A fifth-generation Willows resident is working on filming a documentary series in the city.
Julia Storz, 27, of Laugh Productions said her family has lived in the city for about 120 years.
Storz said she began looking for a project that could benefit Willows after her family found out their family barn – that was more than 100 years old – burned down.
“It was really upsetting because that’s a piece of family history,” Storz said. “That broke my dad’s heart, it broke my heart, my grandpa’s heart … so ever since then we have been trying to figure out what we can do to make Willows better.”
She has been working with the arts for a long time and her interest in video grew during her sophomore year of high school. Now, she wants to use her knowledge in film, special effects and editing to make an impact.
“I knew I wanted to do something with it, I just didn’t know what,” Storz said. “But I wanted to make a huge difference and I wanted people to be able to be like ‘wow, I’m inspired by this’ and then do something about it.”
The first episode of “Saving Willows” shows scenes of modern day Willows along with a variety of older footage.
In the documentary, Storz talks about the history of the city – including how it has grown and the popular Willows Lamb Derby that has been taking place since the 1930s.
The episode mainly showcases the Tower Theater and Storz has been documenting the progress of the work being done by the Willows Revitalization Group to bring new life to the building on Sycamore Street – which was built in the 1940s and has been pretty much unused since the around 1980.
Storz said she met Randy King, of the group, and decided to get involved and document their progress.
“Just being here, it’s different when you’re sitting at home and thinking about all of the things that happen and you’re like ‘oh, that’s cool’ but once you’re actually here, you’re a part of history,” Storz said.
Storz said if anyone is working to restore a building in Willows or doing something to better Willows, they can contact here on her Facebook page, Julia Storz.
The first episode of “Saving Willows” can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2lKSRIE.