A local teenager’s wish to visit Hollywood comes true; he is now working on his own film – Update Howl

Noah Payton | Photo submitted

Noah Payton wished to take a trip to Hollywood to see movie sets and production companies. Through Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, Noah and his family traveled to Los Angeles over the summer to make their wishes come true.

Noah has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an inherited disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration. Mike, Noah’s father, said he was diagnosed with this most severe type of muscular dystrophy when he was 3 years old.

Thanks to diet and exercise along with medication, Mike said Noah’s life expectancy has increased. But the family also knew that taking Noah, who turned 16 on Sept. 22, on this trip sooner rather than later was important.

After communicating with Make-A-Wish, the family decided that a five-day trip to Hollywood would be fascinating for Noah, who had always been interested in movies and directing.

“It really started with watching Toy Story at my aunt’s house,” Noah said.

The Owensboro teenager is interested in all aspects of movies, but he really enjoys writing the story and watching it come together.

“Noah channels his energy through talking, telling stories, the characters he’s created, his whole life,” his father said.

Noah’s favorite movie is The Breakfast Club, though most anything nostalgic for the 80s fits the bill. According to Mike, he also prefers watching movies on VHS tapes instead of streaming or discs.

With an interest in movies, Noah is working on a killer movie titled Homemade sweet killer that’s in a whore-like blockbuster movie Knives Out. He said writing is the part he enjoys. Noah said that in most thrillers, the effects are the easiest to pull off and most can handle it, but he is still in the process of finalizing the script.

While planning the trip out west, Mike began reaching out to celebrity agents to meet and greet Noah and the family.

When he approached agent Kevin James, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. But the next day the Paytons were in Los Angeles, an agent contacted them to say that James wanted to do something, but that James lived in New York and not California.

In Los Angeles, the Paytons visited all the production lots – Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. through Make-A-Wish and Sony on her own.

“It was amazing to see everything they had,” Mike said. “We were going through the files Dr. Phil, Threat and The Goldbergs. We also saw All American: Homecoming and passed their set.”

Noah enjoyed talking to the people involved in all the production specialties and even the guides, who are usually writers themselves. One of the guides was the writer of a popular children’s series Barneyand Noah said she majored in English in college, which also helped him start thinking about his major.

Mike said one of the best experiences was renting a specialized wheelchair for Noah to use for the first time at the beach.

When they got back to Owensboro, Noah had a virtual chat with James and his team on YouTube.

“Noah spent about 15 minutes talking to James and the crew and even told them about the movie he wants to make here,” Mike said. “(James) wants Noah to send it to him and wants to keep up with him and his career.”

Another filmmaker interested in Noah’s work is local filmmaker Anthony Survant.

“(Survant) came to the house where Noah wants to film and walked Noah through how to shoot and put it together,” Mike said.

Mike said Survant mentors Noah and has given him tools to help him with his films, including shingles, microphones and other equipment.

Noah’s film will be completed soon and he hopes to have a local premiere.

“I want to make movies around our community,” Noah said.

The Paytons were grateful for every aspect of how Noah’s wish was granted.

“We would never have had this opportunity without Make-A-Wish,” Mike said. “With everything needed to carry out daily activities with Noah, they helped us do all the things to make his wishes come true.”


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