Why He’s Interesting: Caple’s formative years growing up in Ohio City heavily influenced his 2016 directorial debut The Land. The John Marshall grad used Cleveland as the backdrop for the story of four teenage skateboarders who turn into drug dealers. Caple also lined up a powerful soundtrack featuring Erykah Badu, Kanye West and Machine Gun Kelly. He is currently working on a new project for HBO — a series on Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy murdered in Mississippi in 1955.
Native Son: After seeing New York, Los Angeles and Chicago depicted on the big screen, Caple realized his dream of spotlighting his hometown. “All of the places in the film were places I went in high school where I did things I wasn’t supposed to do.” When The Land was screened in Amsterdam, he was pleasantly surprised at the audience response. “It was very emotional. There were a lot of black and Latino people there who really related to it.”
License To Love: Caple’s big year included marrying his high school sweetheart, Ciara, who he first met in a driving school on Lorain Avenue. “When people think of proposing, they think of a hot-air balloon or a perfect sunset. Ten years after we met, I proposed to Ciara at that driving school.”
Will Power: Caple’s HBO series is being co-produced by Jay-Z, Casey Affleck and his childhood idol, Will Smith. “I read Will Smith’s autobiography when I was 9. He talked about empowerment and fulfilling your dreams. And now, I’m actually about to work with him.”
Inner Visions: Caple, a self-confessed daydreamer, loves to sit on a hill or the top floor of a building. “If I see a view, I immediately zone out. I always walked the Carnegie Bridge, because the view of Cleveland was so cool.” He also writes poetry that he never shows anybody. “It helps me create without creating.”
Over Board: While many of his childhood friends skateboarded, Caple made his way through the neighborhood on a BMX bike. “I suck at skateboarding. I tried it again on set [of The Land], and I almost killed myself.”
Eye Witness: As a kid Caple was a bit of a loner and wanted to be a police officer, then an FBI agent, then a computer programmer. “I kept to myself. I was always observant, whether I was on a bus or sitting in a classroom. I’m still that way. I’m not judging, just absorbing.”
History Lessons: Caple is taking a gloves-off strategy in his adaptation of the Emmett Till story. “The story is harsh, and I told HBO I was going to be raw with it. I don’t want to sugarcoat anything.” He’s using the same approach in researching another project — the story of Wendell Scott, a moonshine runner and NASCAR’s first African-American driver.