(left) Haden Batchelder, Sydney Skierka, Michael Frandolig and Stella Ehrhart. They were the actors Eschliman’s that work with him to create a short film at Nebraska Thespian festival. These students work in Filmworks the whole weekend.

Haden Batchelder, Staff Reporter

Late-nights dedicated to finishing screenplays, memorizing lines for the next school play and planning the next best shot for his next short film all have been on Millard west student, Caleb Eschliman’s schedule recently. The film industry has been an infatuation for this junior. 

The creative arts have always piqued his interest. He dreams to pursue the filmmaking dream.

“I truly love all aspects of film, it’s the idea that so many people can come together and make a work of art,” Eschliman said. “From the writers who build stories, characters and emotions all from a blank page. The art of making a film is comprised of so much talent and creativity.” 

Opportunities are appearing for this young creator as he was accepted into Filmworks for the Nebraska State Thespian Festival. Eschliman was given a preview into the filming process, he created a character and learn techniques that filmmakers use when screenwriting. During the workshop,  he experienced producing a film with four other high schoolers all across Nebraska using professional filming equipment. 

“At the State Thespian Festival, a festival for everyone interested in theatre in the state, there was a Filmworks program,” Eschliman said. “We learned the process of making in-depth characters and used those characters to make a short film that we showcased at the end. I had no idea how many opportunities would come out of this Filmworks program thanks to the two amazing directors that ran the program.”

A student attending  Blair High school, senior Sydney Skierka was in the Filmworks Program with Eschliman. They have been working together on creating, writing and producing films together outside of school.  

I met Caleb at the Thespian convention in a film workshop,” Skierka said. “He writes, directs, and acts in films, and they turn out amazing. It’s fun working with him because he’s very creative, and he always has good ideas for a new film.” 

Eschliman’s  Drama director, Brooke Phillps has been one of Caleb’s encouragers. Philips has recognized how Eschliman grows as a talented actor with a supporting role in  “Fox on the Fairway”  and a lead role in “H+”. 

Caleb is really introspective, curious and creative,” Phillps said.  “He thinks about things from a perspective that is different than the norm which gives his work a fresh feeling, or an edge that is interesting.” “Caleb is a good actor. He is also dedicated and works hard to do well on stage.  I’ve also been very impressed by his incredible knack for using technology and being innovative.” 

Eschliman received an award for being a Filmworks Finalist for the screenplay he submitted for the Nebraska Thespian Festival. Eschliman got an exciting opportunity, and a free ride scholarship for the Omaha Flim Festival and showcasing the film at the Arsarben Cinema. 

“This Filmworks program is thanks to the two amazing directors that ran the program,” Eschliman said.  “One of the directors runs the Nebraska Film Festival and has gotten the short film approved to be showcased at the Film Festival in March.” 

 Everyday Eschliman takes a few steps closer to his dream of becoming a filmmaker. From writing screenplays, shooting mini-films and improving his acting skills, he is heading in the right direction for being the next new director. 

Caleb Eschliman’s website where his film, photography and acting portfolio.