The Mercury Cycle

The Mercury Cycle

“David Bushell, a college student struggling with social anxiety, discovers that his roommate is a member of a mysterious underground cult. David sneaks into a meeting and discovers that the cult is on the brink of a new “Mercury Cycle,” a mysterious pill-induced visit to the past. When David impulsively steals a bottle of pills in hopes of resurrecting his former happiness, he finds himself mixed up in a twisted journey that blurs the line between free will and fate. David struggles to repair his life and defy a future doomed by his own curiosity.”

The Mercury Cycle is a psychological thriller, Written/Produced by Vincent Grippi and Directed by Cody Hoerig. The film is genuine because it was produced and shot entirely while the crew was still attending classes at Quinnipiac University.

Vincent Grippi wrote “The Mercury Cycle” in the summer before his senior year of studying film at Quinnipiac University. Within the first weeks of the school year, Grippi and fellow students Cody Hoerig and Zachary Salsman, sat down and discussed the script. The three students decided that they would defy the odds and attempt to bring The Mercury Cycle to life as a full-length feature film. No time was wasted, and within weeks “The Mercury Cycle” had its own crew of talented and experienced students from The Quinnipiac Film Society.

After 4 long months of pre-production, The Mercury Cycle was ready to begin shooting. Principal photography officially began on January 6th, 2009, in Westchester New York. Shooting continued through the second semester of the school year, as the crew was still attending classes. Despite the immeasurable odds they faced, the crew and cast of “The Mercury Cycle” continued production of the film. Along the way, the production managed to garner significant attention from various news outlets and crowds all over New York and New England. The film was commonly praised for its stunning professionalism in both its craft and appearance.

On June 13th 2009, The Mercury Cycle officially wrapped principle photography, after 6 consecutive months of shooting. The film is now well into the post-production phase and continues to rouse anticipatory praise.

This project has really been a test for me. It has allowed me to grow and learn in ways I never thought imaginable. I can’t even put into words the things that I have experienced and felt over the past year working on this project. The Mercury Cycle wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the phenomenal cast and crew we had. Everything and everyone just seemed to be in the right place at the right time. What makes this project so unique is the pure joint dedication everyone involved shared.

During the course of filming we faced many obstacles, both in planning and on set. I think one of the most positive things that has come from this project are those obstacles. I say this because it allowed us to learn what can happen on a movie this big, it allowed us to learn from our mistakes. At it’s heart this project is a huge learning experience, so we knew things were going to go wrong, we prepared for the worst as much as possible, but you can never prepare for what you don’t see coming. It is how you deal with those situations and learn from them that builds character, and prepares you for life.

Funding was a huge concern. We essentially had to rely fully on monetary support from family and friends, and money out of our own pockets. When you’re making a feature for less than twenty grand, you have to get extremely creative. I think that aspect was actually good for us in a way, because it taught us how to stretch a dollar, it pushed everyone to make this film look like it cost us $100,000 to make, when in actuality it was substantially less.

One of the questions I am constantly asked is: “Would you change anything about this experience if you could?” Sure, there are many things I would like to change. On the other hand I try and not focus on that aspect of things. I would rather focus on how to fix the things I don’t like, and if I can’t fix them, then I see how I can learn from them.

Now, as the movie is entering its final stages before film festivals, I can honestly say I am prepared for anything as a Director and Producer. I think helming a feature at such a young age has given me an enormous amount of insight into the whole process. It has hardened me for anything, and I am eager to work on new and exciting projects.

If there were one thing I could say to aspiring filmmakers it would be this:

“Just get out and do what you are passionate about. Everything comes from the passion and dedication in your heart. If you are dedicated and passionate you will inspire others, and in turn people will ultimately follow you. If people doubt you, prove them wrong. Just know that once you jump in, be prepared to see everything through to the end, and make sure your ready for the journey, because it can be extremely taxing on an individual. Don’t be afraid to put in those long hours for something you believe in. If you’re willing to make the sacrifice then it will be worth it in the end.”

(Behind the scenes pictures taken by Josh Schnitzer, Matt Andrew, Brianne Richard and Katie Bliss)

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