Having already written two self-published novels, a Jersey Shore Area High School student is set to premiere his first full-length film "Kristin Summers," which he wrote and directed, on Friday.
But Tyler Welch, 15, doesn't hesitate when asked if he considers himself a novelist or a screenwriter because the answer is simple - neither.
Welch is a storyteller.
A poster for the film “Kristin Summers” is shown. The movie was made by 15-year-old Tyler Welch, who is a student at Jersey Shore Area High School.
"I always try to write down ideas as soon as I get them," Welch said of his process of coming up with a story.
Although his two novels - "Prehistoric Planet" and "Prehistoric Planet: The Revenge" - were written and published before his film, the silver screen was Welch's first love.
"Krsiten Summers," - which will premiere at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Jersey Shore Area High School - follows the title character, played by Bethany Morton, as she investigates the disappearances of students in her high school for the school's newspaper. As she digs deeper, Summers finds that the students aren't just disappearing but being murdered.
And as Welch explained, this story would test just how passionate he was about filmmaking, as the "Summers" release was delayed almost four months.
The love of telling stories started in the third grade, Welch remembered. He said after watching movies that he couldn't get enough of, like "Star Wars" and "Jurassic Park," he realized that someone wrote and made them and they didn't just happen. So in the fifth grade, Welch decided to try his hand at filmmaking.
"In the beginning they were all horror films," he said.
Welch explained that the horror genre was the obvious choice because it was the easiest to make.
"What do you need? A knife and fake blood," he said.
He boasts that he's become "really good" at making fake blood, too.
Welch has made about 13 short films prior to making "Kristin Summers," and said those were "a lot less of a nightmare" than the 90-minute film he's getting set to premiere.
But when he thought of the idea for a full-length film, he couldn't stop writing.
Welch completed the 125-page script for the movie in one week, which is a craft he learned through trial and error.
"I used to write them completely wrong," Welch admitted.
He owns a copy of the screenplay of the 1996 film "Twister," which Welch said he would look at when he was beginning to write movie scripts for proper mechanics.
But in order to make his words come to life, he recruited peers and community members that either acted in his short films or those who were involved in the school's theater productions.
"It was all about figuring out who could play those roles realistically," he said.
As shooting began, Welch said the cast worked well together even if there were some times of disagreement.
"It felt like some days that everything went wrong," he said. "... There were times it got tense."
And as the weeks of shooting continued, Welch realized his goal of having the film completed by last May wasn't going to happen. It's at that point in the summer that he decided to take an entire month off from the movie.
No more nights of staying up until 4 a.m. No more all-day shoots. Welch needed a break.
"It became just too much," he said. "It was a real drive to keep going."
But after the month-long hiatus, Welch picked it up again.
He was then able to get to his favorite part of filmmaking - being able to "trim the fat."
"Editing is probably my favorite part. I love seeing it come together," Welch said.
And after more than six months of work, Welch and the community will be able to see the fruits of his labor in the high school's auditorium.
He said he's learned a lot from the experience; lessons that will make him better at his craft.
Making everyone comfortable, even if he is stressed, is something that Welch now understands.
Welch already is working on his next film project, which will be released sometime next year. And he can't think of anything that would stop him from continuing a career path that he hopes will someday lead him to Hollywood.
But for right now, he just hopes to get some good reviews with his first full-length film.
"I feel like as a first attempt ... it could've gone worse. The fact that I have a finished film that I'm not ashamed of showing says I did something right," Welch said.
Copies of "Kristin Summers," "Prehistoric Planet" and "Prehistoric Planet: The Revenge" will be available during Friday and Saturday's premiere in the high school auditorium for a donation.