If there’s one thing that I learned via making The Shelter is that a film stays with you for a long time when you’re the director and head producer on it. The flick was released at the end of 2016 and here I am still talking about it!
My directorial debut starring Michael Pare which the L.A. TIMES called “remarkably ambitious” and “a concise genre piece that doubles as a heavily metaphorical character sketch”, had previously been released on DVD and VOD in the United States, and was also sold in various countries around the world.
Since The Shelter’s domestic release, we’ve done all that we could in terms of the classic route of finding distribution internationally. And although we did have some success (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden South East Asia, Canada) we’ve come to the conclusion that the best move to make at this final stage is to end on this different avenue.
I’m happy that everybody will finally be able to watch this unique, odd and very personal film. And for me, this marks the end of my 4 years journey with this picture. So there’s something to celebrate and be proud of right there! Thanks to all who have supported me and the film over the years!
It has been a very rewarding experience, one that changed who I am and that re-sparked and enriched by spirituality. I’m a better man and filmmaker for it and will bring all of that into my next film HERETIC. Peace and God bless! John
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.
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!
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 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.
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.”
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!
I’m so happy that THE SHELTER will screen there, my only regret is that I won’t be there to support the screening in person (I made a prior commitment the Southern Screen Film Festival – the film will play there too) and hang with all the fine folks at the Festival. On that, I do have a message for the ANOH crowd:
“The Shelter is a moody, trippy and introspective film, hence set those gore and bouncing melons expectations aside. As opposed to what I have done in the past, this is not that kind of movie.Don’t go in there expecting a party, think more the mood of a funeral… :)”
In the words of the immortal Gunther: “Mama mia, give me a sangria!”
Filmmaking is a team sport…period. Everybody from craft, PA, makeup, crew, cast etc. makes the film happen. So it was very important for me to lock a screening of THE SHELTER in Lafayette Louisiana (where we shot the picture), so that the people who worked on the movie would have the opportunity to see it on the big screen.
Good news is – it is FINALLY locked in stone. THE SHELTER will screen in Lafayette, LA between November 19 and 22nd 2015 at the SOUTHERN SCREEN FILM FESTIVAL. I of course invite everybody that hustled on the film to attend. Will I be there? I want to be, I am not 100% sure yet, I will know in about two weeks. But if I am, I’ll try to bring star Michael Pare with me! So there you have it! WOOT!
I was recently interviewed by the famous fan site AIN’T IT COOL NEWS aka AICN. We talked THE SHELTER…what else?! All I got these days 🙂 Here is an excerpt:
CO: Was there anything else that changed between the script and what was shot?
JF: The religious imagery. There was a statue of Christ and I do little ‘push ins’ on it. When I walked into the house location, the man who owned it was a hardcore Christian and it was filled with religious imagery everywhere. Everywhere. EVERYWHERE. It was a shrine to Christ. And I was like, okay, we’re in the right house.
THE SHELTER will be screening at the SITGES FILM FESTIVAL on October 9th at 8:00PM at the Retiro as part of the Panorama Fantastic section! Writer/Director John Fallon will be on hand to present the screening.
A new THE SHELTER review just surfaced via Fromdusktillcon.com. Here’s an exceprt:
“John Fallon certainly has an interesting style of direction. He gets the most out of his actors certainly, which is an amazing skill for any director to have. But on top of that, you can clearly see how much he loves the genre as his influences show up on screen. There were times the film reminded me of the works of David Lynch, Dario Argento, and even the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. This is perhaps the highest compliment I can pay to Mr. Fallon. His work is evocative of such luminous names in the industry yet this is undoubtedly his own film. It’s quite frankly a horrifically beautiful sight to behold.”
As the Film4 Frightfest THE SHELTER (get your tickets here). screening gets closer and closer, I’ve been doing more and more press about the film. Here’s the latest! I had a candid talk with SciFiNow (go Habs go Jonathan Hatfull); here’s an excerpt!
You’ve been a critic, screenwriter, actor…was directing always something that you wanted to do?
Directing has always been my Holy Grail, if you will. I started off going to film school, and after film school I went to theatre school for three years and then graduated from that, and then entered the business mostly as an actor and as a script doctor fixing other people’s scripts. Directing was always something that I wanted to do but life goes the way it goes, and when The Shelter came about I knew that was going to be the one. I would fulfill my Holy Grail. I had other scripts that I wrote that I came close to directing, and other people wound up directing them, but The Shelter was so personal and weird and had so much to do with my own individual spirituality that I knew that there was no way somebody else could direct it but me!
Hey guys, I was recently interviewed by the fine Ozzie site CULT PROJECTIONS to talk THE SHELTER and more! Here’s an excerpt!
CP: Was Michael Paré always the actor you had in mind, or did you have an audition process?
John: Having met Mike and spent time with him in Budapest on the set of Eric Red’s 100 Feet in 2008, I actually had him in mind when I wrote the script. The lead character looked like him in my head. But at the time I didn’t think he’d do the movie. He was very busy hence when it came down to it, I was looking for somebody “like Michael Pare” to star in The Shelter. That’s until co-producer Donny Broussard convinced me to just send him the script and see what happens. Mike read it, he dug it, I met him in LA, we talked it out and made a deal. It was meant to be. I didn’t audition him and I didn’t need to. I knew he was up the task and that he had that key quality this particular role needed: magnetism. The audience had to want to watch him being that he’s pretty much in every frame of the picture. Mike pulled it off and then some in my opinion; his visceral performance is one of The Shelter’s main strengths.