It's lights, camera, action for McCracken County High School senior Luke Resser, who plans to make filmmaking his career, a goal he has been working toward since the sixth grade when he began making movies.
Resser's film "Plant Boy" was selected for the All American High School Film Festival in New York City earlier this month and was screened in AMC Theatre in Times Square.
He remembers the first time he and his friends plucked up enough courage to submit one of their films for a local festival.
"It was for the 48-Hour Film Festival at Maiden Alley," Resser said. "The movie was shown there. Looking back, I think that movie is terrible, but that was one of the first times we took it more seriously. From there, we found more opportunities to submit things that we had made."
At some point, he said, film became less of a hobby and more of a pursuit.
Resser began to immerse himself in film projects outside of school, and his achievements from there showed both his skill and drive.
In 2016, he won "Best Use of Dialogue" for his film "1994" in the 48-Hour Film Project. His film "El Hombre de Leche" placed him as second in the state at the 2017 Student Technology Leadership Program's (STLP) Cinemania 48 Hour Film.
He won "Best Musical Score" in 2017's 48-Hour Film Project for his film "Touched By An Angel Named Hotdog: The Musical." His film "Plant Boy" placed first at STLP this year.
Resser is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week. Each Monday in the online edition and Tuesday in the print edition, The Sun features a teen selected from nominees submitted by guidance counselors throughout the region.
Near the end of the school year, one of the students profiled will be named Teen of the Year and will receive a $5,000 scholarship. An additional student will be chosen for an Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
When Resser wrote for his school newspaper, The Mustang Messenger, he said he mostly wrote movie reviews, giving him the opportunity to analyze the art of film. "I love watching movies just as much as I love making them," he said. "So being able to take that love for cinema and being able to do it on my own is a big thing. Trying to take what I learn from watching other movies is kind of where I think I get a lot of the inspiration."
Many times, Resser said his films don't necessarily have a specific message, but serve as a creative outlet for him.
He has held several leadership positions throughout his time in high school and has learned what it means to be a self-starter.
When he's not filming a movie, he is involved in the Paducah Chamber of Commerce Youth LEAD program, AP Ambassadors, Environmental Club, National Honors Society and is on the Heartland Church Media Team. He also maintains a 4.0 unweighted grade point average.
Resser and a couple of his friends also own a local film production company called Palindrome Pictures.
"We kind of have a commercial side," he said. "So we do weddings, we've filmed preschool events and then sold copies of the CD. We've also edited slideshows and videos for weddings and college graduations. But all of that is very different from the movie side of things."
Together with his leadership positions in high school, Resser said he believes his experiences with film have prepared him for life after high school, in college and in a future career.
He will attend The Savannah School of Art and Design in Atlanta to study film in the fall.
"I'd love to direct my own movies in the big league, but if I can be involved in the film industry at all, that would be the goal," Resser said.