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John Gonzles, Award Winning Director – Jeremy Turkin

John Gonzales, recipient of Best Director Award

by jturkin on January 19, 2011

In a little town called Idyllwild, in the middle of the desert, there is this great, little film festival (http://www.iifoc.com/)… I’m assuming. I never did make it out there, even though there were two screenings of the film, L.A. Paranormal, on which I worked as the Assistant Director (and PA, and crafty, and make-up, and A.C., and 2nd A.c., and grip, and extra, and fluffer, and costume dept, and props master, and talent, and at times, Transpo, and… etc.).

I wanted to honor the film’s Director, John Gonzalesssssssss, by re-posting an article on his recent win as the festival’s best director… but there have been no articles published online about it since he won 3 days ago. John Gonzales, winner of the Idyllwild Independent Festival of Cinema Best Director Award, deserves some media attention. So, here it is. The first interview with the man (played by me), since his recent victory.

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ME: Well, first off, congrats on the award for L.A. Paranoia. That must have been such a great surprise, huh?

John Gonzales: It was, it really was. I had no idea, but, if I’m being honest, I think it was well deserved. I mean, A director’s job is to get great performances out of his actors, and before we even shot frame-one, my job was practically done for me. I had an amazing cast. A really talented group of guys. Great improvisers, a Brit, a man who speaks German. You couldn’t ask for a better wish list.

ME: And the supporting cast really helped tie this L.A. Panorama together.

John Gonzales: Oh yeah, I was just cracking up in the editing suite. There were literally hundreds of takes I could’ve used, in every scene because everyone who worked on this film had something great to contribute. I mean, Lesley Wolff, who played the replacement psychic, or “Sensitive,” really brought it, every single take. Dead on. And Brittany Furlan, with those poor girls. The things that came out of her mouth. Wow. And Paul Shaw, the racist ex-marine. There was a lot he did that I had to cut from the movie, for the sake of decency, but my god, if I ever make an extended cut, he will get a lot of screen time. And Shaun Parker, a funny, funny man. It took forever to try and piece his scenes together. I couldn’t get through it without dying laughing, and there was just so much funny, and every time a completely different take, but always, always hilarious. And, oh yeah, the actor who played the Priest character, Edward Joyce, he came in so unassuming, so quiet, and when we shot his scene, I didn’t even realize how funny his performance really was. Not until I got into post. He was screaming things – things I can’t even repeat. It was great. I’ve never heard a man of the cloth speak that way, but if I did, I don’t even know what I’d say.

ME: So without a cast like that, you don’t win this award for L.A. Pandora?

JG: Not a chance. The award might say, best assistant director, but it really means, best cast.

ME: I’m sorry, best assistant director?

JG: yes, best director.

ME: but you just said, best assistant-

JG: I won the award for best director.

ME: But you said – there seems to be something scratched out on it. Can I-

JG: Get your hands off me, you freak.

ME: Can I see it?

JG: No get off.

ME: Let me just see it.

JG: This interview is over.

ME: Let. Me. Just. See. IT!

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That’s where the interview ends. We struggled over the award. Fought for a good 30 to 45 seconds. At one point he even had me in a headlock, but fortunately, working so closely with the man for the 10 day production, I recalled his weakness. Red Vines and Coke-a-cola.

He ended up with Award, but not before I did get a pretty decent look at it.  It was for the Best Assistant Director. The man cheated me out of my award… and worst of all, he dropped my scene from the final cut.

But Mr. Gonzalessssss, if you’re reading this: watch out. Because next time, I will have final cut.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Gonzales January 19, 2011 at 8:03 am

Mr. Turkin, you took the words right out of my mouth. Literally.

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