Private Project


ALPHA is a sci-fi martial arts film following three genetically modified subjects pitted against one another in a fight to the death. Orchestrated by an unnamed doctor (David Sisson) and his Artificial Intelligence "N.U.R.S.E." (Laurie Winkel), Subjects Echo (Ryan Monolopolus), Beta (Jake Guinn) and Delta (Josh Flaugher) realize that in this experiment, only one can be the new ALPHA.

Production Companies:
Mono Productions
Foot Trail Films
On Camera Combaitves

  • Ryan Monolopolus
    Dead Men, 64 Over 8, Friends to the End, Recovery
  • Jeremy Cournyea
    Director of Photography
    Aware, Cultivating Change, The Refuge
  • Ryan Monolopolus
  • David Sisson
    Key Cast
  • Ryan Monolopolus
    Key Cast
  • Jake Guinn
    Key Cast
  • Josh Flaugher
    Key Cast
  • Laurie Winkel
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    sci-fi, action, martial arts, thriller
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 20, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    5d Mark iii HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ryan Monolopolus

Ryan Monolopolus is young upcoming director currently based on the east coast. With a strong focus on narrative storytelling and action-based content, he has created a multitude of feature, short, episodic and commercial productions. From the civil war epic Shenandoah (2017), to the dramedy TV pilot 64 over 8, Ryan’s work has a distinct and diverse visual style that always considers the story first. Through his collaborations with some of the world’s leading puppeteers and most talented martial artists, he has created a unique network of artists that contribute to his storytelling ability.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

ALPHA is a project that crosses many genres: it is a martial arts film at heart, action / triller film in terms of pace, a montage piece in editing, and a sci-fi film in terms of content. The film is meant to be an adrenaline rush from start to finish, with all elements including the score, the action, the mysterious narrative, the editing, etc culminating to nearly overwhelm the viewer.

Technically ALPHA was a project where we experimented with format. The fight choreography is actually what created the aesthetic for the film, as all fight scenes were shot first, with the narrative content coming last. We decided that the combat content would be presented in black & white in 2.3:1, whereas the narrative content with the doctor would be presented with more color elements (yellow, red, blue) in its native 16:9.

ALPHA was shot in a total of four days. Often in the rain, heat, or cold, and always on an incredibly low to no budget. The result was quite fascinating actually, as every element of the film had to be a conscious choice in terms of production pressure, but it also gave us a sort of freedom to shoot and edit as we wanted.

I choreographed the fights alongside our amazing talent Jake Guinn, who currently performs for marvel universe live. The main influence of the fighting style is Filipino martial arts, specifically Presas Arnis, a largely unknown system with a focus on effective technique and speed. With this style in mind we were able to provide a unique style for our fighters. From camera side, we combined three different stabilization systems to achieve what we found to be a great balance of shake and smoothness. Our DP Jeremy Cournyea reshot several sequences on each system to test which worked best for the pace and flow of the production.

ALPHA is meant to be a demonstration of how action and narrative can work hand to create a story that wouldn't work independently of the other.

Most of all, the film is meant to be some good old fashioned fun. I hope you enjoy!

Ryan Monolopolus
Director, ALPHA