L. Gustavo Cooper ("Velvet Road") has teamed with Executive Producers, Duane A. Sikes, Tommy Zaccour and Jonathan Shepard to bring to life the story of an ancient Romanian curse in "Copiii The 1st Entry."
The film follows Trevor and Holly Henderson, a newlywed couple, and their encounter with the curse.
L. Gustavo Cooper recently answered a few questions about the project.
Tell us what inspired you to make Copiii.
I was on a plane coming back from a screening of my short film that premiered in New York ("Velvet Road"). Inspired by some of the work that screened, I started to write a story based on a Romanian curse I learned about in my senior year of college. A fairy tale that was used to teach children not to sneak out of their house. On the two hour plane ride I bounced the idea off my partner Jonathan Shepard and the film was born! Copiii: The 1st Entry is the story of two newlyweds, Trevor and Holly Davidson, driving through Florida on the way to their honeymoon in Miami. A simple tourist stop in Cassadaga, the psychic capital of the world, for a tarot reading ends in a frightening encounter with Vjestica Patkavior, the scion of the ancient curse known as copiii pierdere, Romanian for “the loss of a child.”
Why did you choose to tell the story?
I felt it was an interesting spin on the psychological/paranormal story. It really fell together when Coe Douglas and I got together and figured out that this was a story to bring to light. After that was flushed out my co-writer Jon Boswroth and I went to work on the screenplay.
What is the story its based upon?
Well the story is a based on a Romain Folklore. The first official record of the group is disputed, but most attribute the origin to an attack made in 1539 in Bulgaria, on [[Alina Patkavior]], the originator of [[Din Burta de Sarpe]]. One night she was raped and beaten on her way home from the market. Impregnated by the group of the attackers, she fell into a deep depression. In a deep despair, the woman decided to take her own life. A demon appeared in the midst of her suicide. The demon offered her to take her pain if she were to give her first child to him in a year. The women agreed to the demon's deal and, in a year, he reappeared for what was promised to him, but the woman refused to give the demon her child. The demon, in a furious rage, cursed the woman and told her that no one in her clan would never have a child again. Children began to die; young men and women never reached the age of twelve. Only one boy, Alina's child, grew to be a man. He then married and wanted a child of his own. On his mothers deathbed, he asked his mother why all of the children of their people died. The women explained that she had made a deal with the devil and that there was still time to make wrong what was right. The man summoned the demon , as his mother wished, and asked it for forgiveness. The demon refused, but said that he would make the man another deal. The demon told the man that, if he sheds blood in his name, that he will give the man a son. The man, confused, told the demon that he is one of good faith and that he will never do something like that. The demon gave him a passage to read when the time was right. Eventually, curiosity and want of a child drove the man to read from the passage of the [[Din Burta de Sarpe]]. After a time, word travelled to the man that people from surrounding villages had started to become very ill, and that they were dying. The man, devastated by what he had done, travels to the villages of the orphaned children and adopts them as his own. From then on, the clan was known as the Copiii Pierdere. The curse was passed down from generation to generation in order to fill their bloodline.
Tell us about the production.
The production of the film was great! Producer Jonathan Shepard and I got a great team assembled. We were in pre-production for about six months, carefully planning our way of execution. I remember getting into the first couple days and feeling great about everything, then the rain came. We had a monsoon coming at us, lights, camera, stands, everything exposed to the elements. We had a couple of challenges on this shoot everything from wild boogies holding knives from chickens that had attitude problems.
How was it financed?
We had great support from our Executive Producers Duane A. Sikes and Tommy Ziccour.
What was it shot on?
Ryan Dean (director of photography) and I battled how we approach this. We had a couple choices but felt that the our best bet was a RED MX 1.
Where did you shoot?
We shot all over Florida, Historical St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Elkon, and the mermaid capital of the world Weki Wachee, FL.
Tell us about your casting choices.
Well, Courtney Gardner (casting director) did a great job on selecting most of the Primary cast. I just so happen to meet Rod Luzzi and Gracy Carli in New York my last visit. I knew they were great talent and wanted to work with them, so I passed them the script and they were in! Emily was someone I had met years prior and always wanted to work with. Overall very happy with all the cast selections. Everyone did such a great job! It really made this film.
Where can people see the film?
We are working with the great sales team over at Raven Banner, so that is in the works right now.
What's your next project?
I can't announce anything just yet. But, let's just say that I have some stuff in the works.
For more about the film visit: http://copiiithemovie.com