Capturing the moment: Grant Renner Films

Grant plays poker with his different personas from left to right; Grant, GRen, GWiz, and G.

Grant Renner

Grant plays poker with his different personas from left to right; Grant, GRen, GWiz, and G.

The sun beats down on the Ohio riverfront as the up-and-coming filmmaker and director Grant Renner pans up to Newt the Kid standing atop the Taylor Southgate Bridge while filming the music video for Newt’s song, “Rob Van Dam.”

Standing below the bridge, eye in the viewfinder, Renner’s journey to this point appeared euphoric.

Renner started filming videos of himself on his phone in seventh grade, inspired by YouTubers he would watch that had similar content.

“I had a trampoline and I would just film myself doing flips on it, edit them, add some music, and put a little video together,” Renner said.

Along with filming himself on his own trampoline, Renner also traveled to different trampoline parks and filmed there.

“I went out to California and went to a huge trampoline park out there,” Renner said. “One of my favorite videos I’ve ever made was at that place.”

He​​ took a break from filming his freshman and sophomore year but returned his junior year after hyperextending his knee while playing football. He recovered from that injury, but it became worse than expected.

“First game back, I took two helmets straight to the same knee, but I played the rest of the game. The next game I couldn’t run, so I went to the doctors and found out I had a stress fracture on my tibial plateau,” Renner said.

Renner spent the rest of the season on the sidelines. When the playoffs came around, Renner borrowed junior Will Kocher’s camera, recorded the first game of the playoffs, and edited the footage into a video.

“It kinda made me realize, dang, I do really love doing this,” Renner said. “There is just something about making my own thing, being able to creatively produce and direct something and then putting it out.”

His senior year, Renner recorded six more football videos as well as a personal video for Kings quarterback Will Kocher.

“It was very special knowing that Grant was filming me. Me and Grant grew up together and were neighbors our whole life,” Will Kocher said. “His filming job was very spectacular too, you can tell he put a lot of effort into making it look good.”

Aside from football videos, Renner captures other works, including travel edits and music videos. In the fall of 2021, Renner worked with fellow Kings senior and rapper Austin Newton, a.k.a. Newt the Kid, to record a music video for his song, “Rob Van Dam.”

“I like being creative with my videos, and then seeing someone else being creative with their music is cool. It comes full circle,” Renner said.

Setting out to have fun while making a good music video, Renner, Newton, and senior Greg Englehard took a trip downtown and filmed down by the Ohio riverfront, Taylor Southgate Bridge, and the streets of downtown Cincinnati.

“Grant had these cool ideas for some bridge shots,” Englehard said. “His videography was very good. He has a good mind for it. He knows what’s going to look good and what won’t.”

Other shots in the music video were filmed in the Great Wolf parking lot with a group of Renner’s and Newton’s friends.

“If I’m making music videos, I’d want to do it with someone who actually cares about it,” Newton said. “And I knew he actually cared about it.”

Renner aims to improve his cinematography and editing. Currently, Renner takes Digital Media Arts at school, which helps him continue to grow as a filmmaker and editor.

“I love seeing Grant’s passion for film and I am very happy to have had a chance to have helped him grow as an artist,” Digital Media Arts teacher Kelly Shields said. “I am really excited to see where filmmaking takes Grant creatively,”

Outside of class, Renner watches the cinematography in some of his favorite films, such as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox, the Harry Potter movies, and The Dark Knight trilogy. Drawing inspiration from the filming style of directors Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) and Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Renner hopes to incorporate their techniques into his own work.

Looking forward, Renner plans to go to college to pursue his love for film.

“I plan to go to OU [Ohio University] and study film and then see wherever it takes me. I’d love to do anything that involves me being behind the camera,” Renner said. “Whether it’s filming sports or music videos or of course the big dream, the big goal is filming movies one day but yeah, wherever it takes me is where I want to be”.

Renner’s videos are posted on his website as well as other platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and YouTube.

“I think he’s got so much potential to make so much awesome stuff,” Newton said. “There is gonna be so much stuff coming. He hasn’t even scratched the surface of it dude. The real stuff is coming. This is a preview.”