Your upcoming movie American Luchador - in a few words, what is it
American Luchador is about stepping outside our comfort zone and into
that scary place we call our childhood. It's about revisiting our past and
learning from it, dealing with the pain of childhood and evolving, the best we
can, as adults. American Luchador is about accepting friendship, even when
that friendship comes from a mysterious masked man named Educo. American
Luchador is the story of a 5'10" Luchador named Lobo Fuego - The Fire
Wolf - who wrestles literal Giants as a metaphor for taking on the giant
struggles of life. Struggles with being raised by a single mom after his
parents split up. Struggles with guilt; with violence; with self expression.
Through Lobo, we find the Fire is ourselves. It's a unique story and a
universal story. It's the story of all of us because we all live with pain and
we all deal with it, some of us better than others. It is our attempt to
connect deeply and to get inside our audience's spirits, to have them do some
reflecting. We're talking It's a Wonderful Life type stuff here!
Basic question, why make a movie about Mexican lucha libre-wrestling,
what do you find fascinating about the subject? And other sources of
inspiration for American Luchador?
I am a pro wrestling aficionado. It really means a lot to me. I feel
comfortable at a wrestling arena. There's just something about it that is
home to me now, and has been since I first went to a live show. So why
Mexican La Lucha Libre specifically? My close friend writer/artist Anne
Murray spent a few years teaching in Madrid and she sent me a book titled Mondo-Lucha A Go-Go
by Dan Madigan. It's a very colorful book,
about the tradition and history of La Lucha Libre. The book planted a
The wrestlers Rey Misterio Jr. and Amazing Red also were influential
for Lobo Fuego. Initially, Lobo was written as full Mexican heritage and
4'10" tall. When we cast "The Juice" JT Dunn as Lobo Fuego,
we adjusted the character description to fit the Actor. So the emphasis on
Lobo's height lessened, and the storyline of being multiracial in a home
split by divorce developed.
How did the
project get off the ground in the first place?
I was enrolled in a screenwriting class taught by Christopher Mensel at
the University of Rhode Island a few years ago. I started writing what was
then called El Sueno Del Lobo Fuego (roughly translated: The Dream
of the Fire Wolf) for my class assignment. I only got a few pages into the
script when I changed gears to another script because I felt a Mexican
wrestling story wouldn't impress my female classmates. So I started
writing another story titled Bad Girls with Good Tattoos for the
class. Of course, that script didn't impress them either. I should have
learned how to play guitar.
Yet something about Lobo Fuego wouldn't leave me alone. His story
needed to be told. I struggled with him over the years, how do we tell
this story, Lobo's story, and what exactly is his story? I never did an
outline for this story, like I have done for other scripts. It came
straight from the hip and straight from the heart.
Over the years, I introduced the early Lobo drafts to my acting class -
C.O.R.E. A.C.T.I.N.G. - that I teach out of New England. I used Lobo Fuego
scenes for class workshop assignments. There was really something special
evident, something universal in the student-mentor relationship between
Lobo Fuego and Educo. The emphasis was not on the wrestling but on that
relationship, like Luke and Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. It
didn't occur to me fully how poignant and powerful the story was until a
student named Lily Spencer commented that Lobo Fuego was one of her
favorite class exercises. That meant a lot.
Artists, especially "undiscovered talents", receive so
much criticism or, worse yet, apathy from the general public that we
really do appreciate kind words and encouragement. It's easy enough for
the masses to gush over Breaking Bad or lament the latest
adventures of Miley Cyrus... but to take the time and make the effort to
motivate and encourage your local neighborhood artist, that's a real act
of humanity and good will.
American Luchador's director Nic Carcieri discusses more about how we
first collaborated in his recent interview with (re)Search my Trash [click
Nic Carcieri, Mike Messier
you tell us about your director Nic Carcieri [Nic
Carcieri interview - click
here], and how did you two first
Nic is a real humanitarian, as evidenced by his work as a firefighter
and paramedic, and as a father. I took notice of Nic, not through his film
work initially, but through a highly unusual circumstance where Nic
established himself as a community leader. Nic's generosity of
spirit made a lasting impression on me as a good guy that can be trusted
to go the extra mile to help people.
So back in August 2013, when I put the call out for a producing partner
for my Mexican wrestling story and Nic was the first moviemaker to
respond, I thought it was great. We set up a meeting right away.
Strangely, while we live only about ten minutes from each other, that was
our first creative meeting of any sort.
For film, Nic's short film Love and Laundry Soap has now won at
least two film awards, for acting and music. Both of those creative film
elements are highly important to me. The fact that Jose Gonsalves, the
award winning actor from Love and Laundry Soap, was Nic's first suggestion
for Educo, is further evidence of Nic's acumen.
Mike Messier, Nic Carcieri, JT Dunn, Jose
Being a director yourself, how hands-on or
hands-off will you remain during the filming of American Luchador?
Nic's set. It's important that there is one guiding force on set for the
cast and crew to follow on set, and having seen Nic at work with early
Luchador filming, I'm very impressed at how he handles the mesh of the
wild worlds of wrestling and independent film. Nic, cinematographer Chris
Hunter, and our camera assistants James Russell DeMello and Henry Kyhos
got some really great shots of Lobo Fuego and his dad Maskador (Cesar
Rego) at our last shoot. As for me, I'm co-producing American Luchador
with Nic and Chris with support from an executive producer named T
Phoenix. T is providing the RWA - Renegade Wrestling Alliance - for our
movie. Behind the scenes, Nic and I collaborate on the story and creative
direction on the piece. We also discuss ways we can promote the project,
including this interview! Overall, it's a collaborative effort, or
familia, in the case of American Luchador.
Raven wearing Wrestling with Sanity
far as I know, your film is still in its fundraising stages as we speak -
so what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?
and T are organizing a pro wrestling show on March 2, 2014 at the Varnum
Memorial Armory in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. This show will raise
funds for American Luchador, and, it's been discussed, perhaps also for an
important local charity.
Also, check out our IndieGoGo campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/american-luchador
your funds are raised, how do you plan to proceed - and any idea when and
where the film will be released onto the general public yet (and I do know
it's probably waaay too early to ask)?
There's a film
called Field of Dreams which introduced the expression "If you
build it, they will come." We're building it.
projects beyond American Luchador you'd like to
My own one-two punch remains Wrestling With Sanity and Chris
and the Coffee Girl. These are two feature film scripts I wrote with
attachments from wrestling stars Raven, Maria Kanellis, Ox Baker, Spike
Dudley, Big Daddy V and others. We talked about these projects in our last
interview [click here].
Blood! Sugar! Sid! Ace!, my feature film from last year, is
something I'm very proud of and would like to discuss with distributors.
It's a highly unique film, which is a good thing, especially in this era
of sequels, spin-offs, remakes and re-boots. Blood! Sugar! Sid! Ace!
In the meantime, I worked on two short film projects in November 2013
that are already getting some notice. The Nature of the Flame stars
Jocelyn Padilla and Lindsey Elisabeth Cork [Lindsey
Elisabeth Cork interview - click here]. We're almost done editing this
wonderful piece about the nature of dreams. Essentially, the question is
... if you're happy dreaming, why wake up? Why question the miracle? I
wrote and directed and the aforementioned Chris Hunter shot and edited.
Jocelyn and Lindsey are really great talents and they are making their own
movie right now. There is no shortage of talent in New England.
The Actor is the life story of my good friends David Graziano
[David Graziano interview -
click here] and Christine Perla. It's a highly romantic love story, about love lost,
love regained and the ultimate redemption of a man as an artist. After
hearing their story of college romance, separation, and eventual reunion,
I was motivated to ask these questions: What if you can find back
"the one that got away?" Would you be happy... or would you beat
yourself up over the lost time?
I wrote the script and co-directed the piece with Skip Shea [Skip
Shea interview - click here]. Cinematographer William Smyth did a great job capturing the nuances
of the story, and Skip led us into a real arthouse direction, which I
love. Skip edited the piece within two weeks of shooting.
David and Christine play themselves and we cast the dynamic Diana
Porter to play Coach - a character based on myself - as
David's friend and acting coach. With Diana, we wanted her to capture the
spirit of the great lady acting instructors Stella Adler, Uta Hagen
and Ivana Chubbuck. We felt this was a role for a strong female character
and we were right. Diana is magnificent as the Coach. And David and
Christine put their souls and hearts on the line in telling their story.
Artists, especially actors, are vulnerable to criticism, both interior and
exterior, so I admire David and Christine for sharing their story. Perhaps
others will learn from it. I know I do.
is a fifteen minute film, a lifetime in the making!
I've also been brought on by Roman Vangeli and Mickey Montes to work on
15MOF? Redemption, an intense story of two brothers, the nature of
fame, and the desensitization of our culture to violence. Imagine if
Natural Born Killers took over the set of American Idol, that's what we're
looking at here.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo,
15MOF? Redemption inside look
Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Suspend your expectations of time. Have clarification of
responsibility. Remember to laugh, or at least chuckle, once in a while.
Move forward. Enjoy the process. Progress.
That is my message to my fellow artists.
Thanks for the
Thank you Michael. You have many friends who thank you for
your support of New England artists!