Hollywood its not, but director Carlos Roman is trying to put Alexandria on the film industries map. Roman is the owner of Roman Pictures, a production company based in Alexandria. He has spent over three years directing and starring in the sci-fi film Signals. He premiered it for the cast and crew on last Saturday in Shirlington.
My father came up with the idea out of the blue and I told him to go for it, assistant director and Romans daughter Tracy Roman said.
Almost the entirety movie was shot in Alexandria and Arlington, so many familiar locations will appear throughout the film.
We will always film in Old Town, Roman said. Its our home town, it has been very good to us.
Its my city, said Mr. Roman. I love Alexandria. Im trying to put it on the map.
Kevin Sylvain, who plays an FBI agent, introduced the film. No one had an idea what it was about, Sylvain said. It was pieced together and finally came together.
Actors at the event shared similar feelings. I had a blast! said Brian Washington, an actor who played extras in several different scenes. I had no idea what the script was about.
The film features a prisoner of war, Nick Marconi, who had human drug and radiation experiments performed on him during the Korean War. Many years later, in the United States, a couple that received these same experiments gave birth to a daughter, Leah. The couple had special abilities including telepathy, remote viewing, behavior modification, self-healing and telekinesis.
Leah gave birth to a son, Zack, who inherited the abilities and could use them at will. Trying to protect her son, Leah is on the run from the United States government. The government realizes that the Koreans want Zack, and Zack is the only character who believes that his father, who should now be 90 years old, is still alive, but is in his 40s. The entire film centers around the question who will find who first?
The actors celebrated before, during and after the viewing. When the film ended they gathered at Extra Virgin Modern Italian Cuisine to continue their celebration.
Mr. Romans creativity was praised during the after party. I still want to know how he got to film inside Homeland Security, said Lewis Fragga, the special effects artist. He also had real SWAT uniforms for over six hours.
Mr. Roman simply answered, Connections.
Whats next for the actors and producers? Various plans are in the works. Since its a pilot episode – the first episode in a series – they will continue the series, though it has never been clear to the cast whether this was a TV series or a made-for-TV movie.
One of the leads, now 14, has grown to six feet tall since filming first began, according to Mr. Roman. They had to write his height difference into the script since he was much shorter when filming began.
Members of the cast will be heading to the New York International Film Festival in Los Angeles. The cast is set to attend another festival in New York this September.
Roman said that they have signed a non-exclusive deal with ITN distribution in Las Vegas. ITN is a leading distribution company that promotes films at film festivals and brings films worldwide attention by promoting them for use on airplanes and foreign television stations.
I dont want to get exclusive. Roman said. Were trying to get it on airplanes, foreign television stations and movies. He further explained that he is trying to get a deal with Netflix or Blockbuster.
He also has plans for a future film, Time Refugees. Many of the actors from that project were also there to join in the festivities.
By the end of the party, energy was high and hopes were higher that something big would come from Signals. Roman is out to prove he has what it takes to make Alexandria the next Hollywood.