HomeHaddonfield NewsLocal filmmaker shoots horror movie scene at Haddonfield boutique

Local filmmaker shoots horror movie scene at Haddonfield boutique

Mario Cerrito III, of Mantua Township, wants to make a big splash with new project

Director Mario Cerrito III, of Mantua Township, speaks to Kathryn Drewes, also of Mantua Township, on the set of a movie shoot Wednesday, July 18, at Six Clothing store in Haddonfield. Drewes has a minor role in a horror film Cerrito is making about a woman celebrating her birthday with her boyfriend.

Mantua Township filmmaker Mario Cerrito III is hoping his latest production, dubbed “Project K,” will make hundreds of millions of dollars, like other hit independent horror movies such as “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity.”

Cerrito is utilizing a technique similar to those films by shooting the bulk of the action on an iPhone. It will fall under the “found footage” genre, with the idea being viewers will believe the clips are real and recently surfaced publicly.

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“We’re keeping it under wraps as far as the premise,” Cerrito said while shooting a scene in Haddonfield. “It is a horror film. It’s going to be real gory. A lot of blood.”

Cerrito and his crew recently filmed one of the movie’s opening scenes at Six Clothing, a shop on Kings Highway.

In the scene, the main character, played by Elizabeth Gaynor, of Allentown, Pa., picks out a bright red dress to wear to a dinner with her boyfriend for her 40th birthday.

Needless to say, not everything is going to go smoothly at the restaurant, but no blood was spilled at the trendy boutique.

“I only know nobody gets killed in the store, so that was a positive,” said Erica Brand, of Haddonfield, owner of Six Clothing.

“Mario just kind of came in and said he really needed an upscale boutique,” she added. “I think it’s just a fascinating thing to be part of a movie.”

Some scenes have already been shot in Mantua Township and Riverside, and the bulk of the filming for the 80-minute feature will take place at a restaurant in Wilmington, Del., Cerrito said.

“Finding locations is tough,” he said. “It’s probably one of the hardest parts.”

Director Mario Cerrito III (right), of Mantua Township, films a scene for a movie Wednesday, July 18, at Six Clothing Store in Haddonfield alongside actor Tra Theno, of Philadelphia.

“Project K,” which is just a working title, will be Cerrito’s third film. The Audubon native released his first project, “Deadly Gamble,” in 2015. It later gained worldwide distribution, Cerrito said.

Cerrito said his second film, “The Listing,” is due to be released in early 2019 and will be shown at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May.

“That’s pretty big for an independent filmmaker,” he added.

All three of the films are horror flicks, and that’s more out of budgetary necessity than preference, Cerrito said.

“You can make a good horror movie for essentially nothing,” said Cerrito. “It’s all about the writing.”

“I don’t even want to call it low budget,” he added. “I call it no budget.”

“Project K” has a budget just under $20,000, which is around the same funding the wildly successful “Paranormal Activity” had in 2007. Cerrito said he held an audition in Philadelphia that attracted around 100 people, and he cast all local actors with limited credits.

Cerrito is doing all of the producing, directing, writing and editing for the film, which will likely be finished by January or February 2019. Then, the plan is to hit the festival circuit and look for a distribution deal, he said.

“It’s a long process,” Cerrito added. “You really have to be dedicated.”


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