Q & A with "South 5 - True Grit" director

By weeklyvolcano on September 20, 2007

Imagine the godlike pronouncement of the movie trailer-voiceover guy declaring the latest Hollywood blockbuster â€" “directed acclaimed filmmaker Bryan Johnson.”

It could happen.  Director Bryan Johnson won the hearts of Tacoma at the 72 Hour Film Festival capturing the Audience Award for the film, "South 5."

And he's back with the sequel, "South 5 â€" True Grit," which anchors the opening night of the 2nd Annual Tacoma Film Festival, Thursday, Oct. 4 at The Grand Cinema.

The Weekly Volcano threw a few questions at Johnson regarding his new flick.

WEEKLY VOLCANO:  So if you were going to pitch "True Grit's" basic premise in terms that a novice would understand, how would you put it?

BRYAN JOHNSON: It's hard to pitch a 5 minute movie without revealing too many plot twists... but basically, the secret team of trained and dangerous Seattleites is back (see the first "South 5" on YouTube), and this time they're striking at the heart of Tacoma. 

VOLCANO:  Did you find the sequel easier or more difficult to produce?

JOHNSON: People were more willing to help us out this time.  You will see a few great locations, and a cameo from some famous Tacomans.  But the real challenge was scheduling.  I have two kids under 4, and all the actors are busy dads too (except the masked boy and the gorilla). 

When we made the first movie for the Grand Cinema's 72-Hour Film Competition, my wife said, "I'll take the kids, you go have fun making a movie with your friends."  This time it was more like, "You're doing it again?!  Well, don't miss any diaper changes."  We finished over a couple of weeks, but if you added up the time spent it might have been 71 1/2 hours.

VOLCANO:  What's the best-case scenario for the future of the "South 5" franchise?

JOHNSON: This movie is the final installment â€" there will be no more.  You'll see at the end, it's like when Indiana Jones rode off into the sunset in part 3, and you just knew it was the last time you would see him. 

As far as the legacy, I hope our films spur other filmmakers to not just film IN Tacoma, but ABOUT Tacoma.  There is definitely an audience here that wants that.

VOLCANO:  Aside from your own, what was the best film you saw this year?

JOHNSON: I know everyone says "Superbad," but I'm going with my "Three Amigos" DVD.

For more information on the Tacoma Film Festival, check it here. â€" Suzy Stump

This week's films in South Sound Theaters

"Good Luck Chuck"

"Eastern Promises"

"In The Valley of Elah"

Check out the Movie Clock for show times and more reviews.