Hey all! I’m back from Paris, France and I am happy that I got to support the French release of DEAD SHADOWS in person. Of course its home country was the last to distribute it, but hey better late than never. I will personally always look back at DEAD SHADOWS fondly. The flick means a lot to me for many reasons and allow me to share with you the main one: You see, at the end of 2009 I had a near stroke. It was one of the scariest moments of my life and it acted as a trigger for changes I HAD TO make. At the same time, the end of 2009 was when the film market bubble burst and the movie projects (i.e years of work) I had going went tits up. So all that to say, I was not doing too well. It took the bulk of 2010 for me to change my lifestyle and get my health, drive and my mind back on track (hardest year of my life thus far). And although I had made some major headway come 2011, I was still dealing with leftovers of that awful night, something I was still learning to deal with: random anxiety/panic attacks.
So in 2011 when Director/Producer David Cholewa asked me to play John in DEAD SHADOWS, the film resulted in me getting back on the “film biz horse” after basically taking a year and half off to heal and rebuild myself. I hadn’t acted in anything since the near stroke, apart from a short stint on a webseries (which I did right after said life uppercut, thinking it would help me psychologically – it did not, – I was a scarred and overweight mess). Hence at the time, I perceived DEAD SHADOWS as the kick-off to the NEW beginning I was striving towards and I was right, it was and I haven’t looked back since. What doesn’t kill you… you know the rest 🙂
On that, a big thank you (s) to David Cholewa for involving me in this adventure, to Sylvie Cholewa and Laurie Cholewa for their kindness and hospitality (ratatouille!), to the cast/crew that were a pleasure to work with, to Producer Julien Dunand for also having me onboard and to the peeps who have supported the picture. Here are some pics from the signing in Paris (at the Metaluna Store), which also acted as a sort of reunion for us! It was great to see everybody! A little older, a little wiser – still hungry! With the film having had its home turf wide release; I can now say with a straight face that my DEAD SHADOWS ride is over. Lets get that sequel going! 😉
David Cholewa’s DEAD SHADOWS will finally come full circle and be released on disk in its home country of France on April 7th. To celebrate, there will be a signing event with some of the DEAD SHADOWS cast and crew on April 4th at the Metaluna Store (7 rue Dante), which will of course sell the disk, and I am happy to announce that I will be there to partake in the event.
Here’s who will be there thus far: Co Writer, Director and Co Producer David Cholewa, fellow actors Rurik Salle and Fabian Wolfrom, editor César Ducasse and producer Julien Dunand
Here’s the film’s synopsis:
Dead Shadows tells the terrifying story of a young man, named Chris (Wolfrom), whose parents were brutally killed 11 years ago, on the same day that Halley’s comet could be seen from earth. Tonight, a new comet is appearing and everyone in his building are getting ready for a party to celebrate the event. There’s even an apocalypse theory going around. As the night falls, Chris discovers that people are starting to act strange – and it seems to somehow be connected to the comet. They are becoming disoriented and violent and it doesn’t take long before they begin to mutate into something far beyond this world. In a fight for survival, Chris tries to escape from his building with the help of a gun taunting tenant named John (Fallon) – but will they make it out alive?
I didn’t do a retrospective of 2013 on this blog, because it just wasn’t worth it. It was a year filled with waste of my time, thick bullshit and negative energy. Not one for the records. A year to forget. But at the end of the year, I had a burning desire to turn it all around and I went back to the basic rule of life. You have to pose an action to get a reaction; nothing will happen unless you prod life to budge… so that’s what I did.
So in 2014 I “cut myself off” from said BS that ruined 2013 and started off the year by taking a huge risk, putting it all on the line in the name of directing my first film; THE SHELTER. It needs to be said that the film would not have happened without pal and producer Donny Broussard who took on and aced the pre production of the film early on. He and his team got me everything I needed and efficiently at that! I couldn’t have asked for more! Our hard working cast/crew who hustled hard on the shoot and JoBlo Movie Productions who came in and financed the Post Production once the shoot was done also helped make this dream a reality. So thank you all for that, I will never forget it.
With Producer Donny Broussard and actor Michael Pare on The Shelter set!
Yup, getting The Shelter done was my highlight of 2014.
I felt alive on that set and in my element if you will. Having a veteran like Michael Pare as a lead was a pleasure (and an education), the Holbrooks were on f-ing fire (loved their on set ethics) and I was finally able to accomplish a dream that I’ve had for over 10 years. So I can stop this retrospective right here! In January of 2014 I finally reached what had been my Holy Grail for eons; I directed my first feature. But ya known what? I feel like babbling, so lets move on!
The rest of 2014 also had more The Shelter, The Shelter and The Shelter in it. Holbrook Multi Media and I took on Post Production duties with the whole of the process taking 8 months (on and off) to bring home. It was a lot of work (note to self, next film, I have to pay myself), but work is fine when you enjoy what you’re doing. And what really stimulated me was that it was all creative.
Post on The Shelter with sound designer Colby Huval and editor Bobby Holbrook!
Locking the cut with editor Bobby Holbrook, working the score with composer Shawn Knippleberg, overseeing the VFX with Thomas Wilson or sitting down with Colby “Road House” Huval to nail that sound design; all mucho stimulating processes, made all that much more easy, being that these were fun fucking guys to work with. Needless to say I learned more about every aspect of filmmaking (and producing…ahhh…producing… learn from your mistakes Johnny, LEARN!) from The Shelter, than I did in my entire life. That includes film school and the countless sets I have been on. So I will bring all of this new knowledge with me onto the next film (The Shadowing baby!). To say I am a better man for it would be an understatement.
Other than The Shelter, it was swell to see past work come to fruition. David Cholewa’s DEAD SHADOWS ( a sci-fi/action film that I acted in) got its North American release via Scream Factory while Ravi Dhar’s AMERICAN MUSCLE (a film that I wrote and acted in) was unleashed on disk and Netflix via WellGoUsa. Both got good to middle ground to negative reviews but nothing entertained me more than than the “critics” who got their underpants in a bunch over American Muscle’s depiction of slutty women (the film was set in the biker world, not a Royal Wedding). Of course the fact that all the men in the film were all PURE SCUM with our leading man being the biggest SLUT of them all went over their heads but I digress. Highly entertaining reads from my POV. Thank you! needless to say that those were two projects that I am VERY PROUD to be a part of.
American Muscle came out this year! It pissed some people off. That made me happy!
I also planted more seeds in 2014 in the form of two screenplays that I gunned out. I was hired to adapt/translate a french graphic novel into a script and I’m very happy as to how it turned out (I can’t say which novel it is at this stage) and then I was hired to do a polish on another script (initially written by somebody I grew up admiring), which in time wound up basically being a Page 1 rewrite to fit the producer’s wants. I can’t say which script that was either just yet but you’ll all know in due time. So two scripts in the bank and two acting roles on hold as well!
In between all that; I spent some considerable time in LA (always great to see my bro Eric Red and his lovely better half Meredith), I then fled to Spain again for a while (saw my bro Gonzalo there, hiked Montserrat once more, partied with my bud Mike Hostench and the beautiful city that is Barcelona always warms my heart), worked a script at my friend’s beach house (ideal place to write) and I got to experience some Navy Seal training in Washington DC. It was just a TINY taste of it, but I got hooked and I’ll be back to do the whole course when my wallet says I can.
At home in nature.
In between all of that, I saw all kinds of Habs games live at the Bell Center (all winning games too, thx Bryant and Berge) spent lots of time in nature (nothing makes me happier than being there… nothing), hiking mountains, kayaking, sea-dooing, skiing, snowmobiling, tree climbing, running and had a memorable booze/hockey fueled party week with my bud Bryant who came down from Australia to let loose. Fun, alcohol laced, weight gaining good times! Always great to see the lad.
Speaking of weight gain; I considerably cut down on my boozing this year. I have been spending more time in the Gym, playing hockey (not as much as I wanted), being in the wild, and more time boxing than in Pubs. I kind of like it that way to be honest It keeps me out of trouble, keeps me fit and really helps in terms of relieving stress. And more importantly – it makes me happy. I’ll be trying out Kickboxing early next year and giving classic boxing a rest for a bit, lets see how it goes!
Got a SMALL taste of Navy Seals training! LOVED IT!
2014 wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. As much as it was productive and rewarding, it also came with its fair share of hick-ups… such is life. As opposed to listing all that went wrong, I’ll just list what I learned from it all and what I will bring with me in 2015
–Always back up your work cause you never know when your computer will die on you. I lost 25 pages of a spec script cause of that when my laptop went kaput. And now my PC just went down on me too (that didn’t sound right).
-I’m not a very trusting person by nature. But I was reminded the HARD WAY that mistrust shouldn’t just be applied to the people in your day to day surroundings, it also should be applied to complete strangers. People are fucking nuts out there! You have to watch your back, ALL THE TIME.
-Many are all talk and don’t keep their word, specially in the film biz. Just how it is. I have to deal with it and stop getting so pissed about it. The saying: You scratch my back, I scratch yours should be re-named as: I scratch yours, I scratch yours, I scratch yours.
-The saying: You want something done right, do it yourself, should be re-named as: You want something done, period, do it yourself, period.
Practicing my hockey.
-I fell for the oldest film financing deception in the book in 2014 at the hand of a scumbag “producer”, I was ashamed that after all that I have been through that I fell for such an old trick AGAIN and wasted so much of my time and efforts. It won’t happen again. Stern reminder.
-If you don’t want some nut-job out there to throw your cats in an abandoned pool and drown them to death; don’t let your cats out the house. I lost two of my feline buddies that way this year, and it broke my heart. Then I broke something else…
There’s another end of the year whopper that has already started to change my life and I will address that one when the time is right. Look for a blog entry about it in the near future.
In closing; if 2014 was the year THE SHELTER got made; 2015 will be the year when I find it a HOME! Sales, distribution and Festivals in should be interesting! I’m also excited to take on THE SHADOWING full time and get that bad-boy off the ground! I have a plan. It’s my next film as a director and I’m totally in love with the script. it’s gonna OWN! I also got other projects up in the air with other people, a couple of acting roles too, but it’s too early for me to feel 100% excited about them i.e. I’ll believe it when it happens. I don’t buy talk – I buy action.
Onward and forward!
Do I have any resolutions? I guess quit Nicotine gum without getting back to cigarettes. Yeah, that would be it. Tough one. I also have a French sports spec script I’ve been wanting to write forever. I think 2015 is the year. Other than that just keep doing what I’m doing; challenge myself, work my butt off and continue to achieve. Oh and keep enjoying life. I’m thankfully a simple man and I don’t need much. Give me a lake to sit by or a mountain to hike and I’m happy as a pig in shit.
To some degree, 2015 will be uncharted territory for me; meaning that basically, my whole life changed in 2014 and now it’s time for me to find out where it goes in 2015. I anticipate lots of traveling and new endeavors that may surprise me. I made all kinds of new film biz connections in 2014 and I hope it leads to more exciting film projects in 2015. Whatever the case, I know I’ll have a good time traveling the path to find out what is in store for me! Successful or not. Rich or poor. I don’t sit on my hands and I always find a way to have a good time 🙂 Here’s my 2015 National Anthem. RISE. 🙂
Happy New Year everybody! Much love and God bless!
Hey all! As you know we are presently in Post production on The Shelter and it’s shaping up great. With that, I’m already eager to direct again, hence started setting up my next feature, the horror/action/sci-fi THE SHADOWING (LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE). I’ll let our official press release do the talking and our one-sheet is at the end of this story! Share the news around if you can!
Producer Christopher White and Producer/Director John Fallon team up on
The Shadowing! Teaser Poster revealed!
HOLLYWOOD, CA (April 30, 2014) – Producer Christopher White (MTV’s hit franchise My Super Psycho Sweet 16 – The ABCs of Death: “D Is For Dogfight” segment) and Producer/Director John Fallon (The Shelter) under his company Bruise Productions Inc. have teamed up to produce the action, sci-fi thriller THE SHADOWING, which Fallon is set to direct.
From a story by John Fallon and written by Jason Hewlett and Fallon; THE SHADOWING is a relentless action/ sci-fi/ horror hybrid in the veins of Predator. You can download its teaser poster HERE (poster Art by Alan Robert).
Christopher White had this to say about the project: “John sent me The Shadowing and it read like a really cool 80’s throwback action flick. It’s fast paced, violent and has enough testosterone packed action to make Schwarzenegger and Stallone giddy like a couple of gossiping school girls. It’s going to be fun to make this movie with a long time friend of mine.”
John Fallon: “The Shadowing has been a pet project of mine for years. It has all of the elements I personally look for in terms of a good time at the movies. I am elated to have Christopher White on board. We’ve known each other for eons and I am looking forward in seeing the project through with him. And directing something completely different and more action oriented than The Shelter is very appealing to me.”
And some words from screenwriter Jason Hewlett: “John Fallon told me about The Shadowing back in 2012, when he was a guest of honor at a genre festival I co-hosted. At the time, I thought it’d make a great movie, and I was excited when he asked me if I wanted to write it a few months later. I’m damn proud of our finished script, and I know audiences will be in for a ballsy and intense ride.”
A group of Special Forces soldiers on leave after a successful mission in Iraq head out to a cabin in the mountains with their beloved wives and their children in the name of having a good time and getting some well deserved relaxation. But as the night falls, it brings with it an unexpected and particularly strong snow storm hence forcing everyone to remain indoors. The following morning, the men wake up to find their children dead and their better halves missing, with the only clue left behind being an odd pair of footprints in the snow. Panicked, the men fall back on their military training to get them through the dire situation. They proceed to arm themselves and head out into the wilderness to find their spouses. What they will encounter will prove to be cunning, deadly and not of this world.
THE SHADOWING is presently in development. The producers are looking at cast and are in the process of securing financing.
Eight days till DEAD SHADOWS hits North American shelves via SCREAM FACTORY. The reviews have started pouring in and here are a handful of them. Obviously, I am focusing on the positive ones, I got enough negative joo-joo in my life, no need for me to dwell on the bad vibes. Here ya go!
DAILY DEAD: Definitely more of a Snake Plissken type right from the get-go is Chris’ gruff neighbor John. Played pitch-perfect by Arrow in the Head’s John Fallon, John is the type of guy who voluntarily takes the role of neighborhood protector with his own brand of badass belligerence. When he defends Chris from a group of thugs early on in the film, he tells them they’re out of luck because, “First, there’s only four of you…” Suffice it to say that John’s a fun character to watch, especially when he’s taking on tentacle-waving creatures in do-or-die street brawls. READ REVIEW HERE
POP MATTERS: There are some good performances, notably Blandine Marmigère as Claire, the hot neighbor who teams up with John both before and after the apocalypse begins in earnest, as well as John Fallon as John, a local thug neighbor who provides the anxiety-prone Chris with some much-needed muscle in facing down the evening’s monsters. Then again, the monsters might be the least of John’s worries. READ REVIEW HERE
HORROR 101: Arrow in the Head honcho John Fallon stars as the lad’s uber-badass neighbor, and if you didn’t love him enough already for his well-informed and nimble wordplay, his supercool presence here proves the man is a multitalented emmereffer. READ REVIEW HERE
DVD TALK: Only a few things really stand in the way of Dead Shadows being an instant cult classic. John Fallon is outstanding but kind of underutilized. I honestly would’ve loved to have seen Dead Shadows be a little longer to give Fallon’s ass-kicker another showcase sequence or two. There’s basically nothing in the way of Bruce Campbell’s flavor of endlessly quotable dialogue, and the attempts at upending one genre convention in particular (sorry, trying to keep it spoiler-free here) winds up kind of uneven. READ REVIEW HERE
THE EXAMINER: Dead Shadows” is one of those great “straight-and-to-the-point” movies. It doesn’t take thirty minutes of your valuable time gearing up and going through the motions. It establishes characters quickly and gets to the meat, potatoes, and gore. READ REVIEW HERE
HORRORNEWS: I have to call em like I see em…..this film is a really good find for Shout Factory to bring to the masses. If you only watch it for the creatures, you’ll still find satisfaction, however I simply found myself a fan of this oddity. READ REVIEW HERE
CINEMA CRAZED: One of the highlights of the film is John Fallon who plays an aggressive neighbor who not only senses the alien invasion beforehand, but is prepared to go to war when the shit hits the fan. Fallon really fits the character well, and I was disappointed he didn’t garner much more screen time. Director Cholewa is also a fantastic director, creating a real menace to the city of Paris, especially when the invasion begins. READ REVIEW HERE
ALIEN BEE: Dead Shadows is the best movie of its kind I’ve seen in a long, long time! This sci-fi thriller is a mixture of Lovecraft, Godzilla, Night of the Comet blended with a doomsday/apocalyptic element. This Blu-ray releases on April 29th and is definitely one you’ll want to check out. An instant cult classic! READ REVIEW HERE
HORROR TALK: Fabian Wolfrom does a fine job as Chris, our reluctant hero with a fear of the dark and an unfortunate habit of blacking out in strange bathrooms. The highlight of his performance comes during the party scene as he is forced to react to an increasingly dangerous and bizarre set of surroundings. There are a few inconsistencies in his behavior, but that is likely the fault of the writing and not his performance. John Fallon (100 Feet) and Blandine Marmigère as John and Claire are fine in their supporting roles, but they both disappear for long stretches of time before showing up conveniently whenever Wolfrom needs them. READ REVIEW HERE
I’ll be adding more reviews to this blog entry as they keep pouring in.
With David Cholewa’s DEAD SHADOWS getting its Blu-Ray North American release via SCREAM FACTORY on April 29, 2014, it got me feeling all nostalgic about my time on set. So allow me to share a couple of behind the scenes pics from the shoot with yall! See them all below! Dead Shadows stars Fabien Wolfrom, Rurik Salle, my sorry ass and Blandine Marmigère. It was written by Vincent Jule and produced by Julien Dunand and David Cholewa! You can order the Blu-Ray HERE! It was my first time acting in France and hopefully not the last! I had a blast!
David Cholewa’s DEAD SHADOWS is finally getting its north American release via SCREAM FACTORY on April 29, 2014 (two days after my b-day)! I play badass John in the film. The disk will contain a Making-Of Special Effects Featurette, Deleted Scenes Interview With Director David Cholewa, Theatrical Trailer and Teaser Trailer. It will be available in its original French Language and with an English dub. NOTE: That is not me doing the English dub on the film, so you wanna hear my sweet voice? Watch the subtitled version. Dead Shadows is about:
Dead Shadows tells the terrifying story of Chris (Fabian Wolfrom), whose parents were brutally killed 11 years ago, on the same day that the Halley’s comet could be seen from earth. Tonight, a new comet is appearing and everyone in Chris’s building is getting ready for a party to celebrate the event. As the night falls, Chris discovers that people are starting to act strangely. They are becoming disoriented and violent and it doesn’t take long before they begin to mutate into something far beyond recognition! In a fight for survival, Chris tries to escape from his building with the help of a gun-toting tenant (John Fallon – Death Race, Saw Ii) – but will they make it out alive?
Although David Cholewa’s DEAD SHADOWS will go straight to disk in the States via Scream!Factory come January 2014 (last I heard)! It open theatrical in Japan soon and here’s another slick one-sheet for it – see it below and you can see the first one-sheet HERE. Yup, they renamed the film to PARASITE X and the back on my head never looked so damn cool! 🙂
Although DEAD SHADOWS will go straight to disk in he States via Scream!Factory! It will go theatrical in Japan and here’s their groovy one-sheet for it. Yup they renamed the film to PARASITE X. I am told the poster is not yet finished, but hey, looking good to me!
I was recently interviewed at SM.com in support of DEAD SHADOWS July 22nd Australian release via Gryphon Entertainment (on DVD and Blu-ray 3D), You can read an excerpt from the interview below and READ THE WHOLE THING HERE! Thanks to SM.com for the support!
Marcey: The role is one that appears to have been quite demanding physically and mentally, how did you prepare for that?
John: Physically I trained hard before the shoot to gain some mass. But once I got to Paris four weeks before the shoot, finding a Gym to sustain what I had gained was impossible (long story). So I figured, if I can’t retain the mass, I may as well be lean for the role. So protein shakes, red wine and French sausages became my diet. And crunches and push ups my work-out .
Mentally; what I liked about the character was that I had lots of room to create. On paper, all we knew about him was that he was a tough guy and owned lots of weapons. So I invented a back-story for him (I gave him a military background for example) which I often went back to in my head as to the WHY behind his actions.