June 17, 2019
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Filmmakers to screen Tess Gerritsen-penned horror movie shot in Camden

CAMDEN, Maine — The zero hour has arrived for a horror movie that was filmed and produced in Camden.

The first public screening of the horror movie Island Zero is set for Saturday evening at the Camden Opera House.

“I’m super happy with it,” producer Mariah Klapatch said Wednesday.

The film was directed by Josh Gerritsen, the son of author Tess Gerritsen. Josh and Mariah both grew up and went to schools in Camden. Tess Gerritsen wrote the screenplay for Island Zero in 2015.

The movie was filmed locally, mostly in March, but one of the biggest scenes — the burning of a house on Thomas Street in Camden — was filmed in early May. The cast and crew consisted of about 50 people with Klapatch estimating 80 percent of them as local residents.

Actors in the film include Laila Robbins, who has appeared in many movies, including as the wife of Steve Martin’s character in the 1987 movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” and on television, including Showtime series “Homeland.”

Other actors in the film are Adam Wade McLaughlin, Teri Reeves and Matthew Wilkas.

Klapatch said an additional three days of filming occurred after the big fire scene.

Michael Emmerman came to Maine from California after shooting ended to begin the editing process for the film.

“When he arrived, we pretty much locked him in Josh’s room,” Klapatch said to get the film ready for the Oct. 29 screening.

The editing of a movie can be done anywhere now, she said, if you have a computer with a large enough hard drive and a souped-up processor.

Marc Bartholomew of Portland was responsible for the sound effects and the Baltimore firm The Creative Garden produced the visual special effects. Island Zero runs 99 minutes.

“I don’t like horror movies longer than that,” said Klapatch who studied film and television at New York University and splits her time between Los Angeles and Camden.

The movie is set on a remote island that has lost power and communications with the outside world after the ferry from the mainland fails to arrive. People begin dying off in gruesome and mysterious ways as a core group of residents begin to find clues to what is behind the acts.

A sea monster plays a role in the movie with the theme rooted in climate change and the impact humans have on the environment.

Now that the film has been completed, the team is submitting Island Zero to various film festivals such as Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah. The film has been submitted to three festivals that have earlier deadlines but Island Zero will be entered in more after the screening, she said.

The film is also now being marketed to different distributors, she said. The goal is for the film to be shown in theaters by the end of 2017.

Klapatch declined to reveal the final budget for the film but earlier this year had estimated it would be in the range of $350,000.

Island Zero is the first movie produced by Klapatch but she says it will not be her last.

“I can’t wait to make another film in Maine,” Klapatch said. She said she plans on her next film to be an erotic thriller.

The screening is for family, friends and people who worked in the movie. She said that the seating is full for the showing.

 



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