Filmmaker and Graphic Novel creator Craig Alarie shares his story.
You wrote and directed three entertaining films, The MERC: Shadow Knight films and Deadpool: Job Hunting. What made you want to be involved in the film industry?
First, thank you for choosing me for your “Talent Spotlight”. Here’s a basic career back ground; I was very lost with no direction when I was young. I desired to be a solider in the US Army and join the French Foreign Legion thereafter. As I served in the army I realized this was not my true calling and realized all of my interests involved telling stories visually.
With that basic interest I watched a DC fan film called “Grayson” about Batman’s partner Robin and when I saw the making of the film I realized I can do this. Previously it seemed rather overwhelming to make a film and with my track record of giving up at everything I had something to prove to myself.
I produced my first short action film with no sound just music. I decided to move to Florida from Massachusetts to enroll in the Valencia College film program. Before I started I produced my first feature film. These films were campy and cliché but so much was learned from them. I realized I could do this.
The final production was a marvel fan film of Deadpool I produced while in film school. It was crewed by very capable film students and the production value was noticeably better. Thereafter I had a short period of working on independent films in the Orlando area. Over these past years of goal setting I realized I could potentially succeed in producing my own television series with my original story.
Please tell us a little about the films.
So when I was young I used to draw characters and write stories about them. This was the material I used when I wanted to make my first movie. I used to make a comic book about a character that looked like Tony Stark and dressed like a black armored Spiderman whom had a girlfriend that resembled Jennifer Aniston from when she was on Friends.
This story was called “Shadow Knight” so this was the origin of the first two films named under the title MERC. The first film was about Shadow Knight in Boston fighting his nemesis Death Wish. It was very simple, two enemies preparing for a final fight. I had previously written a long origin background story of Shadow Knight and used this as the plot for the second film. Shadow Knight now had a name Eric Lancer and his story was about how growing up at a paramilitary training facility was made rather complicated by a new relationship with a significant other.
The final film was a Marvel fan film about Deadpool and his competition with Bullseye to get the job as the Kingpins right hand man.
What inspires you to create your projects?
What inspires me is creation. I love to create a world and walk the viewer through the activities I had the ability to produce.
Aside from film, you recently debuted the graphic novel 'CELESTIALS SYNTHETIC ANGEL' at the Rhode Island Comic Con. Tell us a little about the graphic novels.
Well Celestials is the story created thanks to the lessons learned from the MERC projects. Some aspects of the MERC story were kept and some removed as the story was streamlined. The simple character activity from the MERC world will now be shown influenced by celestial beings as the war between heaven and hell is raged for the souls of humanity. This story captures the journey of the two champions chosen by each side.
Are there any similarities between making a film and creating a graphic novel?
The similarities are you must build a team that you centrally coordinate their activities and in the process experience many obstacles that you work together to overcome.
Which medium are you most comfortable with at this point in time?
I’m much more comfortable with Graphic Novels which are easier to work on but it requires a larger budget. I do miss the social atmosphere of a film crew were you have so many passionate individuals working on their craft sometimes for free.
What piece of advice would you give to filmmakers making their first film?
You must be tenacious holding your team of cast and crew together, moving forward through all stages of production. I particularly excel in scheduling, organizing and overall time management. Find your skill set and perfect it. Then find others to complement your skill set.
Can you tell us what to expect from you in the near future?
We have attended 2 comic book conventions where we had debuted our products and since we are not well known the idea in place is to make a Marvel fan film web series about Deadpool in Alpha Flight. This will hopefully increase people’s interest in our products which will assist in future development of our Celestials story line to a final goal of a television series.
Thank you for reading. I wish all current and future filmmakers the best with their projects.
Celestials Synthetic Angel