MT Middle School student to star in short film

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Fayette County resident Daylan Neal

Fayette County resident Daylan Neal

Fayette County resident Daylan Neal will star in a new short film titled, “The Wicked Imagination of a Teenage Kid.”

Daylan is a seventh-grader at the Miami Trace Middle School and is fairly new to acting, but not new to acting funny. He has starred beside his mother, Tasha Neal-Harris, in short comedy skits placed on Youtube and Facebook. Daylan also makes music beats and beat-boxes. He has attended beat-box workshops and has music artists already showing interest in purchasing his music beat for their projects.

Daylan and his co-star, Spiritual Wright, of Lewis Center, Ohio, will be granted the responsibility of creating the theme song for the film. This will highlight their musical abilities along with their acting skills. You can follow Daylan on YouTube by going to Xeno beatbox.

Daylan said that he is thrilled for landing the lead role in the film. He is also proud of himself for all of the hard work that he put into the film. He says that although it was a lot of hard work and long hours on the set, he is looking forward to doing the webseries. Daylan said this project is cool because it has horror movie stuff and comedy mixed together. He also said that he feels like he has learned a lot about acting and what it takes to be a actor in movies or TV shows. He claims it is a lot different than doing YouTube videos.

The film was written and created by Tasha Neal-Harris of Fayette County (who has contributed entertainment columns to the Record-Herald), and is produced by Candirainproductions. The movie is a “urban goosebumps” type of movie, with a touch of “Gremlins” and “Twilight Zone” sprinkled in. The movie is about a mischievous teenager, JC (played by Daylan Neal), who can’t eat anything directly prior to going to sleep, or whatever he sees before he goes to sleep, will come to life in a creepy way. The books, film and webseries are created for teens and will star and showcase the talent of teens throughout Ohio.

The short film features a new teacher in the school who is a bit eccentric and just may be going to literally have her students for lunch if JC dozes off in class! The hilariously fun production will be showcased at local theaters, entered into film festivals across the country, and shopped to a variety of networks including Hulu and Netflix.

The creator, Neal-Harris and Candace Wright, owner of candirainproductions, feel so passionate about their work with the youth that they started a youth program for schools and organizations. Tasha said this project is important because “the youngsters cast in the film are able to get a inside peek of the dedication and hard work that goes into creating a movie. They spend long hours on the set doing take after take. Some actors had to undergo sci-fi makeup which is fun, but can also be sticky and itchy. They have to learn lines and deliver them over and over. They have to do trailers for the film and photo shoots for the film. They are given the ability to experience being on the set and really considering if they truly want to pursue acting, directing, or behind the scenes, as a hobby or a career.”

She went on to explain that “there is an exorbitant amount of time that you have to dedicate to filming, and sometimes you have to make a choice to do no other activities or sports programs during the days of filming. For newcomers and seasoned young actors, they are able to get acting tips, film acting techniques and vocabulary, and receive lessons from professional actors and videographers. Overall, it is just an amazing learning opportunity for our youth in Ohio, to showcase their talent, to learn, network, build self-esteem and to grow.”

It is a goal for Tasha and director Candace Wright of candirainproductions to attempt to make nearly everyone involved with the productions to be between the ages of 12-18. The majority of the cast, the makeup artist, and production assistant manager of this film were all amazingly talented teenagers!

The makeup artist for the film was 16-year-old David Moir of Dublin. David’s work can be seen on Instagram by following him at Most of the cast are dance students who were selected from an open casting call that was held at the “For the Love of Dance” studio in Columbus.

“It’s time to give back and make people feel the way I used to when I was younger,” said Tasha. “I remember being bullied and lonely, with a tattered childhood. The arts gave me an escape from my reality. It gave me self-esteem, courage and good things to remember. When all else goes wrong, you have to submerse yourself in yourself.”

You can view more pictures of the film by going to “The Wicked Imagination of a Teenage Kid” on Facebook.

Fayette County resident Daylan Neal County resident Daylan Neal

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