Former 'Wizards of Waverly Place' star David Henrie turns to directing in 'This Is The Year'

HOLLYWOOD -- David Henrie made a name for himself as one of the stars of Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place." Now he's making a name for himself as a feature film director and his actor-producer brother is part of his team.

Their new movie is called "This Is The Year." It's a coming-of-age road trip comedy about life, love and friendship.

The director, head writer and co-star knew just how he wanted to tell it.

"I was hoping to bring an 80s, John Hughes-esque warmth to this film, so it feels 'feel good.' Right now, times are crazy," Henrie said. "I think we all want to feel good, so I wanted to do things in the camera to create that John Hughes feel, heighten reality, put yourself in the eyes of the main character."

That character is played by David's younger brother, who is also one of the movie's producers.

"There were definitely times where he's, like, 'Lorenzo, you've got to do it this way.' And I'm like, 'I did it that way! What are you talking about?'"

Lorenzo James Henrie called it "fun banter" that brought the set together. "I think everyone had fun watching that," he said.

Both brothers hope you'll have fun watching some of those awkward high school moments, like trying to ask your dream girl to the dance.

"I think, right now, there are so few pieces of content that a parent and a tween or teen can sit down and watch together, and you don't feel like you have to cover the kids' eyes," said the elder Henrie. He believes "This Is The Year" works for that audience.

As a kid, David made short films for fun. Now he sees making movies as his future. He looks up to filmmakers who've done what he aspires to do. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are two examples of that.

"Two of the biggest inspirations in my life," said David. "I hope to make feel good movies like they did and movies that really hit the emotions."

"This Is The Year" is now in theatres and on-demand.

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