Director John Gallagher
Has A Second Chance To Mold His Art
By Nick Christophers
Nick Christophers is also the editor of Mob Candy Magazine. The magazine Mob Candy is an entertainment publication whose back bone is peppered with gangster stories. Since he was, and still is, a “mob buff” he fits in perfect with this publication.
After a tragic experience most probably anyone else would have given up and hang their hat after what John Gallagher endured but his love and desire to live and entertain the masses overcame the worst. Seven years ago he ended up in the hospital due to an electrical fire in his building. He had suffered life threatening injuries but he fought back and made it through. Even though he is confined to a wheel-chair that is not stopping him from what he loves to do. John has been at the film game for over 30 years and always delivers quality projects. His first work was in 1980 a rock and roll musical comedy called “BEACH HOUSE” which was released by New Line Cinema. It was the beginning of an amazing career for John. His first six features were shot on 35mm and edited on flatbed Steenbecks. That was then, now with digital being the tool of choice he can shoot for hours without interrupting the actors' process and he can edit anything on computers. Since the near fatal fire that almost took him away from us he has managed to produce eight films.
“Every day here is a gift and I am eternally grateful to family and friends. And believe me, you really find out who your friends are when that kind of tragedy strikes. Steve Stanulis deserves special mention because he offered me THE NETWORKER when I was lying in a hospital bed in recovery.”
Being a director of course comes with challenges which John has encountered. Issues like the budget which effects the whole project; pre-production, shooting, locations, cast, crew, schedule, post and music. He has worked on good-sized budgets on “STREET HUNTER”, “THE DELI”and “BLUE MOON”. There were those that were low budget projects like “MEN LIE” which he shot in eleven days for $100,000, for $50K he completed “CUPIDITY” in six months, the Steve Stanulis film “THE NETWORKER” for $105K in fifteen days and the recent “SARAH Q” for $250K in eighteen days. His next project is actually a big budget film at the tune of fifteen million dollars with an eight week window.
John has worked with many actors and actress and it is hard for him to pinpoint one that he enjoyed working with most. Yet he did mention the late Ben Gazzara who he worked with on the film “Blue Moon” which also starred the legendary Rita Moreno. That project took five years to work on and he became close with Ben and learned a lot being in his company. Even after the film they became good friends and he misses him dearly. Also the late actors Steve James and Frank Vincent (who John shared the actor / director trip together) were favorites of his. Of course there others who he has had the pleasure to work with like Steve Stanulis, Brian Vincent, Joey Donofrio, Maggie Wagner, Victor Colicchio, Samantha Scaffidi and Kelsey O'Brien. As far as directors he acknowledged protégé Gabriele Altobelli, a close Gazzara pal; who he collaborated on “UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE” and “AMERICAN FANGO”.
John is also a teacher of film and has nurtured many actors during his time such as John Leguizamo, Ice T, Debi Mazar, Gretchen Mol, and Artie Pasquale. Currently he is working with such talent like George Andreakos, Dom LaRuffaJr, Ashlee Macropoulos, Emmy James, Eden Wright, MakaelaShealy, Linda Collins, Sarah Seeds, Samantha Scaffidi, Josie Burke, Lo Friedenstine, Booch O'Connell, Megan Fulmer, Rachel Nielson and Kohl Beck. One specific actress Emmy James who starred in the title role of “SARAH Q” haswon three Best Actress awards at film festivals for her performance. His work has been honored many times over yet recently he was given the The Linda Dano Heart Award. The event HeartShare’s 2019 Spring Gala was held at the legendary Ziegfield Theater where Rosanna Scotto from Good Day New York presented the award. The award was for his inspiring dedication to overcoming disability.
“I am very proud of being honored with nine career achievement awards, Heart Share was a mind blower because the ceremony was held at the former Ziegfield Theater with my picture on the marquee, a theater that was my home away from home for decades. It was also the last time I saw my friend Danny Aiello and the first time I met the wonderful Abigail Hawk, who I look forward to eventually directing. Rosanna Scotto from Good Day New York presented the award, said some wonderful things about me, and it was truly a night to remember.”
Most people may not know that John had also directed theatrical projects like "East of Evil” which starred the late Frank Vincent, Tony Sirico and Vincent Pastore, "Punk City” starring Ronald Maccone; and "Unspeakable Ways” starring Tony Sirico, all produced at the West Bank Theatre in Manhattan. At the SVA Theatre he directed the series "Screenwriters Night" and "Screenwriters Night II". In addition, he worked on "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" by Alan Ball (True Blood, Six Feet Under, American Beauty) at the Duo Theatre.
At the present time he has some projects in the works notably the feature “All Mobbed Up” where he is working with cinematographer Craig DiBona, ASC, Emmy winning producer Sylvia Caminer and Emmy winning casting director Judy Henderson, CSA. His next short is entitled “THE LONELY ROAD TO NOWHERE”, starring Linda Collins and Megan Fulmer, two fantastic artists. He is also working on a screenplay with Eden Wright called “YOUNG JUDY” who has a dual role in the project. There is so much more to say about John and his accomplishments and awards but the most important is his desire to survive and offer his God given talent to the world on an everyday basis.
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