Your upcoming movie Walk of Fame - in a few words, what is it
Walk of Fame is about a filmmaker named Jake Taylor who grows
frustrated with Hollywood and his means of trying to make it, so he
decides to plunge into his dark side, his addictions - and he ends up
making pornography. Of course, this means that he'll lose any chance at
a real filmmaking career. It's what I like to refer to as 'a dark look
at Hollywood's sunny side'. The one strange aspect of the piece is that
there is a character referred to as the MC who is the personification
of Jake's conscience. This character appears and disappears through the
movie, and when he's onscreen, he berates Jake for the choices he's
made. He's like an angry Jiminy Cricket in a strange way.
It's going to end up as a short film and will complete what I call my Hollywood trilogy that I started with
Hollywood and continued with Cahuenga Pass.
I bet Hollywood is full of true-life-stories about someone's
descent into pornography. Is any of your film based on actual events (at
Walk of Fame is entirely fiction - I came up with the idea
based on my experiences in Los Angeles. None of this idea is based on
anyone in particular. It's just a mix of feelings, stories I've heard, and
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Walk of Fame?
from the idea on paper, how did the project come into being?
I would say that most of the inspiration actually came from real life -
at least the frustration angle. The other angle - the falling into porn
- was actually based on some 'seedy' people that I've encountered during
my time in Los Angeles.
As for the idea for the script, (spoiler alert!) the idea of a man
falling from grace and ending up sleeping on the streets was
fascinating. Pretty much this was an easy shoot - write it and shoot it.
I knew I was dealing with a non-existent budget so I wrote what was
within I could afford, and that wasn't much.
You have tackled the subject of pornography before in Cahuenga
Pass. How does Walk of Fame differ from this earlier film?
Cahuenga Pass was about a woman who worked in the porn industry and
was involved in an abusive relationship with someone who wasn't in that
world. Walk of Fame is slightly different in that we're dealing with
pretty much one character, Jake Taylor, and much of what occurs in the
porn world has already occurred. Thus a majority of the people
portrayed in that world are in flashbacks. Walk of Fame focuses on a
filmmaker within the world rather than an actor, although the character
of Jake did act and make the porn. If you look at the two movies you can
easily tell they're related and from the same 'world' that I have
created for them. Thematically there isn't much difference.
What can you tell us about your lead Nathan Yoder, and what was your
collaboration like? And a few words about the rest of the cast?
Nathan Yoder and I first met about 4 and a half years ago in LA. We were
both in a filmmaking program at NYFA and we hit it off immediately.
Between our love of sports, good movies, and old WWF wrestling, we got
along great and we've been friends ever since. He had a bit part in Knock 'Em Dead,
Kid, and he's very easy to work with. We had a blast
filming on the streets of Hollywood late at night - it was fun and scary
at the same time.
The character of the MC was portrayed by Les Mahoney (who played a
drunk father in Knock 'Em Dead, Kid), and he played it to the hilt. He
gets into it and he really creates a showcase for his character.
As for the actresses in the movie - the girls are the eye candy, they
are the T&A to show what the porn world has to offer, the sirens
of this fable. Even though there are some scenes that show their
characters don't like their treatment at Jake's hands.
Could you elaborate on shooting on the streets of Los Angeles?
Shooting on the streets of Los Angeles was a good time. We shot guerilla
style with just a camera and the talent - this allowed us to go by
We shot on Hollywood Boulevard after dark and let me tell you, when the
tourists leave and it's eleven at night - things change. The street
people really come out and it starts to look like a scene out of Taxi
Driver. But no one bothered us, it looked like I was some crazy filming
a homeless guy (we were shooting a scene with Nathan lying on Hollywood
Boulevard). There was a time when Nathan was prone on the boulevard and
a person walked by, stepping over him - they thought he really belonged
there. And what's sad is the way we step over the homeless in our
society. We as a people really don't care - but that's a subject for
I also shot some good footage up at Griffith Park and most of the
interiors in Toluca Lake.
In your previous work, you have time and again returned to Hollywood as a
sort of narrative catalyst. How will Walk of Fame fit in with your
Hollywood as a city provides so many possible stories and Walk of
is the final part in my Hollywood trilogy. It is my third story from
the naked city. Jimmy Breslin once said about New York that he both
loved and hated the city and after making these movies in LA, that's how
I feel about Los Angeles.
I think the real Hollywood and the reel Hollywood need to be
discussed more. Most people who have never been there look at what is
portrayed on TV and in the movies and think that Hollywood is this
mythical place where everyone has opportunity and anyone can be
discovered. This isn't the reality of the closed door society that it
really is and how hard it is to get your script looked at, score an
audition, etc. Think of it in terms of Ghostbusters with the key
master and the gate keeper - I'm speaking in jest but I'm sure you get
I try and show how it is utilizing locations and plotlines that are real
life. All three of these stories that take place in Hollywood, Cahuenga
Pass and Walk of Fame are real and probably happening
somewhere in the city of LA as we speak. Walk of Fame as a story fits
right in with the other two and is a fitting end to the trilogy, which I
add, actually happened by accident. When I made Hollywood in 2007 I
had no intention of making a Hollywood trilogy, it just sort of
happened over time.
realize it might be way too early to ask, but any idea when and where Walk of
Fame might be released?
I'm looking to be done
editing by mid-spring and hitting the festival circuit shortly thereafter.
Watch my website www.christopherlgolon.com
for more details.
Before you decided to make Walk of Fame, you were planning on making
a movie called (and about) The Final Days of John Belushi, which
to my understanding fell apart due to legal issues and the like. Would
you like to elaborate on that for a little?
Talk about highs and lows, what a nightmare that was. The script took
place between March 1-5, 1982 and detailed Belushi's last few days. Most
of the script took place in the Chateau Marmont, and it was an
interesting study of the comic genius and his addictions.
So, the script was done, the characters were being cast, and I was
actually going to be the writer/producer. A director was coming aboard
and things were moving along well until someone associated with the
project mentioned a possible legal issue. I didn't think much of it
considering titles like Goodbye, Norma Jean and Star 80. These films
had used real characters as their basis and taken certain liberties. But
alas, the rules had changed...
Looking into the legal aspects of making a movie about a deceased
celebrity, I found out that you do need to get approval from the estate
of the deceased in order to proceed. You could go ahead without an
approval and do it - but you face either legal action down the road or
an injunction in which you can't show your project in a public forum.
I did speak to a lawyer and it seemed that in the long run, without
approval, that looking at being sued for punitive damages or libel just
wasn't worth it. I mean, why would I want to take the time to shoot the
movie if in the end, we can't show it anywhere? And the main reason you
need the approval from the estate is due to how the character would be
portrayed - if the family thinks you are being libelous they'll never
approve the script.
The odd thing was that the Belushi project was being cast around the
time of Whitney Houston's death. Very eerie, you know? So, the Belushi
project did have the option of being tweaked. The names and places could
be changed ... but to me you end up with a guy in a room doing drugs -
that's been done before. I wanted it to be about Belushi, and when you
lose him as a character you lose the movie.
After that, I was involved with a horror script and a detective idea,
and both were stalled. Walk of Fame had been in the can for a while
but there were structural problems and I actually considered shelving
it. It was during the Belushi project that I met with Les Mahoney and we
talked downtown at the Bonaventure hotel and he told me to 'just finish
it.' We had a nice three hour conversation and Walk of Fame was one of
the main topics of discussion. And that's what brought me to where I am
right now. I'm editing and getting it ready for people to see.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
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Any future projects beyond Walk of Fame you'd like to talk
Round and round we go and once again, I can't stress Teenage Kicks
enough. I have been trying for a while now to get this coming-of-age
script funded. I have talent attached and actors really love the script.
A producer was attached but he dropped out as he couldn't secure funding
- but the talent remains. People believe in this project as much as I do
or they too would have disappeared. This can be shot anywhere - LA, NY,
Florida, the themes/plots are universal to anywhere USA.
My other project, which is down the line, is a short documentary about
the events of January 28, 1986. That was a sad day for the US space
program as the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after
liftoff. The doc would be what I call voices of America and it will be
everyday Americans reflecting on that sad day. It was a seminal moment
in my life and was a huge where were you?-moment for my generation up
Thanks for the interview!
Once again, thank
you for taking the time to interview me, I appreciate it. Keep up the good
work with your site!