Director's POV: NOWHERE JOHNNY Part Two

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What can I say now? Nowhere Johnny is done. It's a wrap. Production's done. Post-production is as done as it'll ever be for a very, very micro-budget film. I thought I'd be utterly relieved, which I am, but I also feel a bit homesick now. If that makes sense. It has taken a year of my life, this indie film that I've made with some good people involved. A year may sound like a long time for a film that's not an epic Hollywood blockbuster or whatever -- but it was shot on and off with erratic schedules from all the of the actresses and actors involved. So it wasn't 365 days, but the in between times when I'm editing or doing mundane things -- filming Nowhere Johnny and wrapping it was always on my mind.

I'm just glad I met the deadline for one of the film festivals I was aiming for. I'm crossing my fingers, including the San Francisco International Film Festival and I'm planning to send to the LA Film Festival soon. Nowhere Johnny also has a IMDB page now, here.

As an unknown filmmaker, it sometimes can get increasingly difficult to maintain confidence -- especially in times like these, where I'm basically waiting to see if Nowhere Johnny gets somewhere in the festival route. At times, I look at many successful filmmakers who has made a career from their film festival recognitions as my key inspirations. The obvious ones are Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs) and Christopher Nolan (Following). Brick is another one, underrated too. While these success stories do provide inspiration at times, other times they don't.

But I suppose that's nothing new for a young filmmaker. If 24 is young...is it? I think so. So I guess I'll just have faith and a plan B. But enough about my worries, let me reflect on a different aspect of Nowhere Johnny. The cast. Everyone in this cast, especially those who played the main characters, did wonderfully for actors and actresses who does not have a lot of film acting experience. A lot were admittedly non-actors and they still did a good job and I had a ton of fun directing all of them. I just wanna thank them. And I'm proud of them, especially considering sometimes we'd only have an hour to shoot and we'd still get a scene done.

Right now, I'd like to highlight the main actors and express my professional opinions of them as a filmmaker in the "caption below the picture" deal. Now I'm not taking anything away from the rest of the cast as all 20+ of them were wonderful, but these are the main characters:

Nurse Ava

Bethany Walls (Nurse Ava) has her professionalism, passion, and a deep reservoir of subtleties as as an actress. Her performance was compassionate, angry, loving, and playful. In a nutshell, she's very talented.
Bethany Walls (Nurse Ava) has her professionalism, passion, and a deep reservoir of subtleties as as an actress. Her performance was compassionate, angry, loving, and playful. In a nutshell, she's very talented.

Johnny

Arbitter was recommended by an actor in this film as I was looking for Johnny. Michael became the "homeless underdog" with a boxing dream, but giving him a touch of a prickly disposition that added another depth to the character that works well.
Arbitter was recommended by an actor in this film as I was looking for Johnny. Michael became the "homeless underdog" with a boxing dream, but giving him a touch of a prickly disposition that added another depth to the character that works well.

Kelly

Hana Ohira played Kelly and that character was very hard to portray. She's cold-hearted, confused, and money grubbing. As an actress, Hana performed the character exactly as my writing --  becoming a deceptive and wayward woman.
Hana Ohira played Kelly and that character was very hard to portray. She's cold-hearted, confused, and money grubbing. As an actress, Hana performed the character exactly as my writing -- becoming a deceptive and wayward woman.

Diane

Chloe D (Diane) was the heart of the film. She has a naturalism that's hard to learn. She's very graceful and genuine as an actress. But above all else, quite emotional and, again, natural.
Chloe D (Diane) was the heart of the film. She has a naturalism that's hard to learn. She's very graceful and genuine as an actress. But above all else, quite emotional and, again, natural.

Scarlet

Sydney Erin Burns, who played Scarlet, was mysterious, calculating, and chilling as a hired gun. Just the look in her eyes -- she can command the scene. I'm not even sure if she's aware of it, but her expressions are fantastic.
Sydney Erin Burns, who played Scarlet, was mysterious, calculating, and chilling as a hired gun. Just the look in her eyes -- she can command the scene. I'm not even sure if she's aware of it, but her expressions are fantastic.

We had a private screening of Nowhere Johnny a couple of days ago for some of the cast members. It was fun. We actually watched the film twice, which I was surprised with. Everyone wanted to see the film again right away after we discussed the film. I replied, "Okay, why not?" Haha. Overall, they all loved it and we all reveled at the fact that this film basically was done on very little money. If I had a real film budget, I think I could do something even better. In a nutshell, I'm glad they loved it because I can't tell you how many days I've worked on this film at my editing station like a madman.


In closing, I had a great time making my first serious feature-length movie. I learned a lot about not just filmmaking, but storytelling. I feel film is the ultimate storytelling tool as you're not restricted too much by rules -- which is always a blessing as an artist. Of course there's a business side to it, but at the end of the day... you gotta just make something you feel is beautiful as an artist. I feel Nowhere Johnny is the type of film that leaves you wounded on the inside, but also leaves you a little enlightened. It's somewhat melancholy, but in that cinematic sense. At least that's how I saw it. It is not without humor, though. Humor is very important to me.

Everyone on the cast was awesome and it's not the last time we're working together. We actually made a short film. lol. It's entitled "Nepenthe," and here is the full short movie:

Post-Nowhere Johnny, we made NEPENTHE. Watch the SHORT FILM! R-rated language is present.

You know... the kid who fell in with movies and filmmaking, he never left. I'm still here and I'm still praying that I could be one of those filmmakers who changes lives, like the many filmmakers who changed my life growing up. From the original Star Wars saga to Tarantino and to -- especially -- Martin Scorsese...they basically talked to me on a level that I can never describe. It's just that I know I love making movies and sometimes it's hard to ignore the naysayers in my life...but I'd just pop in a movie I love and those naysayers vanish instantly. Point is, thank you to the filmmakers who helped me find my purpose in life and I hope a lot of people get to see Nowhere Johnny sooner than later. Whether they'd like it or not, that's on them. I know I like it. Haha.

Well, I guess that does it for these blogs aka hubs concerning Nowhere Johnny. What I write next at Hubpages -- who knows? Time will tell. I hope these hubs provided some form of entertainment to those who read it. So thanks for reading my random thoughts and reflections. I leave you with the last trailer from Nowhere Johnny.

Go to the movies and take care.

And do subscribe to my YouTube channel and get your buddies to do the same for all the latest videos from me! 8-)

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NOWHERE JOHNNY is now available for $1 via PayPal on IndieReign, *CLICK HERE*

NOWHERE JOHNNY TRAILER

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