From Staples to the Silver Screen

From Staples to the Silver Screen

Jordan Goodness, Staff Writer

Every year at graduation, friends and family cram into the noisy field house to send another class out into the dark and scary world.

But what actually happens after they walk out the doors of Staples High School? Many students in fact accomplish great, exciting things. A prime example of a student who did this is David Kaplan ‘03.

Once graduated from Staples, Kaplan waved goodbye to his family and said “hello” to pursuing his longtime dream of film producing. “David always took producing seriously” Stephen Rexford said. At Staples until this year and Kaplan’s teacher when he attended school here, Rexford now teaches 8th grade Language Arts at Bedford Middle School. “I think it’s great when former students like David contribute to the arts.”

So, after studying film at Colgate University, Kaplan went on to co-own Animal Kingdom Films, a film production company that released “Short Term 12.” The movie was a resounding success in the film festival circuit, and is now set to be released to the public at large. Kaplan was an executive producer for the film, which tells the story of Grace (played by actress Brie Larson), a supervisor at a foster care center. As the film proceeds, Grace struggles with her difficult past and tries to create a better future not only for at-risk teenagers, but also for her boyfriend Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) and herself.

“The movie was about children and foster homes,” Rexford said. “To be an executive producer who takes risks supporting tough stories for the mainstream public is really cool.” The film was praised for its real and touching story line and received the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. “I’d like to think, in baseball terms, that the movie is a walk-off grand slam,” Kaplan said. “It’s been doing really well in the Indie genre.” The acting in the movie has also been praised. Brie Larson’s performance was deemed “Oscar worthy” by Vanity Fair. “Short Term 12” began playing in select theatres starting August 23.