Adelphi’s Own Scream Queen: Jade Dorely
By Bridie Raustiala
Jade Dorely likes to creep people out. "I love working with blood," said the Adelphi senior and award-winning filmmaker. Dorely enjoys all things creepy, which is why she is specializing in horror.
While she has only begun making films in college, Dorely has notoriety within the industry. The filmmaker recently won the audience choice award at the Adelphi University Fall Film Festival for her film "Huggies.” She also has several projects she is working on, all of which are horror and drama.
Dorely was raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She started at AU as a journalism and public relations major. Then she realized that path was not for her. When Professor Terrence Ross pushed her into filmmaking, Dorely learned, "I had this creativity and nowhere to put it." In her sophomore year, she took the plunge, immersing herself in the study of film.
Through her major in communications with a concentration on digital production and cinema studies, Dorely has worked with many individuals that have inspired and impacted her as a filmmaker. She had the opportunity to work with Ross, who has been quite influential in her work. Impressed by her work as his student Ross invited Dorely to work on his short movie. Her role on set was continuity. She had to ensure every shot was the same.
Ross said he admires her attention to detail and her ability to speak up. "Over the years, she evolved so much," he said. "I have confidence she'll end up in the film industry."
Despite her potential for success in the field, one glaring obstacle she finds is the lack of female directors, especially within the horror industry. One study spanning 1988-2017 reveals that only 5.9 percent of horror directors were female. Even with the odds against her, this doesn't seem to faze Dorely, whose favorite director is Jordan Peele. “He is one of the best. I admire Peele's success and hope to emulate that in the future.”
Virginia Maloney, who works in the Communications office and graduated last year, doesn’t doubt that she will. "She'll achieve big things for sure,” she said. The two met through Ross and have been close ever since. They share a commitment to challenging themselves and each other as innovators. Dorely describes Maloney as "such a rock." Dorely considers Maloney and Ross as the foundation of her support system of people who genuinely want her to succeed. Maloney said Dorely is "one of the best filmmakers in the department." The two collaborated on several of Dorely's films.
Maloney is currently helping her with some upcoming projects as well. "Her dedication to her craft is the strongest of anyone I know or have known in this department," said Maloney.
Dorely's dedication to filmmaking has paid off within her department. Her award-winning film "Huggies'' brought well-timed fears to the big screen. Due to the pandemic physical touch became a real fear and Dorely exploited this fear in her art. Ross said her ability to incorporate her environment and issues of the day into her work shows she's "in touch with reality."
Over the last few years, Dorely has made many films. Last semester, she participated in a movie-a-month challenge for which each month throughout the semester, she wrote and directed a new movie. When asked how many films she has created, she replied, "Too many to count." Similar to "Huggies," many of her films are rooted in her own experiences of the world. For example, her film "Wake Up" depicts one of the realities she endures. Dorely suffers from a condition known as sleep paralysis. She used this harsh reality and turned it into a movie. "Real life is scary," said Dorely.
The filmmaker is currently working on a few projects. One deals with the heavy topic of sexual assault. "It is really important to me," noted Dorely. About this project, she stated, "Everyone is going to feel something." She is grateful for her crew and believes the project will do well.
On top of her written projects, she collaborates with other artists' films. She'll be directing a movie while a friend writes it. "She's got a story and I am going to shoot it," said Dorely. She loves working with her peers and has worked with many people over the last few semesters.
"She is so knowledgeable and insightful about filmmaking, and it's impossible not to learn from her," said senior Alyssa Krell. So many people who work with Dorely have nothing but positive experiences. She is a well-informed filmmaker who strives to better herself as a creator. She constantly pushes herself.
When asked for her advice for those interested in the film industry, she said, "Just jump in headfirst and shit yourself afterward." She emphasizes that it is okay to be scared but to push through those fears. Dorely believes that you have to get through it no matter how scary it may be. Ultimately, she said, "You'll be creating something incredible."