In director Luke Jaden‘s Detroit-shot horror short The Listing a realtor played by Robert Zabrecky (Ryan Gosling’s Lost River) tries to clean up a house filled with snakes, a monster, a cleaver which moves around by itself, and assorted other unpleasant items.
“We actually had a guy who worked for a slaughterhouse, and I called him, and he was like, ‘Yeah, I can bring all these animal parts to set,'” says Jaden. “He shows up to set with his truck full of dead carcasses and pig heads. I was like, ‘Art department? Go get it!'”
In addition to The Listing, which recently played Montreal’s Fantasia Festival, Jaden has wrapped two more mini-movies: King Ripple, which stars Keith Stanfield (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg in from the forthcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton) and The Wolf Who Cried Boy, whose cast includes the Oscar-nominated Captain Phillips actor Barkhad Abdi, and which he codirected with his business partner Cort Johns.
Jaden and Johns are also cowriting the script for an adaptation of Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett‘s autobiographical novel, Things the Grandchildren Should Know, to be directed by music video vet Anthony Garth, and have themselves signed on to codirect a big screen version of Hacker, author Ted Dekker‘s novel about a 17-year-old computer genius.
That’s an impressive lineup for any filmmaker. But it is doubly — maybe quadruply — impressive, given that Jaden is just 19 years old. Indeed, the director is so young that a few crew members simply refused to believe he was the director when he shot The Listing.
“Some of the crew didn’t know me,” Jaden explained earlier this year at the Stanley Film Festival in Estes Park, Colo., where The Listing also screened. “They came to set and they said, ‘Where’s the director?’ ‘He’s over there.’ ‘Wait, you mean the kid in the hoodie?’ They were just staring at me for, like, 20 minutes. There’s been a few instances of that happening. But I don’t think age should be a factor, particularly in the film industry. I mean, I’m so inspired by Damien Chazelle, who did Whiplash. He’s such a young dude, and he’s klilling it right now.”
You can see the trailer for The Listing, below.