Movie studio brings horror to Hamden

Heather Cerrato

What’s your favorite scary movie? Sorry, “Scream IV” is not coming to a theater near you, but thanks to Tripeg Studios on State Street in Hamden, be prepared to get spooked. On Oct. 24, Tripeg Studios will premiere the horror flick, “Predator Island,” at Showcase Studios in North Haven. The film will be available on DVD and VHS at Hollywood Video, Blockbuster Video, Tommy K’s, and the following day.

“Predator Island” is the first film to be made in Connecticut from beginning to end and to be distributed nationally,” Andrew Gernhard, the film’s producer, said. Realizing that creature features are highly marketable right now, Gernhard created the original idea for the movie. Shot in Old Saybrook, Ansonia, and Hamden, all the special effects and editing for the film were done at the studio thanks to today’s technology. “Making the film is easy,” Gernhard said. “It’s distributing that’s hard.” With the help of Universal, who bought the film, distribution was made much easier.

The film, originally called “Hell’s Beacon,” centers around six friends who became shipwrecked on a lighthouse island off the New England coast. After a meteor crashes in the water causing a horrifying storm, some unexpected visitors invade the island. The stranded friends are forced to fight for their survival as the aliens pursue their every move.

A year ago this month, three local entrepreneurs established Tripeg Studios and have been recruiting local talent ever since. Ed Fortin of Fortin Electric Company, George DeMartin of Continental Contracting, Inc. and Phil Gauvin of Pyro-FX Group attempted to create a movie market in an area where one did not exist. They recognized the lack of studios in New England and didn’t want people to have to move to New York City or Boston to fulfill their film destinies.

Gernhard has been so absorbed in the movie business for the last eight years that he doesn’t even know what year it is. His advice to future production majors is to “stick at it and put in a lot of time.”

Tripeg is already hard at work on their future endeavors. They are in post-production of their next creature feature “Blood Descendants” which only took three months to create rather than the eight it took to produce “Predator Island.” Other ideas they have for the future include screenwriting seminars, a summer film camp for children, and student internships.

For ticket information, call 203-603-9386 or visit Tripeg Studios at 2155 State Street in Hamden.