Indie Film of the Day: ‘Low Low’
“I was a teenager once. This is that story.”
—Nick Richey, 2019
Low Low is a coming-of-age teen drama that finds four high school girls navigating their last day of summer. Beset by sex, drugs and violence, this cautionary tale of misguided youth becomes a story of atonement.
We’re shining a spotlight on Nick Richey, the talented filmmaker behind Low Low. Nick started his entertainment career in Portland, OR as the local host of the Kids WB. Touring as a rapper for seven years with his band Thick as Thieves inevitably led Nick to quit music and focus his creative writing on screenplays and teleplays.
As a writer, Nick recently had a television series entitled Bedlam in development at CBS Studios with Karyn Smith-Forge and Tiffany Grant executive producing. His production company Halfway Crooks Entertainment also sold their first short, Birthday Boy, to HBO Films in 2017.
Nick has another television series, Section 8, currently in development with Star Trek’s Jonathan Frakes attached to direct and Frakes’s frequent costar Brent Spiner attached to star, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream of Nick’s as a Trekkie.
In Low Low we find Ryan, Cherry, Lana and Willy navigating their last day of summer in a failing town. What begins as a cautionary tale of misguided youth becomes a story of atonement.
Ryan is desperate to pass her high school exit exam, but in lieu of studying, she succumbs to peer pressure and parties, setting off a spiral that has her bombing the exam, barreling into a fist fight, and partaking in a forbidden seduction with her mother’s boyfriend.
But Ryan isn’t alone in this collapse; Willy, Lana and Cherry are also forced to confront their own demons. Together they hit rock bottom. It’s here that their mettle – and their love for each other – is solidified. They will always be defined by their friendship and as Ryan opens her exam results, she is confronted by a message of hope, staring down at that one word: “PASS.”
Nick has previously worked on these well received projects:
The Girl in the Cellar (2019): Producer
This drama and horror short follows a successful but emotionally fractured woman who must confront a horrific secret from her past when her daughter befriends a spirit haunting the cellar.
Bedlam (2017): Star and producer
This comedic thriller follows a film crew who set out to create a redemption story for a recently released psychiatric patient, Colin Krynak (Nick Richey). Their documentary is transformed into a comedy of horrors as the realization sets in: they’ve set a raging sociopath on the loose.
After the Tone (2016): Writer, co-producer, co-director
This comedic short follows an anxious young woman who is repeatedly forwarded to her boyfriend’s voicemail as she finds herself spiraling into a comedic world of irrational frustration.
Star of Relativity (2012): Writer, producer
This drama, action and sci-fi film follows a rogue scientist whose fear of death leads him down a dangerous and destructive path as he risks everything in his search for immortality through time travel.
First Date (2011): Producer
This comedic short follows a boy named Tom who is extremely nervous about his first date with his dream girl, Julie. After some reassuring that he’ll be fine, he goes to pick up his date in his brother’s car. He arrives at Julie’s house, but he must meet the over-protective father before they leave. They never end up leaving.
Still on the fence? Here’s what industry experts have to say
“…Richey’s instincts…prove impeccable…the visceral way in which the writer-director captures his subjects’ triumphs and travails provides an unflinching portrait of modern teens on the fringes of society.”
“…a strong debut… [Richey] shows a real compassion and understanding for these women…empathizing with the worries and woes of some people whose lives are rarely reflected on screen.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Let’s start by just saying Low Low is a fantastic independent film about the transition in life from teenager to young adult…A beautiful coming-of-age story that literally comes out of nowhere…”
Catch Low Low at the following screenings:
September 11th, 2019
Las Vegas, NV
September 12th, 2019
Low Low is a fresh, bracing take on the coming-of-age teen drama that finds four working class high-school girls navigating their last days of high school through a haze of sex, drugs and violence, each trying to find their way to the next phase in life without losing everything.
Starring Ali Richey, Alexis Raich, Kacie Rogers, Montana Roesch, Elaine Hendrix, Sean Carrigan, Dominique Columbus, Tyler Chase, Adam Elshar, Savannah Stehlin, Moniqua Plante. Directed by Nick Richey.
Low Low was released in select theaters on August 16, 2019.
I was a teenager once. I’ll spare you the boring platitudes. Blue collar to the bone in the lower middle class, my crew basked in a lack of supervision. We were jacking clothes from the mall, peddling our virginity and shoulder-tapping for cheap beer.
At home, checks were bouncing, Mom was working a double at Red Lobster and Dad just checked in to a state-sponsored NA rehab facility. You can put this story on loop, multiply it by fifty and you’ll have an idea of the havoc that teens like us could unleash on a community.
Low Low is entrenched in this community, this socioeconomic class that always seems to be slipping through the cracks. A coming-of-age drama for a new generation, this film exposes their world through the fading youth of four young women, beset by the obstacles of their circumstances.
The weary trope of high school girls betraying each other in petty disputes is the sort of chaff cast aside and replaced with an honest reality that deals in the simultaneous strength that young women must grasp to navigate their high school lives and the insecurity that they battle to arrive at an identity they can be proud of.
Over the course of these scripted thirty-six hours, Ryan, Cherry, Lana and Willy are spending the last moments of their final high school summer confronting drugs, sex and violence, the lower–class rites of passage.
Within their uncertain future there is a unique opportunity to lay this world bare. There’s no rose-colored lens from which we fantasize and hide behind. It’s apparent in the style and tone of the production. Scraping together every resource we could muster, our Low Low team is now able to present a film as unforgiving and raw as our bellicose group of girls.
I grew up watching Kids. Christine Vachon and Larry Clark changed my life. It was the first time I sat in a movie theater and saw teens like me – like my friends. I set out to make a film that truly represents the young women I grew up with, while also putting a spotlight on a vastly underrepresented lower-class culture.
Straddling the line and reveling in the moral grey area of society provides a deep well of questions and conflict from which the themes of this film arise: the idea of corrupted youth; the unapologetic actions of teenagers that have grown up too quickly, almost unaware of their own sustained innocence.
Low Low is an empowering film about setting a course against the implacable powers of low expectations. It’s a film about the untold stories of friendship.