We had the pleasure of interviewing filmmaker John Merizalde, his film, John Waltz, Bang, will be showing at the Indie Grits festival.
1. What is your connection to the South?
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I lived there until I was 23, and then moved to LA.
2. What was your muse for this film?
I had just spent some time in South Central shooting a performance rap video before I was contacted to shoot “Bang”. Being around that culture and imagery sort of stimulated the creative process behind my brainstorming. It felt like a natural transition to do something narrative there.
3. What was your first film?
I started out making ultraviolent shorts with neighborhood friends in 6th grade. They just sort of evolved over time into what I make today.
4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
It was probably a little irresponsible to take a bunch of suburban white kids into South Central at 1am with a bunch of expensive film gear. Luckily nothing happened but we did have a bit of a scare packing all the gear after the first night of shooting – some dude came out of nowhere and yelled at us that we needed to get out ASAP. Not sure what was gonna go down, but we got out of there.