Diamond Ruff was homeless at a young age but he was determined to succeed the streets of Hartford with grit, shrewdness and tenacity. Then, he was sent to prison for a murder he did not commit. What will become of him?
Ruff’s life is now in your hands as the graphic novel written by Connecticut native Joseph Young Jr. becomes a movie. The film, being shot in Hartford, could mean a chance for you to become a star. Auditions for the movie are being held on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Young Studios in Hartford.
But even if you don't want to be in the movie, you can still be a part of it. Young, a cartoonist, filmmaker, creator of the Scruples Comic characters and former holder of the Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Longest Comic Strip – is filming in Connecticut and opening up the movie process, showing you his plans and his company’s progress each week.
By tuning in, you’ll witness good practices that you might want to use for your own independent film, as well as the practices that didn’t work.
He’ll have a blog section on his site, where you can give your advice on the movie or just plain rave about it.
State Rep. Kenneth P. Green, D-Hartford, Bloomfield, held a news conference on Tuesday in support of support of the full length movie, which will be shot and edited in Hartford in 2010.
“I am happy to support Joe on this project to inspire Hartford youth,” Green said. “Hartford and other urban areas always have a diamond in the rough, but we will never know their potential without showcases like this. I look forward to a continued partnership with Joe in order to ensure that our young people are inspired to reach for higher heights.”
Young said his project, The Diamond Ruff Project, is a public inter-generational participatory project that he designed to inspire people to achieve their dreams.
He’s marketing it on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and others.
Young’s novel, Diamond Ruff, focuses on a 28-year-old multi-millionaire street-smart con artist named, Diamond Ruff, who meets a charismatic Generation X Martin Luther King Jr.-type, Reverend Trek Woods.
They form a bond and improve each other’s lives and inspire millions of people around the world. There’s social commentary, romance and themes of faith and redemption, all centered on Hartford.
The premiere of Young’s first video music production, also based on Diamond Ruff, “Are You Sleeping” will be held at the Bushnell on Saturday, Nov. 28. It’s about a tenacious miner looking for a diamond that motivates people to achieve their dreams.
In 1999, Young received the Daily Point of Light Award from the White House.