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I look back at my 2015 and I raise my gloves, ready to take on 2016!


Looking back at 2015, all I remember off hand are two things: 1- Greg Plitt died out of no where on January 17 of 2015 (a man who helped me get back on track via his site/videos years ago. His passing prompted me to go back to his site and once again he helped a lot this year) and my film THE SHELTER, which took over the bulk of my thoughts and efforts. The film resulted in some positive things like cool festival runs, positive reviews, meeting new people, making new contacts and new opportunities arising.

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Work hard – play hard. Always.

It also came with its fair share of hardships (that I will go into when all is said and done some day – I may write a book 🙂 ) and some trial by fire i.e. gaining further knowledge as to the current state of the film market through my mistakes. Shelter aside, I actually had to look back at my 2015 pictures to remind me of what else I did that year and yeah, I had yet another groovy year of doing what makes me happy: training, nature, my friends, traveling and challenging myself.

Top of my head here are some of my favorite personal moments of 2015!

Tackled one of the biggest mountains I have ever scaled. What a rush. I want more!
My dad got hit with larynx cancer early this year. I was sure he was gonzo. But the man fought and with the help of my family's support he rose back uo and lived further...
My dad got hit with larynx cancer early this year. I was sure he was a goner, but the man fought (respect) and with the help of our support, he prevailed. Happy to still have him around.
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In Paris, France with the Dead Shadows cast/crew for an autograph session. It was so cool to see everybody again, to be in Paris, a city that I love, and to spend time with the Cholewa clan aka awesome people.
The Shelter has its world premiere at Firghtfest in the UK. The critcis loved it - the public was half/half. It was a great moment to share with exec producer Berge Garabedian,
The Shelter had its world premiere at Frightfest in the UK and we got lots of solid reviews out of it.  It was a great moment to share with exec producer/buddy Berge Garabedian, Seeing old friends (Richard Cosgrove!) and drinking Trooper Ale were also big pluses 🙂
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Spent even more time at the lake house. Can’t go wrong when your time is all about nature, training, reading, exploring, writing and the water.
Although the Sitges Film Festival The Shelter screening didn’t go as well as I wanted it to for varied reasons (image problems on our DCP being one of them), I got to hang with my brother Mike Hostench, hit some fly parties, appreciated the setting once again, had fun with Rurik Salle and met new great peeps like Julien Seri and Pascal Sid. VIVA SITGES!
Eric Red and I worked on the same set together. I did photography and second unit directing/camera work. Although it was easily the lousiest set I had ever been on, it solidified my brotherhood with Eric Red. We survived this and remained hombres -we can survive anything. And for that and the experience - I was grateful...
Eric Red and I worked on the same set together for the first time time since 100 Feet. This time I did second unit directing/camera work and took on set pics. Without going into details;  the war that was this set solidified my brotherhood with Eric.  And for that and the experience – I was grateful…
The Shelter, which is a film that addresses spirituality or lack of, has been responsible for an eviloution in my own faith. Hence after Sitgges, I spend a week in Barcelona, and my borther Gnzalo Lopez and I woukd up havong a pilhramege. We visited an old church or old monestary every day for 7 days. Once all was said and done, I was a new man. Love you Gonz, till the next time!
Streamlining The Shelter, which is a film that addresses spirituality or lack of, has been responsible for an evolution in my own spiritual path. Hence after Sitges, I spend a week in Barcelona with my bro Gonzalo.  We wound up having a pilgrimage of sorts and I found it very rewarding.
Last but certainly not least; I was very happy to see that A Night of Horror programmer Dean Bertram respj nded so mcuh t The Shelter, enogh to screen i at his prestigious Fetsival. The crowd dug t and star Mcuhgael Pare won a career achievemnt award for his work n teh film. Twas a good ending for The Shelter in 2015
I was very happy to see The Shelter screen at the prestigious A Night of Horror Film Festival in Australia. The crowd dug it and star Michael Pare won a career achievement award for his work in the film. Twas a good ending for The Shelter in 2015
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At Greg Plitt’s place of death. It was very important for me to pay respect. He inspired/motivated me so much all year, it was the least I could do. It took hours to find the exact spot of his passing. Was worth it. RIP Legend.

In terms of negatives, I’m not one to dwell on those cause, well, what will that achieve? Nothing. I’ll just say that the odd energy around The Shelter gave me a run for my patience, maximum effort often led to maximum frustrations as opposed to results and knives stabbed in my back here and a severe “misjudgement of character on my part” there should be noted… nothing new at this point, people are people. Lastly, my 14 year old dog is on her way out (going deaf,  blind and very old) it’s coming and I am bracing myself… such is life. 🙁

My dog can't swim alone anymore...too old. I still have her work-out though. Use it or lose it.
My dog Toby can’t swim alone anymore…she’s too old. I still have her work-out though. Use it or lose it.

I feel very positive in terms of 2016 though (just got back from a stay in the wilderness – that always sets me right)! The Shelter will screen at a handful of Festivals and will lock distribution, am pumped to get my next film The Prize off the ground, I’m starting boxing again (after dealing with a stubborn tennis elbow in 2015 that got in my way, I finally healed it), I’ll be part of handful of exciting projects (as a writer and actor), already have some traveling on the horizon, mother nature is always in my plans and I will focus on awakening by creative side again, specially when it comes to writing for myself. Producing The Shelter in 2015 kind of numbed by creative juices, I won’t let that happen this year.  That’s it in a nutshell! Welcome to 2016 people! I leave you with my 2016 National Anthem:


My National Anthem for 2016!

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The Shelter at the Sitges Film Festival! My thoughts….

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The SITGES FILM FESTIVAL screening of THE SHELTER has come and gone and here are my quick thoughts on how it went down. When I presented the film I said: “You know me for films with tits and gore” and the crowd went wild and then I said “Well, this isn’t one of those” and the crowd groaned. This was the first day of the Fest, the audience wanted to party and if there’s one thing THE SHELTER is NOT is a party movie. With that aside; the crowd didn’t boo (those trustee whistles) which I saw as a positive thing and they all clapped at a certain point which at least told me they were involved in the happenings.

PS: It was star Michael Pare’s B-Day on that day – thanks to the crowd for their well wishes 🙂

PPS: When the flick finally rolled, I did a double take. The image didn’t look too good with the colors being all over the place. Not sure if it was my DCP, the projector or a bit of both, but the film never looked this bad on a big screen. I am still in Spain now, but when I get home, I will get to the bottom of things as I NEVER want the movie to look like that on a big screen again.

Me and Dead Shadows co-star Rurik Salle finally finishing our fight!

Post screening, I corresponded in person with folks at the Fest and online with people who enjoyed the picture and on the flip side I read some negative things online but nothing that I would call too thought out i.e. no sweat off my bulldog balls. Hence overall my SITGES was a positive one , saw old amigos (too many to name, you know who you are), made new ones, saw one film that I LOVED (Julien Seri’s Night Fare – see it), dealt with one sucker-punch burst of negative energy in a surprisingly admirable fashion (I impressed myself… God bless this new maturity), appreciated all of the fans who came to see me (signed some Shelter and even Dead Shadows stuff) and that supported me and left Sitges to hit Barcelona with a smile on my face.

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With great men Rurik Salle, Pascal Sid and Julien Seri. Keep fighting gents!

I am now talking with varied distributors who are interested in putting out THE SHELTER, say prayers, knock on wood, do whatever you do – send that positive energy our way! In closing: big thank you to the Sitges Film Festival and specifically to the great Mike Hostench for having me and making my stay there yet another memorable one. See you with the next film!

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Blessed to know this man for 10 years! The Hostench!
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The Shelter world premiere at Film4 Frightfest! Personal recap!

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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!

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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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