My 2016 in short and its top personal moments!

13528422_10154367892279759_6452184030626893313_o“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him.” – John Paul II

Although the world around me seemed to go totally bat-shit crazy (the older I get, the less I relate to our society – I think that’s normal… right?), I had one major professional let-down (a film role that I was sure I had locked but lost due to politics…) and that death/near death was rampant in my inner circle (my uncle died, my aunt died, my dog died, two family members almost died…), 2016 wound up being a solid year for me personally and professionally.

I grew a lot as a human being, got close to my family again, started seeing life in a new light, solidified my spiritual path (which sent me on pilgrimages and lots of diving into books and shit soaking in knowledge…) and switched gears (for the better) as to the man I want to be. I also finally started reaping the rewards of my hard work. Yeah it felt good and definitely gave me the moral boost I needed to keep digging deep and going for my goals no matter the cost. Amidst doing what I love (traveling, being in nature, training, hiking, kayaking, hanging with close friends aka family like Berge, Deke, Elaine etc.) here are my top moments of 2016!

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After what felt like an eternity of pushing, hustling and overcoming obstacles, I steered my directorial debut THE SHELTER in the direction it needed to go and pretty much reached a peek with it. The film had a successful premiere in Beverly Hills, a solid QNA, it screened in theaters, got lots of good reviews (like in the LA times), the script is now part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences library and the film comes out on DVD in North America today (Jan 3, 2017). It should be said that every time somebody tells me how the film moved them or made them think – it affects me. Although the battle is not over (still have foreign to lock), 2016 felt like the beginning of the end of The Shelter chapter in my life. What a ride it was! I grew so much in every way imaginable through it.

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I returned to Sidney Australia! Not only did I get to take in the sights and hang with old friends, I also got to visit the set of Ridley Scott’s new ALIEN movie: ALIEN COVENANT. Wow. It was a film buff’s dream come true.

boxing

I spent less times in Pubs and more time in the ring this year. Yup, went back to boxing full time with a great coach in Daniel Guerin and have been loving every second of it – even the beat downs. It relieves stress, challenges me, keeps me in shape and helps me remain sane.

old-pals

I’m the type of guy that doesn’t have many friends, but the buds I do have, usually become family. So it was a pleasure to visit my bros Jason Hewlett and Shawn Knippelberg in Kamloops, BC this year. We partied, shot guns, hiked and partied some more. And yes, I consider both gents to be family now – blessed!

eva-script

The last feature length script I had written was THE SHELTER. Being that all of my energy went into getting that film where it needed to be, my creative energy was fairly non existent i.e. tapped out. This year though, with The Shelter sold, the pressure lessened. I got the chance to spend lots of time at my bud’s lake house and finally pulled off writing a new feature length screenplay. It’s a grounded and harsh female vigilante flick called EVA and it’s gonna own. Am back baby! 😉

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I meet a lot of people in this business but now and again you encounter folks that you can totally relate to and that you wind up respecting fairly quickly. Lucky to have met guys like Mark Lawson (right), Kevin Interdonato or even Paul Sloan (left), whom I’ve known for a bit but will still mention cause he’s on the fucking pic 😉 You’re only as good as the people around you!

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I finished off 2016 by going to Washington DC to visit my brother who now lives there (am still in DC as I type this). Loving spending time with him and visiting the sights (and the bars). I missed the basterd…

So that’s pretty much it! I’m personally very excited for 2017! Professionally, I have EVA and THE PRIZE (two films that I will direct) that are heading in the right direction in terms of getting off the ground. Am also diving into HERETIC today, a screenplay that I am writing with Karim Chériguène (it started off as a short by Karim, one that was so damn good, that it begged to be a feature). Think Apocalypse Now but with Templars! Am very excited about that one and already have some production pieces locked in Spain for it. It’s my new passion project! Meaning I’ll kill myself to see it through.

I also anticipate in traveling further this year and establishing myself even more within the film biz. Lots of new cards were handed to me in 2016 and I’m gonna play them the best I can this year. No matter how it goes, I am now better equipped to deal with what goes down, which will make the process easier for me. I see hardships differently, take on obstacles differently and view life as a whole differently. Get in the ring 2017! You’re mine.

RIP-toby

RIP Toby. My heart is missing a piece since you’ve left us and I hope you’re running around freely and happily on another plane of existence.

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Final words on The Shelter LA premiere and post screening QNA video!

unnamed-333WATCH THE SHELTER HERE
CANADIANS CAN WATCH IT HERE OR ON ITUNES

Am I now back from Los Angeles where we had THE SHELTER premiere (peep the QNA video below or here) and yes, that event and the film’s domestic release on VOD have definitely acted as a “victory point” for the film and for me personally. It’s finally out there after a two-year battle to get it done. Phew! On that, for me the fight is not over. Still got to sell the film foreign, still have to make my money back and want to broaden the film’s reach in terms of the type of audience that I think should see the movie, but more on that down the road.

A lot has come out of The Shelter’s release. I’ve never been interviewed this much in my life (Thanks Clint Morris for your hustle), the film got a slew of solid reviews (and yes the LA Times one was a highlight for me), The Academy of Motion Pictures (Oscar baby) put the script in their library, I’m starting to get known outside of the horror niche and personally the most rewarding thing of all is the folks that have expressed to me how much the film moved them or/and made them think. That was the point of that one, hence mission accomplished.

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Having some laughs with my leading man Michael Pare!

I want to take a moment and thank some of the key people behind the picture. Thank you to Producer Donny Broussard who came in early on the project, hustled with me through the hurdles and busted his ass to get me all that I needed to shoot this puppy. Couldn’t have done without you! Thank you Bobby Holbrook (and the Holbrook Multi Media team), who gave me all that he had during production and then stayed with me in the trenches during the baffling “technical-warfare” laced process that was Post Production. We went through some serious (and un-explainable) obstacles and one mammoth let down but Bobby fought with me till the bitter end.

Also a big thank you to Executive Producer and hombre Berge Garabedian for believing in the film and being my rock throughout this emotional roller coaster ride, always kicking me in the ass when I started to feel defeated. And of course a huge thanks to star Michael Pare who took a chance on a first time director and went all out for the movie. Every positive review in terms of his performance is MUCHO deserved. I couldn’t go on without thanking my pal Writer/Director/Author/Great cook Eric Red (who gave me solid tips during Pre and Post) and his wonderful wife Meredith Red. Both of them had my back throughout this journey and it was much esteemed. PS: Shout out to my amazing cast and crew! The crew was a well-oiled machine, my cast rose to the task, no way this would have happened with lesser talented people, specially taking into account the short production time we had. Pat yourselves on the back!

Writer/Director Eric Red and Michael Pare. Yes, I photobombed 😉

I’ve learned and changed a lot in the last 2 years. This undertaking acted as tough love Producer school, my persistence never got this tested before ever and I am proud to have pulled through, I loved every second of directing and am in love with the process, I grew spiritually and as a man; learning to forgive, to be humble, to not let the haters affect me, to react to obstacles in a rational fashion and to find the positive in the low blows instead of becoming cynical – cause yeah, this business will do that you, turn you into a bitter f*ck…  if you let it, and I did for a while, but I have since evolved.

The Shelter’s release has acted as a first firm step on a new professional path, one that I am eager to explore and exceed in. New doors are opening, new film projects are shaping up and I am grateful for that. Thanks to all of you that have supported me and are still supporting me in my endeavors, I honestly could not have done it without you. Every positive e-mail, PM, tweet etc. fuels me to keep on going! Much love and God Bless! John


The Shelter post premiere QNA with Michael Pare and John Fallon
from John Fallon on Vimeo.

THE-SHELTER-Fallon-2-725x1024WATCH THE SHELTER HERE
CANADIANS CAN WATCH IT HERE OR ON ITUNES

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Two new interviews! Talking The Shelter, screenwriting, new projects etc!

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Hey people! I was recently interviewed twice, talking about THE SHELTER, screenwriting and my future film projects. Excepts and links below! It should also be said that with THE SHELTER’s domestic release around the corner, you can expect to hear me yapping some more in the near future 🙂 As always, thank you all for the continuous support.

Horrorfuel:The film wouldn’t be as good without Mike (Pare). I feel very blessed to have had him play the lead. He’s a monster actor. So much talent.  I am very happy that reviews so far have pointed out his performance as one of the best of his career. He fucking earned it.”READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE

Menegetti’s Script Development Blog:Getting a film off the ground is very hard and time consuming. It’s lots of work and it can take a very long time. So if I’m going to invest years of my life into trying to make a movie happen – I have to respond to it on an emotional level as much as I do on a commercial level. I have to love the shit out of it.”READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE

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Eric Red’s 100 FEET on the big screen as it should be! Rare BTS pics!


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I’ll speak for myself here; with its long takes/classical directing style and old school cinematography (by the great Ken Kelsch); ERIC RED’s 100 FEET starring Famke Janssen, Ed Westwick, Bobby Cannavale and yours truly as Jimmy was always meant to be a big screen experience. Alas, the movie was finished when the film market collapsed and distribution as we knew it went tits up, hence it wound up straight to TV then DVD.

On that I am elated to report that Writer/Director and my compadre ERIC RED will be  hosting a double bill 35MM screening of 100 FEET  (and his classic BODY PARTS) at Alamo Drafthouse in Denver, Colorado on Thursday October 27th 2016 (GET THE INFO AND TICKETS HERE)!  So many of you will get the opportunity to witness it on the big screen, the way it was meant to be seen in the first place.

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I look back at 100 FEET with much fondness as it was a first for me on many levels.

1- I played against type (nervous/insecure tech dude)
2- Finally got to be in an Eric Red film, which was along term goal of mine.
3- I acted alongside two acting powerhouses (Janssen and Cannavale). My cherry got popped!
4- I had to deliver an “exposition laced” quasi monologue (I basically set up the rules of the movie) and make it sound “organic”. Never had to that before (or since). To this day I remember my lines 🙂
5- Learned so much watching Eric Red at work. I’m a better director today for it.

It was also on that set that I met Michael Pare (who wound up being the lead in my directorial debut The Shelter), visited Eastern Europe for the first time (the flick was shot in Budapest) and also learned the hard way that downing a Coca Cola is not the best thing to do right before acting in a scene (duh) being that one needs to be relaxed to act, Coke did not “relax” me…lol!

To celebrate the film’s big screen showing, I decided to dig up some obscure BEHIND THE SCENES shots from the film for y’all! Tap them below! 100 FEET goes full circle. I am happy!

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sc. 111 Marnie 333

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sc. 1, 2, 4 Marnie 2

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100 Feet Famke

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sc. 111 Joey+blood 1

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sc. 66, 67, 68, 69 Marnie 2

sc. 35,36,37 Marnie's feet

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100 FEET - Crew photo.1

GET YOUR 100 FEET TICKETS HERE!

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Three ways The Shelter experience has changed me…

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As you may know my directorial debut THE SHELTER has locked domestic distribution and will be released in North America this coming November in theaters and on VOD via Uncork’d Entertainment. I haven’t commented about it here yet, because being that this is my Personal Blog, I wanted to wait until I had something further to say than “ We locked it, thanks to everybody who helped make the film happen and everybody who supported me” (which I do earnestly mean by the way). So I finally came up with something. Here are three ways how the challenge that was THE SHELTER has bettered me as a person.

Producing: When it’s “your movie” and you’re responsible for everything, even other people’s mistakes that go down under your watch – it’s an all new ball game. I had co-produced before on other people’s movies, mostly pre-prod/prod stuff,  but that was NOTHING compared to what I had to go through on this one. Once the shoot was done it was obstacle after obstacle after obstacle and to say I learned so much the hard way would be an understatement. As I type this, 2 years since we wrapped, I’m still going through hurdles when it comes to the bureaucratic nature of making a film (Note: hurdles have since been conquered). On that, even though I wasn’t smiling the countless times I got kicked in the face for the last two years, I can now safely say that I am happy all of these challenges went down as I will bring that knowledge and a stronger shield to my next picture. Every director should know the ins and outs of producing a film IMO – you got to understand the machine fully to operate it to its max! So although it put me through the ringer, almost broke me and tested my tolerance level like mad – the knowledge I got out of this experience was priceless. They didn’t teach me that shit in film school that’s for sure! And yes I have an all-new respect for the Producers of the world.

On set talking a scene out with Michael Pare.

On set talking a scene out with Michael Pare.

Change of reaction: One can be strong, but after taking hit after hit after hit, you start to lower you gloves and begin to react to curve balls in a bitter and discouraged fashion. Through making The Shelter, I had to learn to “roll with it”, to see the positive in the negative “like gaining knowledge by way of hardships” and to have faith that every misstep, every sucker punch was for a greater good that maybe I didn’t see at the time. The amount of Festivals that turned me down, people who I thought would back me up but didn’t, the two forward – ten steps back rinse and repeat routine – I was focusing on that drivel instead of: The Festivals that did take us on, the people that have been there with me through thick and thin or the progress (no matter how little) that was achieved. So I am grateful for that, as that change in “reaction” is now something that I try to apply in my everyday life. I’m not perfect at it just yet, I slip now and again, but I am now even more self aware, hence when I get hit, I make a conscious choice to try to NOT react in a negative way, to take it on the chin and to see the positive within the dire situation instead. Looking back, getting discouraged or bitter only made the battle harder than it already was – nothing was gained from reacting in that fashion. NOTHING. Lesson learned and applying it is still a work in progress. One thing is for sure, I am a much stronger and evened out person due to it.

Spirituality: I was raised Catholic for the bulk of my life – had to pray at school – all that jive.  But my problem with organized religion has always been the evil that men did in its name (and in terms of Christianity, totally negating what Christ was all about in the process, but that’s another convo). Hence, none of it is black and white for me – it’s grey. THE SHELTER sent me on a new route though. Being that the film does sport Biblical inspired elements; I did lots of research on the subject matter. Through that, I became fascinated with the history behind it all; hence I started devouring books outside of the usual tomes, like the Hebrew Bible for example or the writings I could find by the “Church Fathers” (ancient Christian writers also known as the Apostolic Fathers). Today, when I travel (specially in Europe), I visit old churches and am completely fascinated as to the beauty before me and the history behind said locations. The many texts that I have since been introduced to coupled with the countless left field happenings that befell me throughout the writing and post production process has guided me a in a direction i.e. what works for me spiritually – my own path if you will. And it’s a trip to walk it!  At the same time, I now have a new kind of hobby and I am having lots of fun researching and discovering.

And that’s pretty much it, what I have gained from all of this thus far. It’s been a rock and roll two years that’s for sure! Thanks for reading! John

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Producer/Director Julien Dunand’s take on The Shelter!

new shelter image
Hola! As we strive to bring you some wonderful THE SHELTER news very soon (I know I’ve been saying that for a month now, but shit takes the time it takes i.e. much longer than anticipated); I felt like sharing with y’all one of the first pieces of feedback I got about the film, in the name of giving you an idea as to what you’re in for.

The thoughts come from French Producer/Director JULIEN DUNAND, whom I worked with on DEAD SHADOWS in 2012. The lad also produced/directed BIG JOHN (2006) and DU SANG SUR LA NEIGE (2013)  and produced NWR (Nicolas Windig Refn).

“I finished watching The Shelter. Not only do I think it’s a good movie but it might even be a great one. I probably need to see it again in a few months just to be sure. All I knew before watching it was that it was some kind of a haunted house flick. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The Shelter is a reflection about Christianity and redemption. It stands on its own as an independent film. I was taken completely by surprise. I never thought it would be what it was. As a Christian catholic, I completely got what you were trying to say. The film has real power, and I don’t mean the images. Yes the shots and frames are quality, and the overall work on visuals is very good. So is the excellent sound design. But I never paid too much attention to technique. Because visuals to me are concrete, almost mathematics. If you have decent money and a good crew, it’s not that complicated to have good camera work. I’m not saying it’s easy –just that it’s controllable. On the other hand what isn’t, is soul. The will to express something.

One thing I’ve learned in this business over the past 10 years is that it’s very easy to make a bad movie. And it’s even easier to make an average one. Directing is having something to say. I see plenty of brilliantly shot movies all the time, but they’re dull and useless because they have nothing to say. They are soulless. So they just exist out there in the middle of thousands of other ones and no one will ever remember them in 6 months. So what’s the point of making them? Making a first film can be so hard that if you don’t have anything to say, don’t do it. It’s just not worth it.

A true director is someone who has his own eye (le regard in French). And having an own eye means having soul, putting your heart and guts on screen. Expressing something. In the end it’s all that matters. It’s all that counts. It’s all that’s remembered. And I felt you did that.

It is also obvious to me that religion at some point played an important part in your life. All these images are very reminiscent to me of the early works of Martin Scorsese, from Means Streets right up to Cape Fear, but also of Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (Thomas’ character has a direct link with Harvey Keitel’s character). Who gets to ask for redemption? At what price? Under what conditions? The Shelter confronts these issues with power and force. It’s meaningful.

I tend to get emotional about all of this but the most important thing I want to say to you is this: You have something here. So what ever you do next, don’t fuck it up! Congratulations John!”

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Escape from the Dark Dimensions at Cannes 2016!

escape-3Website : www.cryofilms.com
Contact : dcmedias92@gmail.com

Hey all! ESCAPE FROM THE DARK DIMENSIONS (a screenplay that I had the pleasure of working on as co-writer and a film I’m slated to act in – it’s in the same vein as BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA btw) is being shopped around at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Writer/Director David Cholewa (who’s prior feature DEAD SHADOWS was distributed in over 25 territories and screened at the Sitges Film Festival) and Producer Sidney Chiu will be on hand pushing the project. They are presently in the process of attaching name talent to the film. Check out the synopsis and one-sheet below! I had lots of fun with this one, it’s a crazy ride! Kill it boys!!

“When best friends Gabe and John meet up at a local bar to discuss plans for Gabe’s upcoming bachelor party, they never expected to get caught in a battle between good and evil.  After running for their lives to escape the clutches of a psychotic vigilante cop named Largo, with a serious axe to grind, along with his furious henchmen, they seek refuge in a decrepit old community center where an unspeakable act has occurred.  The brilliantly deranged mathematician and master of the kabbalah, Rabbi Sandoval, has perfected a formula to open a portal which will destroy creation itself.  All the Rabbi needs is one more sacrifice to complete his evil scheme.  Now, Gabe and John are forced to make common cause with Largo, and two of the building original inhabitants, an old blind man, Isaac, who is more than he seems, and his young daughter Tsofia ,  to fight their way up through the floors, each of which is protected by a supernatural guardian more terrifying than the last, and somehow prevent Sandoval from finishing the ritual and opening the seventh portal.  Will they be able to stop the ultimate doom and make it back to the world they know? Or has time really run out?”

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Icons of Fright reviews The Shelter & a recent interview!

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The fine folks at ICONS OF FRIGHT (thanks for the support guys, much appreciated) just took a look at THE SHELTER. You can read an excerpt below and check out the entire review HERE.

“THE SHELTER is most definitely the smart man’s horror film, putting more effort into giving its viewers a character study of a man, lost and broken and forced to face and overcome the past mistakes that caused his life to spiral out of control. It’s great to see Pare shine again, he really gives a powerful performance, one that is broken and jaded, yet damaged and full of pain in ways that we as a viewers seek to put together.”

And I was also interviewed by Punk Globe recently and didn’t plug it here yet.

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Hence here is an excerpt!

“We had a fairly smooth shoot. But post-production proved to be very challenging. A lot of weird technical things kept happening, which slowed down the film’s progress considerably. It got to the point that we all started to think that we were messing with things that we’re not supposed to be messing with. I can almost write a book about the very strange things that happened around The Shelter; mostly during the writing and post-production stages.”

You can read the entire interview here!

I have been hustling hard for this film (which I now affectionately call: “My Vietnam”) non stop for a bit now – on that, I am starting to see the light i.e. looks like the constant effort is starting to pay off. More news soon!

 

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A new The Shelter clip and review!

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Hey guys and dolls! You can feast your retinas on a new clip from THE SHELTER below! I hope you enjoy it! A new review of the film just surfaced on SCREAM HORROR MAG as well. Here is an excerpt

“Whilst Fallon’s film will probably polarize most audiences, as it boldly goes where most films daren’t – relating a somewhat incongruent tale that does anything but spoon-feed viewers; in my book, that’s the epitome of the kind of films people need to be queuing up to catch instead of the spate of Hollywood horrors that don’t even try to get the audience’s grey matter muscles flexing.”

Read the whole thing here!

As for where the film is at. I’m presently hustling further Festival screenings, working on getting the film seen by more people (am expanding the audience I am targeting) while seeking worldwide distribution for the film. You can e-mail me HERE for inquiries!

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American Muscle & Deaden will have a sister. Writing female vigilante action film Eva!

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The last time that I wrote a screenplay on spec it was THE SHELTER and to be honest, the trial and tribulations that I have had with that film in 2015 nipped my creative streak in the bud for the bulk of the year. In short, handling the producing duties after the shoot killed the screenwriter in me. Now although I’m still carrying/pushing/hustling THE SHELTER (and with some help, FINALLY overcoming the obstacles that have plagued us); I’ve rediscovered my creative streak and am now in the midst of writing my next spec script EVA (working title, or maybe not).

After DEADEN and AMERICAN MUSCLE, I’ve always wanted to round up my “revenge” trilogy (as a writer anyways) with a female protagonist. I have been thinking about Eva and her story for a long time and I am now having a blast finally giving it life on the page. I’m relishing writing a strong, intelligent and damaged female lead character, the story that I have is unique within the subgenre and yes, there will be blood – lots of it. In between taking THE SHELTER home, setting up my next film as a director THE PRIZE, fulfilling my duties on a writing job for hire, a new project with Dead Shadows director David Cholewa and now EVA, my 2016 is off to a solid start. Off to the Pub! Got some writing to do.

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