The Making of Copiii: The 1st Entry

by GUY BARNHART
Gus Cooper is obsessed. In between shooting commercials and music videos and touring the country promoting his award-winning short film, Velvet Road, Cooper has written a feature film that is now in production. Cooper is consumed with creating and nothing will stop him. EU is excited to have the exclusive scoop on the film titled Copiii: The First Entry, which will be produced and filmed in Northeast Florida.
The inspiration for Copiii comes from Cooper’s interest in urban legends, fairy tales and horror. The idea for the film came to him while he was attending film school but in between producing Velvet Road and starting his career. He quietly set the project aside until the time was right. While he was in New York for the New York City International Film Festival, Cooper was inspired by all of the creative films he saw. After this experience, he knew exactly what he wanted his first feature film to be. Upon returning to Jacksonville he dusted off his old story and began to expand it, turning a small concept into a full-length film.
The film examines ancient legends surrounding a tribe of gypsies that have now scattered across the world. According to legend, they carry a curse that is rooted in a sacred pact made with the forces of evil. Cooper uses this legend as springboard for examining deeper aspects of human fear and morality.
Writing the film has been a collaborative effort. Gus has partnered with local writers Coe Douglass and Jon Bosworth, producers Jonathan Shepard and Duane A. Sikes as well as Executive Producer Tommy Zaccour, to help develop his concept and give structure to his ideas. During the writing process they have developed characters anyone can identify with. The main characters have come from various backgrounds and are all dealing with the situation they have been placed in in different ways. The horror of the story brings out not only the darkest in these characters but also their resilience and strength.
Cooper is no stranger to the trials of production. He is adamant in asserting that making an independent film is hard work. Even if one has a phenomenal idea, they still must secure financing, scout locations, find a crew willing to work for very little and then find a way to distribute the film. And none of these can be done alone. Film, unlike many arts, is not an individual pursuit but rather a collaborative effort. EU will continue to cover the development of Copiii as a series in future editions and reveal more about the story of one of the most exciting projects to happen in North Florida in quite sometime. The film will wrap production soon and a special Jacksonville premiere is soon to be announced.

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october, 2021

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