Friday, October 23, 2015

Super Zero - Short Film Review - Midnight Protocol

Badass Journey Into Zombie Awesomeness

Super Zero poster

Running Time: 15:49
Production: USA/2014
Sound: 5.1 Surround Sound
Aspect Ratio: 2:40
Shooting Format: Red 4K
Language: English


Written and Directed by Mitch Cohen

Produced by Alex Moran, Bryan Hwang and Devon Byers 
Cinematography by Conor O’Brien 
Production Design by Patric Levy 
Edited by Daniel Myers 
Original Music by Justin Bell


Umberto Celisano, Giselle Gilbert, Al Bernstein, Tyler Whte with Bobak Ferdowsi and “MoHawk Guy” as Himself


When Josh Hershberg, a 20 year old introverted geek culture lover is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, he believes he isn’t special and has nothing to offer the world. However, on the day he decides to kill himself and end it all, a vessel carrying the first sample of liquid water discovered on Mars crashes to Earth on re-entry sparking the Zombie Apocalypse. 

One month later, the world has gone to hell and Josh has set off to wander through the madness alone. He stumbles upon his crush, her cousin and a wayward pizza party clown trying to find their way to safety. In the middle of a sudden Zombie attack, the three learn that Josh is immune to being a target of the undead due to his rare illness. Josh, using his comic-book/gaming/movie knowledge and engineering expertise crafts Zombie killing weapons and heroically saves the lives of his compatriots earning him a place in their ragtag group. 

In the process, Josh discovers, once and for all, you may not know what makes you special, but your time will come. And perhaps, when the biggest epic fail ever to happen to civilization triggers the rising of the dead to kill the living, one may find that there is a zombie assassin in all of us.


Well, "Super Zero" certainly does bring a fresh idea to the table, which doesn't seem to happen often anymore. Let me say that the fifteen minutes flew by and it didn't feel like I was watching a short film at all. This was like watching the opening scene of a major motion picture. When it was over I exclaimed out loud in disappointment, "oh man." This was really fun and way too short. I want to watch a feature length version. Now. I don't think there was anything I did not like about "Super Zero." There were some pretty cool special effects shots, a big action scene and funny moments to boot. I thought the actors did a fine job and liked the professional look of "Super Zero" along with the creative filming. Mitch Cohen and the rest of the cast and crew did a terrific job and I and many others I am sure, can't wait to see more.

RATING: [ 4.5 / 5 ]

Be sure to watch "Super Zero" on YoutubeAlso check out "Super Zero" on Facebook.


Like millions of others I am endlessly fascinated by fiction that not only encourages you to believe in a character, but also asks you to believe in a world that is not your own. From other planets, to other times, to other laws of nature; as long as it promises something deeper or more fantastic, I am on board for that journey. Based on real science or just pure imagination, if it holds true to its own ideals and respects its own inventions, my willingness and desire to believe in what I see and experience remains enthusiastic and uncompromised. 

However, as a fan of sci-fi/comic-book/gaming culture there has always been something that I never thought was accurately represented…me. Characters seem to be either larger than life, stereotypical caricatures, or gifted with powers that make them utterly unrelatable. Why can’t people and situations be unworldly as well as honest, or ridiculously absurd yet remotely plausible? Where are the real people in all this great fantasy? 

That was my goal in creating Super Zero; celebrate the average, the eccentric, the powerless, and put them into a universe that can become anything, but is grounded in authentic spirit. Find the humanity in imagination, and let characters behave and act like actual people, regardless of how utterly unbelievable the situation is. 

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. I just want those people to be interesting and those places to be awesome.


Mitch Cohen

With a background as a writer and commercial director for numerous independent film/TV and advertising companies, Mitch specializes in “geek culture” and has worked as a Creative Director on many high profile video game ad campaigns such as Borderlands, Batman Arkham City and Spec Ops. Mitch’s neo-noir short film Peter’s Price played at many high profile festivals and garnered a worldwide distribution deal through Shorts International. Mitch’s creative voice combines his love for old cinema with his passion for pop culture and draws from diverse influences to create stories that take truly original perspectives.

Devon Byers

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Devon’s parents spark for loving film inspired him to study film at both the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the American Film Institute, where he received his MFA in Producing. Devon has able to produce over 15 short films that screened all over the world including Dream in the Dark, which screened before a special viewing of J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 hosted by Paramount. His most recent short film Jonestown recently won the Jury Prize at the Colorado International Film Festival.

Alex Moran 

Alex graduated from the American Film Institute with an MFA in Producing. Prior to attending graduate school in Los Angeles, she earned a BA in English with a Film Studies minor from Gettysburg College. She also studied film, literature, and classics at King’s College in London. Alex produced three short films during her first year at AFI, before producing her thesis film, Revenge Against the Mop Bucket Mastermind.

Bryan Hwang
Bryan was born in Seoul, South Korea but was raised in Ohio and California. He attended the University of California, Irvine and received a Bachelor in Arts for Film and Media Studies. Upon graduation, Bryan worked as a music video director and producer for an independent record label in the San Francisco Bay Area for up and coming electro-hip hop artists. Bryan then attended the American Film Institute and graduated with an MFA in Producing before starting production company, Midnight Protocol Films with Devon Byers and Alex Moran.

Connor O’Brien

As a former professional skater, Connor he has been around cameras most of his life. After years of working as a commercial editor, Connor realized his true passion was cinematography. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from CSULB, majoring in film production with an emphasis in cinematography and then received an MFA in Cinematography at the prestigious American Film Institute. His photographic ideas are always motivated by, and stem from, the narrative. He has lensed projects for such clients as: Lexus, Toyota, AT&T, Cisco, Sprint, Dairy Queen, UFC, and many NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL teams. He is experienced in a wide array of formats, including 35mm, 16mm and digital capture.International Film Festival.

Production Designer 
Patrick Levy 

Patrick Levy began life as a tadpole in a small coastal Georgia estuary (an old bootlegging town) just north of the Florida border, 5 minutes by river, 15 by land. His early obsessions include skateboards, photography, punk music, and motors. After studying film at Columbia College in Chicago, he soon moved into the art department, and was the Art Director of South of Heaven.  This experience led to the decision to study the trades up-close. Patrick worked in wood shops for six years refining his skills before attending the American Film Institute for one year in the Production Design program. 

Daniel Myers 

Daniel is a film and video editor with an education in Philosophy, with a specific focus on Aesthetics, from the University of Washington. He was born and raised in Seattle WA. Besides editing, Daniel is a motion graphics designer and a film director; having directed one narrative feature and several short films before coming to Los Angeles to study at the American Film Institute Conservatory in 2011. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Mookie Jam foundation Grant, and his most recent short film NiNi was a recipient of the DGA Jury Award in 2014. 

Justin Bell 

Justin is a graduate of the USC Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program, where he had the unique opportunity to meet with and study under industry professionals, and to collaborate with filmmakers from the well-known USC School of Cinematic Arts. Through the program he studied under Christopher Young (Spider-Man 3), Garry Schyman (Bioshock 1 and 2), Joel McNeely (Dark Angel), and Patrick Kirst (Sex and the City), among others. His recent work includes music arrangement, programming, and orchestrating for Cloud Atlas, Wolf Creek 2, The Newsroom, I, Frankenstein, and the upcoming Wachowski series, Sense8.