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Posts Tagged ‘drama’

The Shelter with Michael Paré now on Redbox! The film to be shopped at EFM!

February 6th, 2017 No comments

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After its theatrical, VOD and DVD release, my directorial debut  THE SHELTER, starring Michael Paré (Eddie and the Cruisers, Streets of Fire) is now be available (in the USA) on RedBox TODAY (February 7, 2017)!

I gotta say it; I’m really happy that The Shelter is getting a wider reach in North America via Redbox, with the main reason being (and I know this is gonna sound f-ing pretentious) that I had “something to say” with the film in terms of the human condition. Again, the most rewarding aspect of having made this movie thus far has been the people who have contacted me to let me know how after watching it they entered a state of self-reflection…

In related news; the film will be shopped at the upcoming EFM (European Film Market) in Berlin starting February 9. For distribution queries or to set up a meeting at said market, E-MAIL Uncork’d Entertainment HERE!

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Female vigilante project doing the rounds! Meet EVA!

November 12th, 2016 No comments

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Am happy to announce that (after Deaden and American Muscle) I am re-visiting the vigilante subgenre for the third and last time with EVA, a film that I wrote and will direct. I have to say that it was my most challenging script within that genre as it deals with a very real and ugly reality (the sex trade). I wanted to explore the subject matter in a responsible way while at the same time delivering the thrills action/violence wise. So it was a bit of a balancing act.eva-1
Moreover, this had to be the most appalling research I ever had to do for a script. In fact, lots of the horror on the page was inspired by true events that happened to real life sex trade victims. Yes truth was more disgusting than anything I could have come up with. Find below the promo one-sheet for EVA and its short synopsis! The poster was created by 3 Demon Entertainment and the model is the lovely Melanie Mark Coleman. The film is now in active development (am seeking the pieces to get it off the ground). I am proud of the script and it will make for one hell of a drama/action flick! To be continued.

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Synopsis:
At 16 years old, young Eva was kidnapped, drugged and forced to sell herself by sex traffickers. 10 years later, after a life of all too frequent physical and psychological abuse, a now 26 years old Eva is addicted to drugs and is completely dead inside. That’s until an encounter with a “John” goes violently wrong and sends her to the hospital…near dead.  A month later, Eva finally recovers and for the first time in 10 years, she is free of her captors and the substances that had such a hold her. Once back in the world, she only has one thing on her mind: vengeance against those who robbed her of her life. And with the help of a mysterious stranger, she goes about attaining her retribution in harsh and brutal ways.

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Three ways The Shelter experience has changed me…

August 1st, 2016 No comments

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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!

May 30th, 2016 No comments

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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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Icons of Fright reviews The Shelter & a recent interview!

March 30th, 2016 No comments

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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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The Shelter goes to Oz! To screen at the A Night of Horror Film Festival!

November 4th, 2015 No comments

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Hey all, well after its Frightfest and Sitges screenings, looks like THE SHELTER is not done this year just yet. It’s now set to screen at the A Night of Horror Film Festival in Sidney Australia on Sunday November 29 at 5:00pm (BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE). I have a soft spot for that festival as it was where I premiered my short film THE RED HOURS (Watch it here) and won an award for it.

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… :)”

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The Shelter to screen in Lafayette LA this November!

October 2nd, 2015 No comments

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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!

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New The Shelter review, audio interview and more!

September 29th, 2015 No comments

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Building up to THE SHELTER Sitges Screening, lots of Shelter related goodies have been popping up online. First we had new reviews by Horrornews.net and This is Horror. Here are excerpts.

Horrornews.net: “It reminded me a lot of the films of David Lynch and Roman Polanski and is just a very strong, intelligent character-driven piece that is sure to satisfy viewers. Pare does an excellent job bringing him (his character) to life. As a matter of fact I really couldn’t see anyone else playing the part as well as Pare did and he really shows just how talented of an actor he truly is with this performance.” –  You can read the whole review here!

This is Horror: “The Shelter is pretty much a one man vehicle for Michael Pare who is never anything but captivating as he owns the screen. It’s not easy to hold an audience’s attention for an entire movie, but the combinations of Pare’s experience as an actor and Fallon’s energy, vision and storytelling style  is both entrancing and intoxicating. For those who are prepared to engage with it The Shelter will run deep and resonate within for a long time after the credits have rolled.” – Read the entire review here!

Then DP Bobby Holbrook and I stopped by the WE CAME FROM THE BASEMENT show to talk about the shoot, post prod and beyond! Listen to it here! It made for a very candid and funny sit down.

Finally, swift QNA’s have been appearing on the official THE SHELTER BLOG. So far DP Bobby Holbrook, producer Donny Broussard and actresses Rachel Whittle and Amy Wickenheiser have been covered! Click the names to read the chats!

And that’s it for now! On my end, I am now prepping for Spain as it’s around the corner (October 9 baby), we’re trying to lock distribution for the film, am submitting the flick to more Festivals and at the same I am hustling to get my next film off the ground. Lots of work, lots of actions, won’t stop till I get the wanted reactions. Peace, love and God bless! JF

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The Shelter at Sitges, varied interviews and reviews!

September 18th, 2015 No comments

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A lot has been going on in terms of my directorial debut THE SHELTER since its FRIGHTFEST screening (read all about that and see the reviews here). And hey I’m not complaining! Here we go!

-The film will be screening at the prestigious SITGES FILM FESTIVAL on October 9th at 8:00PM at the Retiro as part of the Panorama Fantastic section! I will be there to present it. The last time I was in Sitges was as press for AITH in 2010. I promised myself then I wouldn’t go back unless I had my first feature as a director under my belt – so there ya have it!

More press on the film surfaced:

-I talked about the film with SCI FI NOW HERE!
-Talked with THIS IS HORROR about the film HERE!
-HORRORNEWS and I had a chat about the movie HERE!
-I had a “deep” chat about the film and spirituality with STARBURST MAGAZINE HERE
-I yapped with HORRORTALK.COM about the flick HERE.
-The Shelter star Michael Pare was interviewed by HORRORNEWS.NET HERE
while his genre career was dissected on my site AITH HERE.

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-Finally HORRORTALK gave it a semi conflicted review HERE and the UK genre site THIS IS HORROR covered it too! Here is an excerpt:

“The Shelter is pretty much a one man vehicle for Michael Pare who is never anything but captivating as he owns the screen. It’s not easy to hold an audience’s attention for an entire movie, but the combinations of Pare’s experience as an actor and Fallon’s energy, vision and storytelling style  is both entrancing and intoxicating.For those who are prepared to engage with it The Shelter will run deep and resonate within for a long time after the credits have rolled.” Read the entire review HERE!

So that’s it for now! Lots of hustling and strategizing on my end in the name of getting the film where it needs to be. Posing lots of actions, not always getting the intended reactions – but that’s the nature of the beast. I just keep forging forward man, with faith that through perseverance, the movie will be where it needs to be at the end of this journey. THE SHELTER is a HUGE chunk of my life right now. Huge.

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I know more press about the film will arise in due time, more Festival screenings are up in the air and I am also hoping that the Sitges screening will be a good push for the picture in terms of it finding a home ( for distribution inquiries, e-mail us here ).  I’ll keep keeping you all in the loop as always! Please keep tabs on the film via the Official The Shelter blog (we’re having cast and crew QNA’s pop up there at random) and the FB page!

Again, a big thank you to those of you who have are still supporting me and the film. Cheers and God bless! John

PS: Here’s a behind the scenes shot from The Shelter. Why? Why not!? :)

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Making sure the noose is nice and comfy for star Michael Pare!

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The Shelter world premiere at Film4 Frightfest! Personal recap!

September 2nd, 2015 No comments
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Ready and able to dodge tomatoes!

Hey all! So executive producer Berge Garabedian and I are back from THE SHELTER world premiere at FILM4 FRIGHTFEST in London England. I’m a bit sick, jet lagged and I probably gained 5 pounds by way of all them pints of Trooper Ale I guzzled (back in the Gym tomorrow), but I am happy!

The screening went well from my POV. Granted not everybody will like what you create, especially when it’s something that is in some ways “non-traditional” like The Shelter, and that is fine. On that, I found it very rewarding to hear from the people who did esteem it, those who were moved by it and got something out of it. That has been my favorite part of this process thus far. Moreover, the reviews that came out of the Fest (below) were positive for the most part.  I’m anticipating more reviews/interviews to surface in the following week. I’ll of course keep you all in the loop!

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Thanks for the support goombah! None of this would have happened without you.

In closing, I want to say a big thank you to the Film4 Frightfest team ( Alan Jones, Greg Day, Ian Rattray, Paul McEvoy) for having us and the film. We had lots of fun and I was happy to learn first hand WHY Frightfest is considered to be one of the best genre Film Festivals in the world! And of course a huge thank you to the people who showed up at the screening!  I also saw old friends on this trip and made many new ones. In short,  I’m feeling blessed like a mothertrucker today! – All love baby! All love.

You can expect more THE SHELTER news shortly. I am hoping that the Frightfest showing will act as the beginning of a new chapter for the movie. This has been and still is a long and hard f*cking road. I’m learning a lot as I forge forward (like just how much longer of a journey getting an Indie film from point A to point Z truly is). All good though. Onward and forward!

shelter-ogoFOR THE SHELTER DISTRIBUTION INQUIRIES, E-MAIL OUR SALES AGENT HERE!

SCIFINOW: “The Shelter swirls Christianity and Silent Hill-levels of guilt to torment its protagonist, and Fallon’s strong visual style combines with a very strong turn from Pare to good effect. There’s a confidence to Fallon’s choices too, as he gives us a not particularly likeable protagonist and maintains a sombre tone throughout this emotionally raw journey.” – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE

STARBURST MAGAZINE: “For all its anger and impressive visuals, The Shelter is a meditative piece about moving from confusion to the acceptance of something perhaps cannot be fully understood. Fallon’s piece is piercing as a disconcerting family dreamscape.” – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE

MOVIERAMBLINGS.COM: “Director John Fallon keeps the audience on their toes, as well as off balance, with a series of scenes that practically force the viewer to pay attention. From what appears a simple opening the film opens up into musings on life, love, loss, suffering and redemption.” – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE

THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS:The Shelter is the directorial debut of John Fallon who, up until now, has had a steady career as an actor and writer. His first venture running things highlights a lot of visual flair and a head full of ideas. A tale of one man’s existential plight, the horrors within The Shelter aren’t your usual jump scares or buckets of blood. Imagine being trapped, watching a movie of all your greatest mistakes with no way to turn it off, that’s way more horrifying than anything Carpenter could dream up. ” – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE

NERDLY: “The Shelter is at its core a one-man production, with Michael Paré carrying the film entirely on his shoulders and often without saying so much as a word – often backed only by atmospheric visuals and a strong, sullen, score. And Paré revels in it, easily giving his best performance since the actors early 80s heyday.” -READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE

BRITFLICKS: “It’s an uncomfortable watch as real become unreal! THE SHELTER broods on the edges of hope, but like all falls from grace, rock bottom is as high as Thomas will ever get and this story rubs him into the dirt like a discarded cigarette.” – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE

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AINT IT COOL NEWS: ” Writer/director John Fallon conveys this theme of loss and regret clearly and expertly. Sure, that makes for the exact opposite of the feel good movie of the year, but it does make for a pretty fantastic character study of a man who has crumbled to almost nothing.Pare really gives it his all here, plunging to emotional depths I never thought he was able to do and doing them with a real sense of soul. – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE!

FROMDUSKTILLCON: “The Shelter is a beautifully crafted movie that every horror fan should see. It’s clearly a love letter to the genre.  If you love movies that don’t spell everything out for you and leaves it up for debate and discussion, then this is the movie for you.  I personally can’t give it high enough praise for accomplishing what it did.  You owe it to yourself to check it out ! – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE!

 

DREAD CENTRAL: “Paré, doing most of his acting alone and in relative silence, is a standout. He’s got to carry this whole film on his shoulders, and he does it ably. It’s Paré’s parade, lock and stock.   Overall The Shelter is enjoyable, well made and ably acted. It is definitely worth a look for fans of psychological slow burns.” – READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE

 

SUPERMARCEY: “THE SHELTER is one of those special indie films that comes along out of the blue and completely floors you. Since watching this film, I haven’t stopped thinking about it and its deeper meanings. You know you have seen something special when it leaves you shaking and wanting more. A fine film, that fit me like a glove. - READ THE WHOLE REVIEW HERE

 

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