Featured Stories

OC filmmakers need help to finish sci-fi film

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO Oregon City filmmaker Rob Taylor, right, in character as Neil Stryker, the special agent hero of Taylor's film,

Special Agent Neil Stryker has defeated an evil cult, and he's perfectly willing to save the world from the machinations of a mad scientist while rescuing two damsels in distress, but he needs a little help.

Stryker is the alter ego of filmmaker (and Oregon City resident) Rob Taylor and the hero of 'The Mad Scientist,' 'a feature-length, sci-fi-action-adventure-comedy that takes place in the future, but is shot entirely in Portland and Oregon City,' said Nic Costa, co-writer, co-star and producer.

The film is 60-percent completed, Costa said, 'But we need the people of Clackamas to help get the film to the $10,000 finish line,' and the money must come in by July 19.

Taylor found out about an organization called Kickstarter, which is an online funding program that allows people to pledge money to help projects in the world of music, film, art and more.

Costa submitted the trailer of 'The Mad Scientist' to Kickstarter, and 'the response has already been huge; we hit 26 percent of our goal within 10 days and we're in the top five of Portland Kickstarter projects,' Costa said. [See sidebar for information on how to contribute to the project.]

Local residents

Although the film is listed on the Portland Kickstarter page, Costa, a 1999 graduate of OCHS, described the project as 'truly an OC production,' and it is easy to see why.

Taylor, the director, writer and actor, and his twin brother Neil, art director and animator, graduated from OCHS in 2000, along with Matt Zack, one of the actors in the film. All were involved in the drama department at the high school. And Efrem Peter, one of the directors of photography, is also from Oregon City.

The film

'The Mad Scientist' is actually a prequel to a previous Taylor Twin Pictures production called 'Evil Cult,' a straight-to-DVD film released in 2003, Rob Taylor said.

In that film, 'a mysterious wandering loner named Neil Stryker is offered a ride by someone driving by. He ends up in the hands of Walter, the leader of a cult, who tries to recruit him. When he refuses to join, [cult members] refuse to let him leave and mayhem ensues,' he said.

In 'The Mad Scientist,' audiences will again meet Stryker and find out what's he's all about. As the film begins, a dangerous and evil mad scientist escapes from a maximum-security mental health facility, and Stryker is the only one who can stop him.

Along the way we meet Darrel Freeway, the scientist's henchman, played by Costa, and Zack's character, Special Agent Kevin Humphries.

The two female characters, Veronica, a 'young rookie agent who is a sexy broad,' and Nurse Sharon, end up in peril, Taylor said.

Zack described his character as 'an agent who is hot-headed and thinks he's more important than he is; he wants to be in charge,' which, of course, creates some conflict with the Stryker character.

Zack said he met Taylor during their freshman year in high school and they bonded through watching movies. He's worked on Taylor's various film projects for years, noting, 'Who wouldn't want to be involved? We get on the set, we have ideas-it is a creative time and I feel good about it.'

Future

Looking ahead, director Taylor hopes to release 'The Mad Scientist' in December but figures he will need $10,000 to finish the movie, filming exteriors at night in N.E. Portland and looking around the coast for some rocky terrain.

He described filmmaking as his favorite thing to do and added that he loves set-building, especially anything futuristic. He grew up on his parents' five-acre property in Oregon City and has access to a huge shop, where he can build any set he wants.

Many of the interiors for 'The Mad Scientist' were filmed in the shop, and one exterior scene was shot in a nearby OC neighborhood.

He's hoping plenty of people will visit Kickstarter to support 'The Mad Scientist' and 'help make the dream come true.' And one last thing: he needs a big lobby that can double as Elite Forces Headquarters.