Metro Grand Rapids man brings Hollywood to his hometown

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A man from western Michigan has returned to his old playground to write and shoot a movie.

He said he wanted to bring Hollywood to his hometown and showcase the talent in his community.

“I’d rather be homeless than not make films,” said filmmaker Nathan Strayer.

Strayer said he left his home in Los Angeles to stay with his family in Caledonia during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also flew with a team of friends and they used their free time to write and film.

“We didn’t have a lot of money,” Strayer said. “We only had locations that Grand Rapids had to offer.”

Nathan Strayer’s West Michigan ensemble for “Outlier”.

With the financial support of close friends and family, Strayer and his team created “Outlier”. It’s a psychological thriller about a woman who escapes an abusive relationship. Comedians, like him, are also from the Grand Rapids area.

“I think a lot of artists see their hometown as a place they have to leave in order to be successful, and I think changing that would be amazing, especially for Grand Rapids because we have such a city of artists,” Strayer said. .

After filming for 50 days and creating a rough cut of “Outlier” in western Michigan, Strayer packed a suitcase and returned to LA for post-production.

The finished product was first shown at film festivals, won awards and caught the attention of an agent, who helped him sell the film. The snow Diffusion.

“It’s amazing, especially at the age of 23,” Strayer said.

Strayer said he encourages every creative person to pursue their dream, even if it seems far away.

“You can’t wait for the opportunity to present itself; you have to create it yourself, ”Strayer said.

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