Don FauntLeRoy [Interview]


Hello Folks! Today’s guest here at Trainwreck’d Society is nothing less than an absolute legend in the world of filmmaking. For over 40 years, Dan FauntLeRoy has been showing us the world through cameras in the most delightful ways. From his early work as a cameraman on legendary films such as Raging Bull, The Goonies, or T2: Judgement Day, right up to his more recent ventures as the leading director of photography on films such as the Jeepers Creepers trilogy. And, as one tends to do, Dan has managed to make his way into the director’s chair, including two Steven Seagal classics, Today You Die and Urban Justice.

And there seems to be no slowing down for Dan, even as the world seems to be slowing down around him. He has some wonderful projects in the can, which he will discuss below, and when the world allows him to strike, you can guarantee you will be seeing his name in those opening credits.

So Folks, it’s been a wonderful first week back, and I hope you will come back around next week! And with that, please enjoy some fine words from the brilliant Dan FauntLeRoy!




What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something you had wanted to do since your youth? Or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Growing up all I did was play sports, never drew, painted, actually nothing artistic. When I was in the 11th grade I took a course called Radio Speech Television. Our assignment was to write a script, storyboard it, do a shot list, film, edit, and turn it in. When I picked up a camera I saw the world as I had never seen it. I could compose, create, paint and tell a story. I was hooked. In the 12th grade I did another film to help raise funds for a school of mongoloid children.  George Putnum, a KTLA  news anchor, opened his program showing my film.

It was then my father, an optical cameraman, and grandfather, a still photographer, told me to stay away from the business and go on to college, I did and playing baseball became injured and went to work form my father getting in the International Photographers Union at 19, the beginning of my career.

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work to date?

My first job was driving for my fathers company who taught me very good work ethic and it has stayed with me through out my career.

While it is far from the only genre you have worked in, you have done some incredible work in the world of horror, which is one of our favorite genres around here. With that, I am curious to know how you enjoy shooting horror films? Is there anything about this genre that sets itself apart from other genres you have worked on?

I love shooting horror. But it not just the filming it is the post where the film and story become alive. The editing, sound design, music and final finished film delivered, each process one is re-making the film to become better and better.

In 2005 you directed the action-packed Steven Seagal fronted film Today You Die. I am curious to know what drew you to this project? What made you decide that you wanted to bring this story to life?

In 2004 I was hired to photograph Into The Sun staring Steven. Half way through the film Steven and his producer Binh Dang started talking to me about directing his next film Today You Die. I went on to direct and shoot Steven in four more films. I was just asked to direct another one but the pandemic has shut all production down.



If you were handed the opportunity to create the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

Pete Rose. I feel Baseball has treated him unfairly and his story needs to be told.  Also I believe he is one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to share with our readers?

Gates of Darkness came out [April 3rd  2020] starring Tobin Bell. Later this year I have a Hallmark film coming out at Christmas, A Ring For Christmas and I just finished a directing a thriller Awaken which I am editing at the moment.

I have two wonderful films ready to go when the industry goes back to work.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My beautiful wife Lesley-Anne Down whom I met on North and South in 1984 leaving Goonies and Steven Spielberg to meet her. Best decision of my life.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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