Hutcherson says he is excited to take a fresh idea and help turn it into an inspiring film

By Kelli Bender
Updated March 04, 2015 04:15 PM
Neilson Barnard/Getty

Ever wonder who would play you in a movie? It could be Josh Hutcherson.

The Hunger Games actor and director Ron Howard are teaming up for Canon’s Project Imagination: The Trailer. The contest is seeking submissions from film lovers of any skill level; all you need to do is create a trailer based on one of the everyday moments from your life.

When the submission period ends on April 29, Howard and Hutcherson will pick a trailer to be transformed into a Hollywood short film produced by and starring Hutcherson.

“Signing on as an actor before you know what the content is going to be is kind of a crazy thing to do, so I am along for the ride,” the 22-year-old said.

Hutcherson talked to PEOPLE about the exciting project and even offered contestants some tips on what he is looking for. (HINT: He really loves dogs!)

How did you become involved with Project Imagination?

Canon reached out. I knew about Project Imagination, which it had been doing with Ron Howard for a few years. I was so excited when they came to me and said they wanted me to be involved and work with Ron. It’s been nothing but awesome since I started. I can’t wait to get all the submissions and get my hands in there.

What part of the project are you looking forward to the most?

It’s hard to say just one thing. First of all, to work with Canon and Ron Howard is incredible. And then, on top of that, I am excited by the whole idea of the project. There are so many stories out there. So many people who have never tried making a movie, or tried telling a story to a camera – this gives them an opportunity to realize that.

Why do you think Project Imagination is important?

It gives people all around the world with different stories a chance to tell those stories. That’s why I make movies, to tell stories of different lives and places. Through this project, others get that chance to share their voice. It’s a great environment for new, fresh ideas to inspire a real project.

Once a submission is chosen, you are going to act in and help produce the film made from the trailer. Is working behind the camera something you are interested in?

Yeah! I have always been interested in producing and directing, just being a part of the whole story-making process. It’s cool to join a group of people who are very good at it. I get to walk through this process with them and see how they bring stories to life.

What everyday moment would you capture if you were going to submit a trailer to this project?

It would probably be something with my dog. We have a very special relationship, and he is just the greatest thing in the world. I don’t know what it would be exactly, but it would be starring my dog for sure. I feel like we will get a lot of animal submissions.

What films have inspired you?

I have always been a big fan of Edward Norton, especially his earlier movies. When you see an actor lose himself in a character and into that world, it’s really interesting – so Edward Norton has been a big inspiration.

Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for those submitting to the project?

Don’t have a firm idea for what you want the project to be. For me, it’s cool to discover it as you go. Have the root idea for the story, but don’t put too many preconceived ideas in your mind. Let it flow out of you naturally. I think that’s when you create the most honest and interesting stories, and that’s what I would like to act in.