JOHN FALLON INTERVIEW
Interview conducted by Steven Wood
John Fallon, also known as "The Arrow", has been a staple in the horror news community via Arrow In The Head since 2000. With his foray into acting/writing/directing/producing and even stunts, the man has proven to be neck deep in the industry and has been involved with some great releases such as Saw II and Death Race, among others. We recently sat down and discussed his most recent project titled The Shelter.
Steven Wood: The Shelter was recently screened at FrightFest 2015; how did that experience differ over other festivals where you didn't hold both director and writer credits?
John Fallon: It didn’t differ much to be honest. Although on paper I should have felt more pressure than when I presented films that I’ve written or acted in, but I didn’t. At the end of the day, you’ll never please everybody. So when you create something and you put it out there – what happens after that is out of your hands. I’ve conditioned myself to not stress out about over the years and I have now mastered it. What’s the point? There’s nothing I can do but take the good or/and the bad that comes out of it and move forward. On that, yes, I am happy that the for the most part the film was well reviewed.
SW: With The Shelter being your feature length directorial debut, did you ever get "stumped", or hung up on something?
JF: Not really. Of course we had obstacles during the shoot, but we always found solutions. So no, I didn’t get stumped. I sometimes had to take a minute to think through a problem to resolve it and move on... but not stumped.
SW: How was it working with Michael Pare? Was this role written for him in mind?
JF: The character looked like Mike when I wrote the script, but I never thought he’d do it. I am happy that he did. Mike was simply a pleasure to work with. He was beyond prepared and was a positive energy on set. Being that The Shelter is almost a one-man show with a fairly unsympathetic lead character to boot, I knew I needed an actor with the presence and charm to keep the audience invested. And Mike delivered that in spades.
SW: Were there any scenes you wanted to include but didn't get the chance, or was everything shot the way you wanted?
JF: At the core we shot the film that I wrote. Of course things will change here and there as we adapt to locations and the time that we have to shoot. If I had one regret it would be I wish I had gotten further coverage in regards to one key scene during the last act. But what can you do! You do what you can with what you know at the time and what you can afford. I’m a better director for the next one!
SW: Having some stunt experience, do you take into consideration the physicality of the scenes when you're writing?
JF: In the case of The Shelter, yes I did. I was aware that it was a risky film and that I would have to shoot it on a budget. So I wrote in stunts that I knew I could perform, just in case I couldn’t afford a stuntman. And yes, I wound up doing the stunts in the film.
SW: Are you the type of writer who practices his craft on a daily basis, or do you try to stick to one idea until it's completed?
JF: I’ve have been writing pretty much non-stop for 15 years via Arrow in the Head, scripts or script polish jobs, hence, I’ve gotten lots of practice. On that, I write one screenplay at a time and yes I stick with it until it’s done. The Shelter was actually the only exception as I had my opening and had my ending down but got stuck on the middle act. I eventually had to put it aside as script jobs came in, but I never stopped thinking about it. It took me three years to figure it out and finally finish the script.
SW: If you were to write yourself in a fight with another actor, who would it be?
JF: Jean-Claude Van Damme or Scott Adkins. Both gents have visually flamboyant fighting styles on film. Would make for badass throw downs!
SW: Of the many roles you take when making a film, which has been your favorite, and which has proven to be the most challenging?
JF: Directing The Shelter was my favorite experience thus far – producing The Shelter has been the most challenging and my least favorite. Still is. Producing doesn’t end when you yell “it’s a wrap”, I’m still doing it and and it has been very taxing on me. A full-time job that doesn’t pay jack or shit... for now...
SW: Besides the website Arrow in the Head and your screenwriting/film making, what do you do with your free time, if you even have any?
JF: I’m in nature a lot, hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking what not. I also like extreme sports and hit the gym on a regular basis. I’ve been boxing on and off for years now, an injury got in my way this year, but it’s now healed, so I’ll be going back to it shortly.
SW: Do you have a passion project?
JF: The Shelter was it but I just found a new one :-)
SW: Now that The Shelter is completed, what's next for you?
JF: I have two script jobs done for films that should get made by the end of next year. I have a sci-fi/horror film that I’ve been trying to get off the ground for a bit. I am working on setting up my next film as director – it’s a barbarian movie; that’s all I can say about that one right now. Nothing to talk about until the money is in the bank :-)
On behalf of HorrorTalk.com, I'd like to thank John for taking the time talking with me. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and watch out for The Shelter soon! You can also check out all things John Fallon through his own site, located here.
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