Teenager Finds Hot Market for Movie Script
A number of decisions confront Jessica Kaplan as she prepares for her senior year in high school: which courses to take, what clothes to wear - and what Hollywood stars to consider for her movie.
''Powers That Be,'' a movie script that Kaplan wrote in eight months during her junior year, has been bought by New Line Cinema for $150,000. While top screenwriters earn several million dollars for scripts, a six-figure sale is unheard of for someone as young and inexperienced as Kaplan.
The material for ''Powers That Be'' stemmed from Kaplan's observations of her classmates. The script is about white, affluent suburban teenagers who, in their search for an identity, latch onto hip-hop culture and gangsta rap.
''It's mindless exploitation. These rich kids get attracted to it, then get in trouble and then turn their backs on it,'' she says.
Kaplan's script was discovered when she was an intern at a video production company, and a writing coach and agent helped her on her way. New Line Cinema spokesman Steve Elzer expects the film to be on screens in a year or two.
Kaplan says she will put her earnings from ''Powers That Be'' into directing and producing her own films. She plans to attend a local college part time so she can be free to write more screenplays.