Interview with Alec Hazikian, Winner of The Dark Knight Rises & Chrysler’s Imported From Gotham City Contest – Part One

Aspiring filmmaker Alec Hazikian deserves congratulations for his big win in the recent Imported from Gotham City contest. Alec’s commercial bested all submissions and garnered recognition from The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan. The spot also earned Alec separate trips to New York City and Los Angeles, where he participated in official events for The Dark Knight Rises, including attending the film’s New York premiere.

Alec, who has a degree in film and video, recently answered a few questions for readers of the Forward Look.

Forward Look: What were your feelings upon entering the contest? Did you think you had a chance?

Alec Hazikian: Upon first hearing about the contest on TV, it definitely got me curious, enough to make a mental note and to look into it online. Being an avid film fan and specifically having studied and previously having pursued a career in the film industry, this is the first time that I am aware of that such a contest has come to pass.

Upon completing my entry, I was pretty happy with it. I had made some hard-nosed decisions on composition and included a particular detail that solved an early hurdle of blending the themes of Chrysler and The Dark Knight Rises in equal parts. This detail was one I felt would set me apart from the majority of the other entries.

After some time passed, the entries were posted online. There were so many. It probably took me 10 minutes sift through them all to find mine. I watched a handful and became quite impressed. Many people had many original, creative ideas. I was in good company. The themes didn’t seem so difficult to gel for others. Given the tidal wave of entries, it didn’t take long for me to think mine would simply get lost in the wash.

FL: How does this contest factor into your career aspirations? Are you a professional filmmaker now? Do you one day hope to be one?

AH: It has definitely infused me with some new ambition and hope. It’s been just over a decade since I finished film school. For more than five years, I’ve been concentrating on graphic design and photography as a means of getting by. To find a job as a result of this contest would obviously be the biggest possible reward. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” Well, I’ve been taught pretty well for a while now…finding a boat and a fishing pole…that’s been the hard part. That happens to far too many of us who’ve gone to film school or, for that matter, any four-year creative course of study.

FL: Has winning the Imported from Gotham City contest led to any other opportunities?

AH: Seeing some of the workings behind the curtain was wonderful, and meeting the people responsible for the contest at Warner Bros. was unforgettable. I even met four of the individuals from Chrysler who were responsible for the development of the contest.

Meeting and shaking the hand of one of the top current Hollywood directors, Christopher Nolan, was by all means also a treat. I was also the only one to be driven to the premiere in the brand-new Chrysler 300.

Click here to see Alec’s winning entry. Then stay tuned to the Forward Look for part two of our interview with Alec Hazikian, winner of the Imported from Gotham City contest.