Cover preview

We gathered around  the computer screen, the entire family, to watch an early cut of Cover, the latest short film from Hyperphotonic Media.  Dylan was to my left, Ben next to him, and Heather draped over my shoulders as I sat in my chair in the study.  Eyes were riveted, jaws were clenched, and nails were being chewed as the story moved along,  shot within the hallowed halls of the Fort McMurray Public Library.

This work-in-progress is being screened as part of Nextfest happening right now in Edmonton. Featured are Misty Oakes (Ashley), Toddske (Scott), Brodie Dransutavicius (Todd), Steve Reeve (Mr. Raimi), Richard Baldonado (Angry Man), and Angela Johnson (Legion/Woman).  Directed by Tito Guillen, Cover is great story and a compelling film.

I saw an even earlier cut of this film, before the first layers of effects were added.  It was gripping then, it is even more so now with the requisite suspense-imbued music track.  Once the punches, kicks, steps and ambient sounds get brought into the mix, this piece will undoubtedly become a Halloween viewing tradition - a primer to get you into the mood for the year's most spooky day.

Misty Oakes, seen most recently in KTC's Bedtime Stories, is exceptionally strong as the boyfriend-battered librarian who decides to take matters into her own hands (and into one of the hands of her not-so-significant other).

In doing so, she unleashes a terrifying chain of close encounters of the undead kind and a final showdown with Todd, played convincingly by Brodie, last seen on the Keyano Theatre stage in The Farnsworth Invention.  The chemistry between these two - in this case, toxic chemistry - works exceptionally well.

Loveable and smitten Scott, played by Toddske, helps add to the high drama that ensues as all kinds of demonic forces get unleashed from the creepy book of secrets designed by the talented Stacey Northcotte.

Innovative use of space, convincing make-up, compelling performances, cinematography that rocks, and an excellent story make Cover an elegant piece of zombie filmmaking and a must-see when it debuts in its finished state.  It will be interesting to hear the feedback when it gets its test run down south.

I went over to YouTube to check how this creative klatch did on their previous work, Arkham Rising. To date, it has been viewed over 80,000 times.  For a merry band of imagineers in Fort McMurray who do the film thing along with a popular podcast ( as side gigs, it is pretty astounding and damn impressive.  My sense is that Cover will go wider, scare deeper, and draw viewers into its grip in far greater numbers.  It might even inspire one or two nightmares, so be forewarned before you sit down and watch it.


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