Aspiring Sacramento teen filmmaker gets minor role on set of 'Lady Bird'

'Lady Bird', written and directed by actress Greta Gerwig, has been getting a lot of buzz since its release.

'Lady Bird', written and directed by actress Greta Gerwig, has been getting a lot of buzz since its release.

Nowhere is the buzz greater than in Sacramento, where Gerwig is from. The movie itself is also set and filmed in Sacramento, loosely based off Gerwig's own upbringing as a student at St. Francis High School, an all-girls Catholic school.

Joe Courey, a 17-year-old aspiring filmmaker was eager to be a part of it. 

"I gave the security guard my business card and told him I'd be back the next morning," said Courey. "I came back at 4 a.m. when nobody else was here, talked to the security guard, and told him I wanted to do this stuff."

Courey, a senior at Jesuit High School -- St. Francis' brother school -- has already had his fair share of experience. He spent the summer in a screenwriting class at the University of Southern California and along with a friend, was flown out to New York after winning a contest for the Tribeca Film Festival. 

Courey said after getting through the security guard, he eventually met Gerwig herself, who was excited when she saw his Jesuit sweatshirt (the male love interest in the film is a student at an all boys' school like Jesuit).

"I was really nervous [when she walked over to me] because obviously, I should nervous," said Courey. "She let me stay the entire week. It was a great learning experience."

Courey was able to get out of school for the week. He even skipped his homecoming dance.

"I had a date too...we're on good terms though," said Courey. "Maybe one day I'll make it to the Oscars and she can be my date as repayment."

Courey said he was given a walkie talkie, helped with lighting and keeping people from walking into shots. He even played Jenga with Saoirse Ronan, the film's lead actress. 

"We didn't get to finish because she had to get back to filming," said Courey. "We'll have a rematch."

Courey said he ended up as a background actor in the Thanksgiving scene.

"You can't really see my face," said Courey. "But I'm there."

Courey said he was surprised to see his name in the credits in the 'Special Thanks' section, something that really surprised him.

"I give it all up to Greta. She's like the nicest person," said Courey. "I owe it all to her kindness."

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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