This afternoon I had the pleasure of speaking with John Fallon of Bruise Productions. He’s the writer and director of ‘The Shelter’ as well as a stuntman, actor, producer and the founder of Arrowinthehead.com. You have probably heard of some of the other films he’s written, directed or starred in like ‘Saw II’, ‘American Muscle’, ‘100 Feet’ or ‘Dead Shadows’. Saying Fallon is a busy man is an understatement. I’m very thankful that he found the time to answer my questions.
Fallon’s most recent film, ‘The Shelter‘. stars Michael Paré (Abattoir, Village of the Damned, Eddie and the Cruisers I & II), Lauren Alexandra (Looper), Gayle James (Time Eva), Rachel Whittle (Shark Island), Amy Wickenheiser (The Outsider), and Brigette Rose. In the film, Tomas Jacobs (Paré), a homeless man and widower, finds a place to rest for the night when he discovers an empty two-story house with an open door. Thinking he’s had a lucky break he enters the home, but soon realizes that he was very wrong. The house will not let him leave. But, I will let Fallon himself tell you more.
Horror Fuel: “You are a busy man. Between being an actor/stuntman/screenwriter/director and producer. How do find time for it all?”
Fallon: “Not much sleep and a hunger to succeed. I wake up very early every day and hustle hard. But I’m blessed to be making a living doing what I love, even if it’s up and down, up and down – rinse and repeat.”
Horror Fuel: “Let’s start at the beginning. When did you decide you wanted to be in the film industry?”
Fallon: “As opposed to many who never find their calling or let life define it for them, I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be in the film industry, as cinema was my escape from a difficult childhood. I started out with acting then script doctoring which led to screenwriting and then producing, but directing was always my Holy Grail. It’s a pleasure to have finally reached that goal with the Shelter.”
Horror Furl: “How did you get your start?”
Fallon: “I went to film school first. Being young and arrogant, I thought I could just put myself in my own films cause I was a “natural talent” according to me. My uncle, who is a local producer here, asked me to go to one semester of acting school and if I felt I knew it all to then drop out. I did the whole three years and graduated with honors. I didn’t know shit. My first gig was a bit part in a french film, then French TV (we’re bilingual here in Montreal, Canada), until I shifted to English films.”
Horror Fuel: “Can you tell us a little about your most recent film, ‘The Shelter’?”
Fallon: “It’s a about a homeless man, played by Michael Paré. He comes back to his home town after five years of being away and is carrying a a bag full of demons and guilt. After visiting his old stomping grounds, he comes across a house with an open door, he goes in, finds food, TV, comforts of life, he thinks he hit the jackpot. But he finds out the hard way that the house won’t let him leave. Then you find out “why”. Who you are and how you were raised spiritually will determine what you get out the film methinks. It’s a little bit of a weird ride”
Horror Fuel: “I like weird.”
Horror Fuel: “What inspired The Shelter?”
Fallon: “I was coming back from a hockey game and saw a homeless man with his hand outstretched, begging for change. I gave him some coin, but on the way home I couldn’t stop thinking about: Who was he? How did he get there? Where is he going? When I got in I wrote down those three questions and in time I answered them. That’s how The Shelter’ came to be.”
Horror Fuel: “What made you decide to cast Paré in the lead role?”
Fallon: “I was in a film called ‘100 Feet‘ . Michael played the ghost. We hung out and got along and I found him to be one hell of a charismatic guy. I wrote the part with him in mind. So, when it came down to casting, I was looking for a guy to play do the role that looked like Michael. My producer Donny Broussard said ‘You know him, send him the script and see what happens’. So, I sent him the script. I thought he would be too busy to do it, but he fell in love with it. So I went to LA, we met, came to an agreement and that was that on that.
The film wouldn’t be as good without Mike. I feel very blessed to have had him play the lead. He’s a monster actor. So much talent. I am very happy that reviews so far have pointed out his performance as one of the best of his career. He fucking earned it.”
Horror Fuel: “I am a big fan of Paré. He was amazing in Eddie and the Cruisers. In fact the soundtrack is my SUV right now.”
Horror Fuel: “What is your next project?”
Fallon: “I am actively trying to get a script off the ground called THE PRIZE, it’s Conan the Barbarian Meets The Grey. I’m also still hustling a sci-fi/action flick called THE SHADOWING. It’s like Predator but with a twist. I’m currently shopping it. I have two revenge films, ‘Deaden’ and ‘American Muscle’ under my belt already so I’m working on making some kind of a trilogy with the subgenre. Am now writing EVA, a female vigilante film that dabbles in the sex trade. It’s hard to write I must say. I am using true life stories as inspiration and reality is far more horrifying than fiction. Finally, am getting a short together called HERETIC, having to do with the Crusades, for the sole reason that I NEED to shoot something and getting a feature off the ground takes the time it takes. Looks like I will be shooting the short early next year”
Horror Fuel: “Between screenwriting, being a stuntman, directing, acting and producing, Which is your favorite and why?”
Fallon: “Directing. Directors are the ultimate story teller in control of everything and there’s such a beauty to that. I felt very much in my element directing The Shelter – so I am thrilled to be continuing down that path.”
Horror Fuel: “Stunt work isn’t easy. How do you stay in shape?”
Fallon: “I box, weight train, swim, run. I try to stay in shape all the time so if something comes up, I’m ready. I obviously also do it for myself. On that, it was a pleasure to not give a shite how I looked when directing The Shelter :)”
Horror Fuel: “That sounds like a lot of work.”
Fallon: “If you love it, its not work.”
Horror Fuel: “If you could work with any filmmaker past or present, who would it be?”
Fallon: “Mel Gibson, he’s an incredibly talented actor and director, he’s an inspiration and his interests seem to mirror mine – so yes, he’d be it.
Horror Fuel: “What is your favorite horror film and why?”
Fallon: Tough one, I have many favorites. Right now, The Exorcist comes to mind, The Hitcher as well (the film that got me into writing) and although not pure horror, I would have to say ‘Lost Highway’ by David Lynch is way up there. It heavily influenced me as a storyteller.
Horror Fuel: “If you could give any advice to upcoming filmmakers or actors what would it be?”
Fallon: “I would say two things. First, I would say that “who you know” is very important, maybe more so than having talent. So PR and cultivating relationships are a must. The second thing I would say is: Never give up. Keep trying and sooner or later you will get what you want. If you quit though, that won’t happen. We only have one life, be a stubborn f*ck and get yours!”
In my opinion, that is great advice. Fallon has such passion for all of his roles in filmmaking. He’s also quite funny. I look forward to seeing what he conjures up next. ‘The Shelter’ will be announcing its VOD and limited theatrical release soon and then the disk release. We will be sure to let know when that will be. To learn more about John Fallon and his projects follow him on Facebook and Twitter and visit his website. Be sure to follow ‘The Shelter’ on Facebook and Twitter for more on the film. Watch John in action in his acting reel (below).