By AMBER AINSWORTH, Staff Writer
The jinn, a mythological concept of the east, has stormed into the west, bringing with it a wave of supernatural energy, blended with a culture not often known of in western societies. The jinn are seen as beings that exist in some sort of dimension different than those that humans reside in.
Director Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad always wondered why there were no movies about the notion.Thus, Jinn the movie was born.
According to the Executive Producer of Jinn, Richard Mandell, Ahmad had wanted to create a film about the concept since he was a kid so when he became a director, he had big plans to put into motion.
The film was completely filmed and created in Michigan; it was something made by Michigan for Michigan, as the cast and crew would like to say. Being a mitten based flick was an interesting and appealing feature of the movie. The scenes brought familiar sites around the state to the big screen.
One of the most notable locations on the screen was none other than the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus; a site that evoked not only an explosion of applause in the theater during the North American premiere of the movie, but a few “go blue!” chants as well.
The movie made its debut at the Detroit Institute of Arts, a tasteful and extremely fitting location to bring Jinn to the Western world. Premiering in the Motor City was a choice that paired quite well with the presence of the Firebreather, a stylish and sleek ride whose parts in the movie were nearly as vital as human roles in films.
Making a movie in Michigan, though a growing location for the industry, is still a risky process. Despite this, Exxodus Pictures took the leap of faith.
Producer Ben Dresser says making the movie was a “completely new way of doing it,” when asked about making an entire movie outside of Hollywood. It was a learning curve for everyone involved in producing the film, though one wouldn’t guess that when viewing Jinn.
The entire film is an example of how dedicated every single member of the cast and crew was to the project. Lead actor Dominic Rains said, “It’s about the journey in acting.” Jinn definitely shines as a prime example of a journey that was well worth the four years it took to shape the movie.
Perhaps the most capturing aspect of the film pertains to the special effects beautifully put together and could easily be mistaken as something straight out of Hollywood, though like the rest of the film, were conceived right here in Michigan.
Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Coleman, as well as the rest of the people it took to bring the movie to life, did an absolutely stunning job at creating an independent Michigan film with the charisma and feel of a bigtime motion picture.
Actor Faran Tahir, who has played in movies such as Iron Man and Star Trek, said that there was a different type of warmth and love when filming in Michigan in comparison to the other locations he has worked at.
The production seems even more amazing when comparing the budget of Jinn to a larger scale movie; the budget of the entire Jinn movie equates to just about two scenes in a Hollywood produced movie.
Amazing doesn’t begin to describe what those behind Jinn were able to create, especially with such little funds at their disposal.
One thing is definite; making Jinn was a choice that could have been either hit or miss. Though creating Jinn was such a new ordeal, the movie rose to the occasion, becoming an engaging and heart pounding supernatural thriller that was full of energy from start to finish.
Jinn was officially released in theaters on April 4. For dates, times, and locations to catch it, visit jinnthemovie.com/listings.