Lake inspires Warren native’s film

Sara Elizabeth Timmins, a Warren native and Kennedy Catholic High School graduate, is the producer of “Lake Effects,” a full-length feature film shot last fall in scenic Smith Mountain Lake, Va.

Timmins expects a deal will be reached soon that will allow the family movie to premiere on the small screen.

“Lake Effects” is about a family that was raised on the lake. The older daughter, estranged from her father, moved to Los Angeles where she became a lawyer. The younger daughter, an art teacher in an elementary school, remains behind and lives with her parents.

When their father suddenly dies, the older daughter returns home to settle the estate. But the next few weeks are filled with discoveries, conflicts, new love interests and laughter as the daughters reconnect.

Timmins owns Life Out Loud Films, a production company, in Los Angeles. She has also done her share of acting (while in high school, she appeared in productions at Trumbull New Theatre).

Her parents moved to Smith Mountain Lake years ago after retiring, and Timmins said she also feels the pull of the lake’s beauty.

In fact, it was on a visit there that she came up with the idea for “Lake Effects.” She had an “a-ha!” moment while walking along the water.

“I felt like LA wasn’t were I was supposed to be,” she said. “A lot of things became clear about what I was supposed to be doing.”

One of those things was the unshakeable feeling that she needs to make a movie centered around the lake. She came up with themes and characters and worked together with a writer to develop the script.

Timmins also has a small role in the film.

An interesting production note has to do with the order in which the film went from idea to reality. Usually, a movie begins with a script; only after it gets the green-light does a search for a location begin.

But Timmins was so inspired by the beauty of Smith Mountain Lake that she did the process in reverse. She started with a location and then developed a script.

For her next project, she will team with best-selling author David Baldacci for a film adaptation of his novel “Wish You Well” that will also be shot in Virginia.

A graduate of Xavier University, Timmins currently splits her time between LA and Smith Mountain Lake, Va.


Youngstown native Tony Romeo, an artist who has lived and worked in Las Vegas since 1993, recently completed a painting commissioned by Denise Debartolo York, owner of the San Francisco 49ers.

The 36-inch-by-36-inch acrylics-on-canvas artwork is of Frank Gore, the star running back for the 49ers.

The price will not be disclosed.

Romeo’s paintings have been exhibited at numerous events in Las Vegas.

Some of them have been sold to high-end restaurant owners in the gambling resort as decor.

Romeo has a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and printmaking from Youngstown State University.

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