Private Project

The Soul Graffiti

When a local heritage radio station falls under tough financial times thanks to a format change and a world of other entertainment options, KANT owner Ray Dinkins, Jr. is intent on selling his late father’s creation to a corporate cell phone company. This news forces anxious bookworm Ben Cross and self-destructive morning DJ Niki Bliss to seek a higher purpose.

It will take Ben, Niki, overworked part-timer Madison, night jock J-Dub, Randy “The Cowboy” and a host of others to make a last ditch effort to keep “101 The Jam” on the air. Along the way, Ben and Niki learn a lot about what they are truly capable of and begin changing how they view the world and their places in it.

Together, with the help of modern technology and an entire community hell-bent to #SaveTheJam, everyone finds the true meaning of “soul graffiti.”

  • Jet Ainsworth
    Any Last Words, Hope & Mike's Open Mic, Bulletproof
  • Jet Ainsworth
  • Jet Ainsworth
  • Danielle Brower
    Key Cast
    "Niki Bliss"
  • Kyle Loethen
    Key Cast
    "Ben Cross"
  • Hannah Heart
    Key Cast
    "Madison Dee"
  • Dub I.z
    Key Cast
  • Derek T. Goodin
    Key Cast
    "Randy Rogers"
  • Justin Stidham
    Key Cast
    "Ray Dinkins, Jr."
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 55 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 27, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jet Ainsworth

Jet Ainsworth is a Filipino-American writer, producer, director, actor and singer-songwriter from Columbia, MO. Ainsworth spent a majority of his adult life in the television and radio broadcasting industry as a writer, talk show host and producer. He has written and produced 10 films, entertaining both critics and audiences with the short film "Any Last Words," the music video "Bulletproof," and the feature rock comedy "Hope & Mike's Open Mic." In 2021, Ainsworth has written, directed and produced his fourth feature "The Soul Graffiti."

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

While creating this film, my intention was to design new, relatable friends for the audience. People they have never met, yet they somehow seem very familiar. As a film lover, I've found that stories with intelligent characters that don't realize they are lost can be quite interesting as you watch them discover how little they know and slowly become better versions of themselves. Especially when that story ends with hope that you, too, can overcome yourself in a singular moment.

The inspirations for this film were many. From an aesthetic, we were looking to perform, shoot and pace the story in a classic 80's & 90's style of storytelling. Character-driven films like "Dazed & Confused," "High Fidelity," "Almost Famous," and even "Ghostbusters" presented an ensemble cast with wit, charm, flaws and ultimately, redemption. But moreso than anything... fun for the audience.

Why choose a radio station for the backdrop of this story? I've worked in broadcasting for close to 25 years -- when I first started in the late 90's, the little radio station I worked for still played records and CDs, had full-time staff, live DJ's for 24 hours a day, etc. These days, things are a lot different, and over my career I've lived through and have seen all of the scenarios that play out in "The Soul Graffiti." From the characters to the situations, everything is based in truth. It was also important to me personally to deliver a "radio movie" that was true to the artform, the nuance and the still dimly lit magic of the voice in the machine. There have only been a small handful of films or TV shows that have "gotten it right" when it comes to depicting what goes on behind the curtain. Thanks to a cast and crew filled with current and former radio professionals, every moment was crafted with love and a wink.

From a production standpoint, we began pre-production a few months before the pandemic reached the United States. This made for a difficult production in 2020, keeping cast and crew small, monitoring health and safety precautions, stopping production for weeks or months at a time, and of course a lot of rescheduling. But everyone involved came with enthusiasm no matter how long the layoff, because they knew they were working on something honest, aware and uplifting.

"Keep your roots... change your leaves" as a tagline stuck immediately for us as we find characters dealing with their lives in the way they've always dealt with past trauma and everyday scenarios. Of course, leading to the same results. Something we can all relate to. But it also refers to the radio station itself -- once a star-filled pillar of a small community, now a watered-down and predictable entity that has become as dismissed in modern living as the Sony Walkman.

I hope you are entertained by "The Soul Graffiti" and it creates a few chuckles, maybe a tear or two, and a big grin at the end. I also hope it eventually inspires someone to "Decide. Commit. Succeed."