Mission StatementCover Up is about women healing themselves after abusive relationships, which is written and directed by a woman who has experienced self-healing. We believe with the power of filmmaking, Cover Up can inspire others who are helpless and heal their deepest wounds, whether it's physical or mental.
About The Project
In 1997 New York, a female underground tattoo artist helps a woman cover up a domestic abuse scar despite tattooing being punishable by law.
Some ideas live with you for a long time. Cover Up, or a version of it, has been with me for three years. It started as a small something, a sketch, a thought, a way to play out a story where you could heal painful wounds and turn scars into something beautiful. But I never pursued it, not as a real thing. But then I got into an emotionally abusive relationship with my ex-partner.
When leaving that relationship, I was lost. I didn’t know who I was anymore. And the guilt and the shame of that relationship ate me alive. I ran away to another city, got into California State University, Northridge’s film program, desperately wishing for a new start and a way to move past that gaping wound. In my own healing, I realized that other women have felt the same way as me and wrote many stories depicting that. Then I remembered the original story of Cover Up.
Last year, I revisited the script and expanded on it, creating new characters and basing their relationships and struggles on my own experience. There was Bonnie, a passionate tattoo artist who lived in a time of a tattoo ban in New York. There was her abusive relationship with a mentor figure. There were the scars that the relationship left, not only in her mind but on her body as well. It became a story of Bonnie coming to terms with her past and letting the wounds heal and all through helping someone else, another woman, who like her was a victim of domestic abuse.
Ernest Hemmingway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” And that’s what I did (though not at a typewriter). I put a piece of myself into this film. And everything just clicked. There were people who resonated with Bonnie’s story - my professor, my friends. Everyone encouraged me to take it further. Many of them volunteered to help me bring this story to screen. I felt blessed to be a part of such a passionate group of student filmmakers, driven to create works with meaning.
We started pre-production last year and were on track… that is until COVID-19 struck. Just like the rest of the film industry, the rest of the world really, we were forced to shut down. Since then, so much has happened in our lives and we weren’t sure if we could pick the project back up.
But here’s something else that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic – cases of domestic violence increased with prolonged lockdowns. And we knew, we couldn’t just let this story go untold. So here we are, fighting to create something that will give hope and courage to those who really need it in these trying times. This film is our tattoo parlor and our own way of helping heal the wounds of humanity.
Ember Condron is a recently graduated filmmaker who wants to use filmmaking and media as tools to change our way of thinking in society. Ember began writing at a young age and knew she wanted to do something creative with her life and she soon found a love for film. She gained inspiration from her favorite directors: Tim Burton, Baz Luhrmann, and Wes Anderson which helped push her to pursue filmmaking as a career. Ember first studied filmmaking at Santa Barbara City College where she directed 3 short films and a documentary. She transferred to California State University, Northridge in 2019 in order to further her filmmaking education and graduated in 2021 with her Bachelors degree in film production. Ember views filmmaking as a way of creative politics and believes that filmmaking and visual media can change the way people think and view societal issues and believes Cover Up will be the perfect film to start with. After working on the concept for Cover Up for over 2 years she is very excited to finally be able to tell this story.
Coraline Kong is a student film director and producer. Born and raised in China, Coraline Kong has always been interested in directing and has directed or participated in many school shows. In Fall 2015, she came to the United States to fully pursue her dream of a filmmaker and has directed many short films, including Friends, which won the River Deep Award: Best Film in Realism at 2018 River Deep Student Film Festivals. After she began studying at the film production program at California State University, Northridge, where she aims to obtain a bachelor's degree in Art, Coraline Kong finds her interests in producing and has produced a couple short film projects. As an up and coming producer, she understands how important it is to oversee a project and coordinate all aspects of filmmaking during a production. And she is ready to fully devote herself in producing if a great production needs to come to reality.
Chakameh Mallah Zadeh is a CSUN student, pursuing her Bachelor of Art in Cinema and Television Arts, Film Production with an emphasis in cinematography, and a minor in business marketing and business management. Since high school, Chakameh had an interest in producing films. She started a film production club at Rahe Roshd High School, in Tehran, Iran. She enjoyed producing and editing. In 2015, she joined Tehran Institute of Technology’s editing program and got certified. To follow her passion for the arts and film, Chakameh left her hometown of Tehran, Iran, to study Film Production at CSUN, 7500 miles away, in the heart of the filmmaking industry. After Chakameh produced her CTVA 250 project, Numb, and got more familiar with filmmaking roles, she discovered an appreciation for producing. As a result, she declared two business minors that can help her in the industry as a producer. Later, she produced her CTVA 355 film, Five or Fewer, and was the assistant director for her 350 projects. Additionally, she has worked on several CSUN senior thesis films as 2nd AD, 2nd AC, PA, and has worked as a producer, Assistant Director, DP, 1st and 2nd AC, grip, and BTS photographer on outside of school films. She has also done freelance photography. With all of the aforementioned skills and experiences, Chakameh will ensure this production will come on time and budget.
Born and raised in San Jose, CA, John Ortiz has always been interested in visual storytelling since he was little, and he has been making films since his sophomore year in high school. He developed his skills then by directing and shooting a number of small projects, and ended up helping his crew win the Best Picture award in his high school’s humble little 24-hour film festival in 2013 as cinematographer.
After graduating high school in 2013, he joined the film and television production program at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA, and further studied and improved in visual storytelling. While attending there, he worked on a myriad of projects, ranging from student films, music videos, commercials, and documentaries. He started work on set as a grip, electrician, or camera operator, and eventually moved on to gaffer and cinematographer in a number of projects toward the end of his time there.
Having since transferred to California State University, Northridge, he’s further refined himself as a cinematographer by working on as many projects as he can, and continues to seek out new and better ways to tell stories visually. Though productions have been waylaid by the COVID-19 pandemic, John is eager to return to set and resume work on Cover Up.
Born and raised in Malaysia, Jing Yi Goh discovered her passion for filmmaking, leading her to the US to pursue her studies. Within the past four years of her university journey, she edited multiple CSUN theses, and won the 3rd place in the 2020 Chinese-American film festival for best short film. Through connections, Jing Yi got the opportunity to intern at Meralta Films, where she worked closely with the team that was nominated in the 2020 Academy Award for the Best Short Documentary.
Ciara Ammerman is a graduate of the Film Production option at California State University, Northridge. She is Avid Media Composer certified and has experience working in a wide variety of genres. Ciara is committed to and highly passionate about bringing a creative eye to every project. What once began as a hobby, she values editing as a powerful storytelling tool and strives to bring a unique voice to the film industry.
Adam Krist has been working in show business as an actor since the age of seven, and is pursuing his dream to be behind the camera as well. He's been able to work with directors like David O. Russel, and actresses like Kristen Wiig. To follow his filmmaking dreams, he started going to college at Los Angeles Valley College in 2014, before moving onto California State University, Northridge in 2018. Adam is fully committed to making this production have the best sound scape it can possibly have.
Since a young age, music has always been a huge part of Michael Garcia’s life. His talent for music has also helped Michael find a passion for movies. Learning to create and record his own music influenced him to seek interest and learn about sound in filmmaking. During his high school years, he made videos for the Boys and Girls Club of the LA Harbor where he would go to after school everyday. At the Boys and Girls Club, Michael expanded his skills and knowledge in music which soon led him to take a few lessons in the Club’s studio for music recording. He was able to help record an EP album with the club’s Jazz band. After graduating high school, Michael attended CSUN where he would major in Film Production with an emphasis in sound. At California State University, Northridge, he learned that he can incorporate some of his music recording knowledge and skills into film. He went on to be the sound mixer for the CTVA 355 class film project. In his senior year at CSUN, Michael started using Pro Tools for his Post Production Sound class and realized that Post Sound is what he wants to do for a career. With his skills and knowledge, Michael will make sure that he gives this production the best sound possible.
At this point it has become a cliché to say that the pandemic turned everything upside down. But that’s exactly what happened to our production. Last year at this time, we were on track with getting Cover Up ready for production with plans to shoot the summer of 2020 but then COVID-19 struck with unforeseen consequences for all. The film industry took a hard hit as everything was forced to shut down. We stopped our production. But all of us involved decided that this story is too important not to tell, so as soon as the restrictions lifted, we were back together, trying to figure out a way to make Cover Up happen.
As independent filmmakers we need your support more than ever. Especially since the pandemic is not over, we want to be responsible and do our part in keeping a safe environment for all the cast and crew. So we not only need funds for the regular equipment necessary to make films but also money for protection gear and supplies.
We guarantee we are going to use your contribution wisely. We will send you a weekly newsletter with updates about the production so you can see where your money is going.
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About This Team
Kat Anderson - 2nd Assistant Director
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Kat Anderson grew up developing her passion for storytelling. In high school, she began creating independent short films and became an apprentice at a local nonprofit which encourages female representation in film. Since then, Kat was accepted into the Film Production major at CSUN with an emphasis in cinematography and a minor in psychology. While in school, she gained experience in various departments on numerous CSUN and independent film projects. Kat has also gained production management experience through her internships with independent production companies. Since realizing the immense opportunity provided to content creators, Kat is passionate about working on films built on a significant and worthwhile purpose, and Cover Up is exactly that.
Adam Zhao - Camera Operator & Assistant Editor
Adam Zhao is a student from California State University of Northridge, major in film production, emphasis in Editing and directing. Since little, he always wanted to pursue his dream of filmmaking, and hope that he can becomes a director one day. In college, he figured that editing is such a major part of filmmaking, and most filmmakers need to understand the language of editing as well, especially director. He tries to edit and work on film sets as much as he can, and outside of school projects, such as 48 hours film festival.
As an Editor, has been worked on CTVA 350, 355 and many other editing projects. He understands the philosophy of bringing filmmakers and audiences together through editing language, and he is passionate about working on projects with others that tell a beautiful and emotional story, such as this project. He knows that being respect and have faith to a project is one of the most important things, so he is willing to contribute his time and efforts for every need that the production requires.
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