18-year-old Michigan native Luke Jaden (Madman or Martyr) has finished production on his fourth film entitled King Ripple. Produced by Troika (Not Well), Friel Films (Cawdor), and Mother and Midwife Pictures (Papou), the script is written by Detroit author Josh Malerman, who has achieved recent critical acclaim from his latest HarperCollins published novel BIRD BOX, which was just adapted into a screenplay by Eric Heisserer (The Thing) and earned a #1 spot on The Blood List and made the Black List for 2014.
King Ripple stars Keith Stanfield (Selma, Short Term 12), Torrey Wigfield (Lost River), Allie DeBerry (A.N.T. Farm), Luke Jaden, and film newcomer Callaghan Belle. The story follows four teenagers as they travel through a desolate and decrepit, urban wasteland brought forth by the very being they wish to find: King Ripple himself.
This is Jaden’s first time both as a director and actor on one of his projects. “As a director, you have to be behind the camera, paying attention to every little detail from a bird’s eye view. But I just could not do that on this project. I had to get into character, look at and really study the script, and rehearse lines. On this one I decided to take a step back.”
While acting, Jaden depended much on the experience of his producers, Michael Angelo Zervos (Papou) and Phil Wurtzel (Cawdor) both directors of feature films themselves, to help behind the camera on King Ripple. ” I had to trust my cinematographer and producers and I told them before we started shooting that we’re all going to have to work together in order to get across this tightrope blindfolded at a million stories high. They all believed in me when I was behind the camera, but when I was in front of it I had to really believe in them. So, making this film I had to rely on a tremendous amount of trust.”
“Luke took a risk directing a film in which he was also expected to perform,” said Zervos of his director. “The conditions of production were trying already with near freezing temperatures and all location shooting. Taking on this additional challenge could have broken a less driven individual but Luke has never lacked the perseverance to succeed.”