'The Land' Filmmakers Are Proud of Their CLE Roots
by David C. Barnett
A film about Cleveland… shot in Cleveland… by Clevelanders opens today. The Land --- written and directed by native son Steven Caple Jr. ---
is a drama about family, skateboarding, and the consequences of street crime.
The Land was filmed in local neighborhoods last summer and features a number of landmarks that anchor it in a Cleveland not featured in tourist brochures --- from Max Hayes High School to the Old-Fashion Hot Dog Inn. Speaking at an advanced screening of his feature film debut, Steven Caple Jr said he got push-back when he argued to shoot the story in Cleveland.
"That was one of the questions constantly asked," he says, "when I was pitching this project: 'Why don't you make it in Detroit? Why don't you make it in New York? Why don't you make it in Chicago.?' But, I know all those stories. I told them, 'Can you tell me something about Cleveland Ohio, besides Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, besides LeBron James? Let me show you the culture, let me show you where I came up from.'"
Influential Northeast Ohio producer Tyler Davidson gave Caple the leverage to make The Land locally and secure a production crew. Famed Cleveland-bred rapper Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly, is also a co-producer and has a bit part in the film, which features several of his songs on the soundtrack.