North Central grad finds calling in Hollywood

Chris Staehler
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Who hasn't dreamed of making it in Hollywood?

North Central High School and Purdue University graduate Chris Staehler not only dreamed about it, he made it come true.

It's funny how life can change in just a matter of seconds. It's a storyline Hollywood has used for generations.

"This is the climbing shot that is very similar to a couple of shots in 'Mitty'," Staehler said during a recent conversation at a Starbucks in Indianapolis.

It's only a few seconds, but it was enough to change his life forever. A few seconds of his two-minute long demo reel brought his Hollywood dream to life.

"A few shots on my reel and one was a few guys hiking on a glacier. As it turns out, it was something that was going on shot-for-shot in the 'Secret Life of Walter Mitty'," he remembered.

So Hollywood called and Staehler was off to the movies.

It was really no surprise. He knew what he was going to do at the tender age of 7 when he saw Star Wars for the first time. He wanted to go Hollywood, but not to act. He wanted to design special effects. So he hired his brother to act in his garage and grabbed stock video, anything he could get his hands on in order to practice his craft of layering special effects.

"It was something I knew was going to happen at some point. Just had to ready for it," Staehler said.

I caught up with Staehler recently when he returned to Indianapolis to the watch "The Secret of Walter Mitty" with his parents. You see, he wanted to be here with them when his name rolled in the credits at the end.

"It is unreal. It's one thing to go to a movie when I was younger and see the stuff up on the screen. It was like some awesome people behind that. Professionals doing that and then to see my work up there. It's almost unreal," he gushed.

It's Hollywood. Where life imitates art or in this case where Chris Staehler's art imitates life.