Updated: 4 days ago
Nick Jackson and Josh Jordan hardly knew each other when they devised a plan to create their own film.
But the classmates are now co-stars, and since spring, they’ve been working on their own buddy-cop film — “Skip Street,” an action-comedy the duo is writing, producing and acting in together.
“Skip Street” embraces the cliches of college life, with Jackson playing the part of a nerd and Jordan as a jock. However, the two sought out to craft a film with a deeper message beyond the characters’ shenanigans, and one of the focal points of the story is an analysis of the college experience and what it means to bring different kinds of people together.
“A lot of character development revolves around not allowing yourself to be limited to a specific demographic and realizing that we’re all here towards the same goal. You don’t have to feel inferior or better than someone because they’re something different from you,” Jordan said.
The film started as an idea for a short film set in the same universe as “21 Jump Street,” and since evolved into its own story. It follows two college freshmen who get tangled in a drug bust operation on their campus, the fictional Rutledge University — a campus which, to the discerning eye, shares a lot of similarities with Vanderbilt and Belmont, where the team filmed on location.
To clear their names and prevent their expulsion, the unlikely pair embark on a farcical adventure to stop the supplier of the experimental drug floating around Rutledge.
“We started writing just over seven months ago, and we finished about two weeks ago. We’re hoping to be done shooting by winter break,” Jackson said.
Creating a movie as college students with a lack of adequate financial resources comes with its challenges, but the sophomores came up with a clever way to fund their film — by selling spirit wear for the non-existent Rutledge University.
“Nick had the great idea of buying a screen printer as opposed to spending way more money to order custom T-shirts for our fictional university,” Jordan said.
They also started a GoFundMe for the production with a goal of $1,500. Donations will go towards a wardrobe and props budget, as well as paying the crew and actors for their months of work.
The project does not currently have a release date.
Jordan and Jackson hope to premiere their film via livestream, along with an in-person, Hollywood-style premiere in a movie theater. They see this as a fun way to bring the community together, especially after a year without large gatherings due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The young filmmakers also hope to showcase “Skip Street” for audiences beyond the Belmont community.
“We want to submit to festivals, but we haven’t really looked into that yet,” Jackson said.
For the rest of the production process, including additional casting and scoring, the duo is turning to Belmont’s community for actors, crew members and musicians. It’s all hands on deck, said Jordan.
“We’re trying our best to get as many people involved as possible. We hope that this film serves as an opportunity to support artists on campus.” he said.
PHOTO: Josh Jordan (left) and Nick Jackson in a “Skip Street” promo. Courtesy of Josh Jordan.
This article was written by Gus Sneh and Walker Dixon.