Monday, April 8, 2013

John Fallon talks The Shelter

As regular readers and listeners know, our partner in cinema and crime -- and all-around good friend -- John Fallon makes his feature film directorial debut with The Shelter, which he also wrote. The flick stars veteran actor and genre fave Michael Paré and is scheduled to shoot in January. 

Yours truly sat down with John to discuss the film. Below is a transcript of what he had to say.

Tell me a bit about where the idea for The Shelter came from. 

It was winter and I was walking back from a hockey game during a snow storm. I saw a homeless man sitting on the ground begging for change, he was obviously freezing. I felt bad for the guy, so I gave him a couple of bucks and kept walking. As I walked on, I started wondering how the man got to where he was now. Then I started inventing scenarios in my head about him trying to find shelter from the storm and what would happen if he did.

Once I arrived home, I had a found an initial premise for a script and jolted it down. I wrote the first 40 pages fairly quickly, but it took me 3 years to find the rest of the script. It was the first time (and hopefully the last) that happened to me; getting “stuck” on a script. With that, there was something about the story that resonated with me; I couldn’t give up on it for some reason. So for years I had The Shelter on my mind, always trying to solve it. And yes, I was elated when I FINALLY did.

In a nutshell, what is the film about? 

A homeless man takes shelter in a house that eventually won’t let him leave. He is forced to try to find a way out, face what is there and face himself. Saying more would spoil the film.

On the surface, this sounds like a creepy horror film. But is there any deeper meaning to the material? 

I think I get my cake and eat it too with this one. On one end the film sports lots of scares, eerie imagery and tension driven sequences. On the other it is layered and tells a very human story. It’s probably my most personal script as I delved within myself, my own sombre past experiences and my individual spiritual beliefs to write it. People won’t expect this kind of material coming from me. I guess you can say that it is my most mature work thus far.

 What are the challenges you expect to face shooting in what is essentially one location? 

The main challenge will be finding that one house that will fit our needs in terms of geography. Moreover, we won’t be able to pull walls or ceilings in said house, hence I anticipate lots of “my crew and I” cramped in tight corners with wide lens to get the shots that I want. 

You were able to land Michael Pare in the lead. What do you expect he will bring to the table? 

Mike is perfect for this role and for this film period. I actually had him in mind when I wrote the script and I feel blessed to have him onboard. Being that the character of Thomas is in every frame, I needed an actor that had the gravitas to keep the audience with him at all times. Mike has that. Moreover, he is a very spiritual person and being that spirituality is one of the film’s main themes that was ideal for me too. Lastly, I wanted an actor that I knew to some degree as a person for my first feature. I’ve known Mike for years now; he is a very committed actor, is professional and has a good head on his shoulders. That’s gold on a set. Am looking forward in working with him! 

Are there any other characters in the movie? What role do they play in the story? 

Yes there are but I’d rather not say anything about them at the moment.

This is your feature directorial debut? What do you anticipate the experience will be like? 

Exciting, challenging while being psychologically and physically draining. I have been on enough sets to know what I’m in for, it’s gonna be a war but I am beyond ready for it. You’re also only as good as the people that surround you and so far I am very confident with the cast and crew that we are assembling.

What's it going to take to get this movie made? 

Sweat, blood, tears, heart and money. We have some money from private investors locked, I am also putting in my own coin into the film, I know it’s a sin when it comes to filmmaking rules (never invest your own dough), but I don’t care, it needs to be done. And we will have a crowd funding campaign surfacing sooner than later online to try to round up our budget. 

There you have it. Pretty cool stuff indeed! Stick with us as we update you on The Shelter as it rolls into production. For more on the film visit The Shelter on Facebook.

Source: The Shelter

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