There was a time in Hollywood when the emphasis was on quality and creativity. It’s not that money was never important, but it was not all consuming. It is not black or white, but the emphasis now seems to lean toward profit than process, one hit wonders than legacies, sequels rather than trying to do something different. There are plenty of filmmakers doing it right, but also a lot of lemmings running off the far end of the ship in hopes of fulfilling a dream that the violent waters below will never fulfill. Their hunger will never be quenched, not for them not for their audience.
It is in this climate that I have endeavored to carve out a different way of writing, movie making and even collectively creating projects for audiences to enjoy. I am less an iconoclast than, maybe, a nouveau sort of Renaissance man, not just an apple pie American, but a link to the whole world of interested viewers.
The Jade Trader was my first real directorial effort, and where I tried to create action on top of interest, drama interwoven with grandness, soothing pictures for the eyes and the soul.
In my second work—Gunz: The Story Of Billy The Kidd—I have placed the story of a modern day child, a victim of so much turmoil (be it the loss of his father to suicide or the bullying of relatives and close acquaintances) in the setting of the West. Although it is a modern story it hearkens back to the time and details of the original Billy the Kid [note the different spelling].
As the writer of over ten screenplays, three of which have become movies, and another nearly two dozen in various stages of development, I am an agile and creative artist. I try to emphasize character development and dialogue that is not leaning heavily on cliche and modern references. By doing so I hope to truly suspend disbelief and create a fertile zone of creativity for the audience. Since I write in almost all genres I have tried to create a wide range of content for my present and future potential audience.
At the same time I write poetry on an occasional basis in order to explore ideas and worlds in a faster fashion than can be created by filmmaking or even just writing screenplays. My creative streak is accentuated by raising children, being involved in the world around me, but also escaping in my long distance runs into the recesses of the mountains nearby.
In addition to my two directorial pieces, I have also been the writer and producer for those projects. To be clear, I had plenty of assistance from other members of my team in the writing, directing and producing—as it always should be, a collaborative effort.
My filmmaking career started with writing and producing but also a small bit of second unit directing on my first film—The Puzzle In The Air—starring David Carradine.
I am presently completing several other screenplays (in several genres as I noted) and have actually filmed a small piece of one, more of a pre-vis effort. Perhaps at the top of my list is to try to take my TV pilot, Gunz: The Story Of Billy The Kidd, and make a TV series out of it. I already have written the second chapter, about the father of Billy who takes his life in an unfortunate twist of sorrow that lays the seeds for some of the personal conflicts in the initial piece. At the same time, however, I am completing the feature version of this project and will be looking to shoot as early as next spring.
At the same time I am working on a completing the feature of The Jade Trader, a martial arts story based in China. Beyond that I have written a musical based in the south Pacific islands, an assassination thriller, and a boxing piece. I also have plans for a fashion drama and several children’s themed family features, and finally, a few sci fi projects down the road when the proper size funding is in place.
Multitasking while aiming for a place in the firmament of storytellers, I ask my friends, families, followers, and the interested crowd to sit back, enjoy and leave their distractions behind.
Having traveled the world and worked far flung corners of our great civilizations, my point of view is not that of the ordinary writer and director. I have found pearls, salvaged their essence, and strung them into an sturdy string of ideas that compliment my desire to paint images. Really I feel just lucky to be a receptor for creativity that will hopefully provide others with joy and thought-provoking reflection for years ahead.
By Gerry Pallay