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Bigfoot spotted in Prince Edward County

McCoy, played by Prince Edward County’s Paul Massey. Photo courtesy of The Woodsmen.

Ranger S. Lewis played by MacKenzie Hogle and Bigfoot. Photo courtesy of The Woodsmen

By Olivia Timm
Bigfoot was not only spotted in Prince Edward County, he was filmed here as well.

The ‘best Bigfoot ever’ is proposed in The Woodsmen, created by Belleville filmmakers Five Year Plan.

“Bigfoot has always been exciting for me. I have loved Bigfoot films since I was a little kid, even Harry and The Hendersons … they had a great Bigfoot that looked real and was convincing,” said director Victor Cooper.

Though Cooper has been intrigued by Bigfoot since he was young, he said was never quite satisfied with the portrayal of the beast on screen.

“Bigfoot didn’t get much face time, and if he did, you kind of wished that he didn’t because he looked so bad. For me this is a chance to give horror fans and Bigfoot fans what they have been waiting for.”

After their successful first short horror film ‘Mercy’ aired, Victor and his wife Jodi began writing the script for The Woodsmen.

Cooper said he and his team knew their version of Bigfoot needed to be a strong, compelling role in order to give fans what they’ve been promised.

After getting concept drawings made up, they approached The Butcher Shop Makeup and FX studio in Hamilton to make Bigfoot come to life.

“They created a custom Bigfoot built around me. They poured gel over my head and my hands and my legs, and they made a form of me … So when I put the suit on it is built perfectly to my body. I can move my hands and my fingers; I can move all of my facial expressions and it follows me perfectly,” Cooper explained.

The first passion project, Mercy, had a small budget of $700, compared to The Woodsmen’s budget of $14,287.

Mercy was reviewed by Reel Red Reviews as a film that should not be missed. The review stated, “Kirsten Wight

County actors Kirsten Wight and Paul Massey

makes a terrifying serial killer, with her cold stare and eerily measured voice.”

Although Wight, also a Prince Edward County resident, will not play the role of the killer in this second film, she still takes on one of the lead characters and said she is excited for the movie to get under way.

“It is going really well. We’ve done a read-through, we’ve done a whole run-through of the movie and the cast is gelling really well … I think we’re in for a really fun week of filming.”

Jodi Cooper

Five Year Plan is a creative company that runs out of Belleville. The four members of the team are Victor and Jodi Cooper, along with Rob Howsam and his wife Kirsten Wight. The team has partnered with Vantage Point Media House in Belleville.

VIctor Cooper 

“It has been such a local project. All the money to fund this project came from mostly people in the Belleville, Prince Edward County and Hastings areas, and all of our actors are local people, so it kind of just shows what support you can get in this community,” Wight said.

Wight was able to set up one of the movie’s filming locations in Prince Edward County for the cast to use.

Jodi Cooper also said the local aspect makes the experience a good one.

“Everybody from Five Year Plan is local … I would say that it is 100 per cent because of the local area that this is even up and running. Four months ago we had zero money, and now we have enough to make this film. The local community rallied; not just Belleville but Prince Edward County.”

In order to thank the ‘backers’ – those who have donated and supported the film via crowdfunding, the team of co-creators have given people recognition in a variety of memorable ways.

Based on the amount of money donated, people were given t-shirts, some had their picture featured on the missing person’s board. Others were sent a signed postcard, or were given the opportunity to be an extra on set.

This was their way of saying thank you, according to Cooper.

Another way the team is giving back to the community is offering the finished product free of charge on multiple platforms.

Cooper is also a senior producer with VPMH and said the goal is to complete the 15-minute movie in two weeks.

Though that does not sound like much to do, Cooper said when you consider shooting each sequence several times to get it where it needs to be, it can take a lot of time.

Cooper said the team hopes for a Christmas release at the soonest, since some tend to enjoy snuggling in for a scary movie during the winter season.

Mercy, the trailer

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