Nearly everyone in Jordan Scott’s life is a director.
“They’re everywhere,” she says, sitting in her West Hollywood office. “We live on top of each other.” There’s her father, Ridley (American Gangster), and her uncle, Tony (the recent remake of The Taking of Pelham 123), whose production office, Scott Free, is right next door. Then there’s her boyfriend, who directs shorts, and her brothers, Luke, who makes commercials, and Jake, a film director with an office across the hall.
So it’s no surprise that after a decade of directing music videos and commercials, the flame-haired Jordan, 31, is about to unveil her first feature. While her father and uncle make special effects–heavy, shoot-’em-up blockbusters, Jordan’s debut film, Cracks, is an intimate study of a diving teacher (played by the stunning Eva Green) who enthralls a group of schoolgirls—and not always in ways Miss Jean Brodie would approve of.
“Getting on the set [of Cracks] that first time, it was like, Phew, this is what I want to do,” Scott recalls.
The film, she says, was inspired in part by one of her favorites, Peter Weir’s mysterious Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), as well as by her own London girls’ school education. In its depiction of teenage girls, Cracks, based on the novel by Sheila Kohler, suggests Lord of the Flies on estrogen. “I understood that camaraderie amongst girls, that strange hierarchy and utter drama,” Scott says. Not that she harbored a crush on any of her teachers, none of whom, she swears, looked like former Bond girl Green.
Scott shot the movie in Ireland in 2008 for about $15 million with mostly unknown actresses. She’s particularly excited about its premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. “You’re in your blissful bubble up to this point,” she says, noting that she thinks her family really likes the film. “But they’re biased,” she jokes. “They have to like it. And since it’s my first, this time I get a get-out-of-jail-free card.”