Local film puts watchers in the ‘Danger Zone’

Photos courtesy Ryan Polukord/ The evil, soul-piercing eyes of Alex Valez provide a bit of fright for local moviegoers.


By Anthony J. Machcinski

Imagine waking up in a totally white room while having no recollection of how you got there. While many people may think this is the beginning subplot of the next installment of the “Hangover” movies, it is far from it.

Produced and written by Belleville resident Ryan Polukord, “Danger Zone” tells the story of a man trapped in a white room who slowly realizes that he was abducted.

Polukord got the idea from the film after seeing a sign on the way home from Atlantic City last summer that read, “Speed monitored by aircraft.”

“From there, I started thinking about UFOs and how they’re linked to government conspiracy,” Polukord said. “It just got my mind going and I built from there.”

Polukord got his filmmaking start while a student of Belleville High School. It was during his high school years that he realized this was his dream job.

“I really got into it while I was at Belleville High School during a mass communication class that I took,” Polukord said. “That’s when I knew I wanted to pursue this dream and applied to Montclair’s film making program.”

The cast and crew from the premiere of Danger Zone (from l. to r.) Gianna Giarrusso, Kevin Polukord, Lia Sprechini, Ryan, Polukord, Alex Velez, and Amanda Goscinski.


Nearly five years after high school graduation, Polukord has one award winning film under his belt and a good shot at grabbing a second. Polukord first created “Camp 139,” an 18-minute horror film during summer 2010 that was a nominee at the Garden State Film Festival and won “Best New Jersey Based Film” at the Down Beach Film Festival.

For “Danger Zone,” Polukord had the support of a dedicated, familiar cast that helped him complete the film.

“My lead (Frank Serco) and I worked together on a couple of short films,” Polukord said. “I was very familiar with his work and got him in on it. Two of my other actors were Alex Velez and Lia Sprechini, who I went to Belleville High School with. I trusted they would help me get this going.”

The film itself took about 10 months to put together, starting with the concept (July 2011), to a written script (October 2011), shooting (December 2011), to its showcase at Montclair State University on June 8, 2012.

The unveiling of the film turned out to be the moment of success for Polukord, as the film was well received by those who watched it.

“We had a great turnout and had a lot of people jumping (scared) at some points,” Polukord said. “We had a question and answer session after the film and a lot of the (audience members) were asking questions about it. The movie made them think. It was one of those films that made you think in a good way.”

In order to produce the film, Polukord had to raise the money needed to buy props, costumes, and the equipment needed to film the project. Using a website called Kickstarter, Polukord was able to raise $910.

“None of the funding went to paying actors or crew members,” Polukord said. “Everyone was doing it for experience on their resume.”

With “Danger Zone” under his belt, Polukord has plans to get the film to several festivals, including the Atlantic Film Festival, the Toronto After Dark Festival, the Gotham Film Festival and the Screen Horror Festival.

As for the future, Polukord is hoping to continue diving deeper into the filmmaking world, where he hopes to work under a producer and “learn more of the aspects of producing.”

To see more information about the film, visit http:// www.infobarrel.com/Danger_ Zone_Premiere_Ryan_Polukords_ New_Horror_Film.

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