Starting Friday, shooting will begin on a new movie set in Cleveland. The film is the result of a nationwide search for promising talent. An A-list director is attached. And the author of the screenplay is none other than Earlaina Kemp. Never heard of her? That's because Kemp is a 16-year-old junior at Eastside’s Martin Luther King Jr. High.
Scenarios USA, a non-profit that uses writing and filmmaking as a carrot for teenagers to express themselves, chose Kemp’s screenplay, “MANchild,” from among 200 entries from around Cleveland. “MANchild” is the story of Tommy, an 18-year-old raising three younger sisters. Kemp wrote her script in response to Scenario’s theme: “What’s the REAL DEAL about Masculinity?” ...
Appropriately enough given the theme, Kemp will be paired with filmmaker Rawson Thurber, director of the 2004 overactathon “Dodgeball,” starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Lance Armstrong's cancer. You want to know something about Masculinity? Hire the guy who popularized the phrase “Go Balls Deep.”
Kemp and Thurber were the guests of honor at a breakfast event at the City Club this week. Behind the dais, young Kemp was a composed and gracious speaker, making sure to point out the runners-up in the audience. Seated behind the podium, however, Kemp looked every bit the self-conscious teen, flushed and shielding her face when Thurber took a few good-natured jabs at her expense.
Their bond has developed over time, bolstered by Thurber’s attempts to show the young author how to adapt her story into a screenplay: He sent Kemp scripts of some of her favorite movies (Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing) in script form. For a Hollywood type, he seemed nice, even if he refused to tell C-Notes who’d be playing the role of Tom Selleck’s stache. He did, however, clear up any lingering doubts about whether or not he’d inject his own brand of slapstick into Kemp’s more thoughtful screenplay.
“No one will be getting hit in the groin,” he said.
Alright, fine. But can we at least get a Chuck Norris cameo?
-- Caleb Hannan