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Careful What You Wish For in John V. Soto’s Movie, "The Gateway"

Written By

Flynn Film Forum

Gary Flynn

Sci-Fi movies have always been loved by audiences because of their futuristic stories, action and visual effects. In the field of Sci-Fi movies, John V. Soto has set the standard with his thriller “The Gateway” (aka “Alpha Gateway”) which will be released across North America by Gravitas Ventures mid-February 2018.

John is both the Director and Co-Writer of the film with author Michael White and has done a remarkable job creating a fresh, exciting story in a believable alternate world.

Production stills and a trailer have been released for The Gateway with the film selected for a number of film festivals including noted genre festival FilmQuest, the Austin Revolution Film Festival (where it won Best Film and John won Best Director) and the Sci Fi Festival 2017 in Australia.  

The Gateway is about a particle physicist who has lost her husband in a car accident and not being able to bear her loss she travels to a parallel world to bring him back, with dire consequences for her young family.

Qualities of a perfect film

John is a talented director and can be identified by the way he explains the qualities of a perfect film. According to him, a perfect film is created when all the essential elements of the film come together as one and create an emotionally engaging and exciting film experience that stays with you long after the end credits roll.

For John the key components for a great film are, “A combination of actor’s performances, cinematography, production design, score, sound mix but most critically, a great script.”  His favorite genres are Sci-Fi, Thriller and Supernatural and he is inspired by films like Blade Runner, The Purge, Alien, Gattaca, Monsters and Inception. His two most favorite films are Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Gareth Edward’s film Monsters and he loves them because “they tell a great story within a highly believable world”.

The exciting journey of filming The Gateway

The Gateway is set in Perth, Western Australia and is the result of a huge amount of work from the cast and crew over 12 months. One of the most difficult processes was developing the script. It all started with the concept; John V. Soto and his co-writer Michael White spent many afternoons at a Dome coffee house brainstorming ideas for a science fiction movie. They wanted to create something innovative and unique on a contained budget. They ended up with about twelve different concepts, but one in particular stood out, which formed the basis for The Gateway.

Once they felt they had a strong concept, it was time to build an outline around that to give it a proper structure. It’s not an easy process and they wrote many versions of the outline before deciding which one told the story in the coolest way. After all this hard work the process of actually writing the script started. For many days the script was exchanged over hundreds of emails. They were trying hard to create something exceptional and according to John V. Soto, “It took a solid year and about eight drafts to arrive at the version we felt worked the best.”

Even during the shoot, John was continuously working on the script, fine tuning dialogue and action to make it as smooth as possible. An interesting lesson that John V. Soto shared with us is that if you are planning to make a film make sure that the cast and crew you are hiring are open to collaborating with others. He feels that it’s very important to listen to what the actors and crew may say in certain situations as quite often they will come up with clever solutions you may not think of alone.

The positive relation with team members

The cast and crew of The Gateway speak highly of John, particularly his clear vision for the film he wants to make and also his friendly and collaborative manner of filmmaking. John aims to find the best crew for his team and focuses on building a positive relationship with them all. He particularly admires the work of his production designer Monique Wajon who also worked with him on his third movie, The Reckoning.  John commented “Monique is highly creative and able to instantly understand what I want to achieve visually…and then execute that on an affordable budget. What she and her team achieved in The Gateway is quite miraculous!”  

John like to work with people he has worked with before and a number of crew members had previously worked on some of his earlier films.  When it came to choosing a cinematographer, John decided to go with a new DOP whose work had really impressed him, David Le May. John commented “I loved Dave’s visual style and when we discussed The Gateway story we were instantly on the same page”. John was excited to collaborate with Dave, knowing he would be an important part of making the film a success.

The future is bright for John V. Soto

John V. Soto has exciting plans for the future and at present, is working on three different projects. The first one is “The Spartan Will” which is a sports drama revolving around the story of a construction worker who enters an extreme fitness competition to pay for his mother’s medical treatment. The story is a “Rocky” like sports action drama.

“That Which Haunts Me” is a supernatural thriller about a killer mannequin. The movie has been in development for a couple of years and is scheduled for a production in the summer of 2018.  His third project is a supernatural thriller titled “The Corporation”. It’s about a young office worker who joins a highly successful hedge fund and discovers that it’s run by a coven of witches.

Sharry Flaherty of Samera Entertainment is co-producing all three projects with John and his company Filmscope Entertainment. They met when John received an email from Sharry being interested in distributing his film “The Gateway”.  They later jumped on a phone call for a general introduction and soon discovered they were like minded individuals with the same passion for filmmaking.  

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Directors Reel


Sharry Flaherty

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