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Christopher Poillon is standing in front of the screen at Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge, giving a spiel to a small, caffeine-fueled audience. “I think my $5,000 film looks as good as any $500,000 Hollywood film,” the first-time director boasts. Perhaps trying to raise the bar a bit, Poillon adds, “My mom liked it more than Me, Myself & Irene.” The 30-something director and his cast and crew have assembled this sunny Saturday morning in February to screen the exhaustively titled Kirk Racer, Secret AgentEpisode IV: Ebola & Blood, which Poillon recently edited at home on his PC.
Filmed in Great Falls, Va.Poillon’s ‘hoodwith a Canon XL1 digital video camera, Kirk Racer stars Poillon as a dashing but dimwitted Leslie Nielsen-esque CIA agent, plagued by paltry wages and an ever-malfunctioning cell phone. The comedy-adventure, which Poillon acknowledges as “goofy, silly, and campy,” follows Racer’s pursuit of maniacal terrorist Siad Khan (Laurent Minassian) and chat-room-cruising neo-Nazi hick Little Joe (Jonny Longtooth)both of whom are attempting to unleash Ebola on the unsuspecting D.C. metropolitan area. Along the way, Racer mows his lawn, accidentally joins a strap-on-wearing dominatrix (Deb Peterson) for coffee, and enjoys a couple of rounds of fellatio from his girlfriend, Felecia (Heidi Emmer).
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If Poillon dresses less like a movie star and more like a management consultant slumming in business-casual, that’s because his background is in bucks, not flicks. “I’m pretty crafty in moving money,” Poillon brags. The author of the recently published Getting Started in Emerging Markets evidently earned enough cheese working the Hong Kong banking industry in the early ’90s to buy a white Hummer and to devote six months to working full-time on Kirk Racer.
“I always knewsince I was a kidthat I wanted to be in film someday,” Poillon says. Despite his leading-man looks, he decided to break into the biz via the indie route: “If I wanted to act in a film, I knew I had to do it myself.”
Kirk Racer may be a far cry from Citizen Kane (hell, it’s a far cry from Rocky IV), but action enthusiast Poillonwho also wrote and produced the flickis well-aware that he isn’t making great art. A self-professed nonfan of independent films, Poillon claims he never wanted to make one of those “intellectual art-type films that don’t sell.”
“I rented The Brothers McMullen from Blockbuster,” he says, “and the acting sucked.”
Poillon says that Kirk Racerwhich he intended for the direct-to-video market from its conceptionhas already attracted distributor interest. So he’s seeking local investors for his next film, a “more serious, more marketable” action-thriller called The Emissary, which is loosely based on the current Robert Philip Hanssen spy scandal. Besides adding “more action sequences and special effects” (well, actually, any special effects), Poillon wants to film on both high-definition video and 35 mm and add Hollywood actors the next time out. “I’d like to have G. Gordon Liddy in one of the roles,” he says. Brent Burton
For more information, visit www.KirkRacer.com.