Sunday, January 18, 2015

DePaul Freshman Has Three Films in Production

It all started in Beverly Hills. Not that Beverly Hills; the one in Michigan.

As a high school student at Detroit County Day School, Luke Jaden turned his junior thesis project into the 40-minute documentary Madman or Martyr, profiling John Brown's courageous contributions to the Detroit hub of The Underground Railroad. The film was screened last year at both the Charles H. Wright Museum of African History and the inaugural Freep Film Festival.

Now, at age 18, the first-year student at Chicago's DePaul University has a film production-music management company (Troika) and three active movie projects in the hopper. The most recent of these is the teens thriller King Ripple, which he plans to complete and submit to festivals this summer.

It's fitting that a fast-rising young talent showcased in 2014 at a film festival created by the Detroit Free Press and would get a nice media bump a year later from the same, said newspaper. From an interview article by Julie Hinds:

King Ripple has some impressive credentials for a project budgeted at less than $100,000. The screenplay is by Josh Malerman, lead singer of the Detroit band The High Strung and author of the well-received 2014 dystopian novel Bird Box. Malerman's book was optioned by Universal and has been adapted into a screenplay (by Eric Heisserer of 2011's The Thing) that made Hollywood's coveted Black List of best unproduced scripts.
The cast of King Ripple includes an actor on the verge of stardom. Keith Stanfield, who plays the title character, appeared in the acclaimed 2013 indie drama Short Term 12 and has several major movies on the way, including Straight Outta Compton, where he plays Snoop Dogg, and Selma, which gives him a pivotal role as a civil rights activist who is murdered by a policeman.

King Ripple was shot over four days during the Christmas break at various iconic Detroit locations. Jaden's two other current active projects are short Not Well and horror film The Neverlands, also scripted by Malerman and scheduled for release this spring.

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