COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A high school teacher in Canal Winchester shot a full-length Christmas movie on his iPhone during summer vacation — and saw it released by Amazon on Wednesday.
A Story for Winter is Nathan Weidner’s third full-length movie, and closest to his heart. It’s the tale of a small-town doctor trapped by a winter snow storm in a home that cares for disabled children. He wrote it in one week in 2009, and spent the next 12 years re-drafting, and working to get funding that never arrived.
Weidner’s daughter Meah was born in 1988 with cerebral palsy, and she inspired the film.
“I always kind of wondered what was going on in her mind,” he said. “Is there a world there that she goes to? Because she would smile a lot, and was just very happy all the time.”
Finally, Weidner shot the movie on his iPhone over 15 days last summer.
“Eventually, I just picked up my iPhone 12, got together with some of my students who had graduated from the high school, and we shot it over the summer. It took a couple months, 15 shoot days, and we got it done by the beginning of August.”
But Meah didn’t live to see the film screened.
“My ex-wife was dating a gentleman whom I’d met, and he seemed like a very decent individual. He was an EMT, studying to be the type of person who would go into a house and save a life. And he wound up shaking her to death.
“We had always known that we could potentially outlive our daughter because of her health concerns, but we didn’t realize that she would leave this world in that manner. And that was rough to deal with.
“He was eventually convicted, and he’s serving a life sentence for what he did.”
This pushed Weidner to get the film made as a tribute to his memories of Meah.
“I was really motivated to work hard to try to get this made in her memory.”
Behind the scenes, Weidner talks about making the film with his iPhone, support for budding film makers in Ohio, and plans for his next project.