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SAM GALL'S STORY

Sam Gall (born September 22, 1993) is a Vietnamese-American filmmaker and movie reviewer. Having been born in Vietnam, he was adopted at only 3 months old, by Theodore Gall and Claudia Menaugh Gall, and moved to Ojai, California and has lived there almost his entire life. His parents, being both artists and above-average movie-goers, had a lot of influence on Sam growing up.

 

At 12 years old Sam’s parents got him a small camcorder and some Sony Vegas editing software and he made his first “film” for his school in the form of a “Year Movie” instead of a “Year Book”. After that Sam fell in love with filming and editing. He would edit movie trailers from films he loved and other musical montages under the YouTube name “EpicFilmMaker” in which some videos grossed up to 600K views. 

 

After editing movie clip after movie clip into trailer after trailer Sam blended his love of video games with editing and started creating “Call of Duty” montages under the gamertag “Sambofuzzy” and became a sponsored player for over 2 years, playing with teams like OpTic Gaming and FaZe Clan, personal tours at Treyarch headquarters and much more. 

 

Sam found his passion for filmmaking was taking over his world of gaming. He found he loved making the videos more than playing the game. It was a sign he needed to focus on what he really loved and keep making movies. During all this time Sam was filming everything from comedy skits, skate videos, action shorts to mini docs with his friends in his hometown. 

 

Transitioning from the gaming world he went deeper into his love for film and took Screenwriting, Screenwriting for Television, Directing I, Directing II and plenty of other general film courses at Santa Barbara City College for two years. Alongside class, Sam had a screenwriting/directing mentorship with teacher Ed Kaplan (“Dear God” 1996 directed by Garry Marshall & starring Greg Kinnear, “Trick of the Eye” 1994 starring Ellen Burstyn & Meg Tilly) in which Sam wrote his first feature length screenplay at the age of 17. 

 

After 2 years at City College in Santa Barbara, Sam tried out a 2 week summer film course at UCLA in which he wrote a short film there. Sam moved back to Ojai after that and started working with the Ojai Film Society as their projectionist for 2 years. 

 

It was during his time at the film society he discovered documentary directors/producers Josh & Rebecca Harrell Tickell (“Fuel” 2008, “The Big Fix” 2012 & “Pump” 2014) where he started as an intern at their company, Big Picture Ranch, in 2015. He describes it as his true film school because he was able to do a little bit of everything and have hands-on learning in each department. He worked on post production for “Good Fortune” (2017) about John Paul DeJoria and narrated by Dan Aykroyd, which won the “Audience Best of Fest” & “Audience Documentary” awards at the 2017 "Sedona Film Festival”. Sam was the production coordinator and helped out with additional cinematography and post production on their latest documentary “Kiss the Ground” (2020) narrated by Woody Harrelson and part of the Tribeca selection, which is available September 22, 2020 on Netflix and various VOD platforms. 

 

He also worked on their short doc “Down to Earth” starring Amy Smart and Deepak Chopra, as production coordinator, co-cinematographer, and helped with post production. He also was a co-cinematographer and production coordinator on an upcoming documentary of theirs about Generation Y called "Generation Revolution" in which he got to work with actors Shailene Woodley, Kenan Thompson, Milana Vayntrub, and Corbin Bleu. 

 

From Big Picture Ranch, he met one of Josh & Rebecca’s lead editors, Ryan A. Nichols, who had written a screenplay called “Loved Ones” that Sam found a strong interest in and wanted to help make. A year later, in October 2016, they set off to shoot their film, Ryan as writer/director and Sam as executive producer/producer. 

 

The film received 5 nominations, 4 wins including “Best Overall Film” and “Best Lead Actress” at the 2018 “International Horror Hotel Film Festival”. It also won “Best Sci-fi Short Film” at the 2018 “Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival”. The screenplay for part two is in the works with an overall plan for three. We are still looking for the best distribution option so we can bring the film to audiences! In the meantime, you can check out the Official Teaser for “Loved Ones” here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlV80OxcUqM&t=3s

 

From 2015-2018 Sam worked at Big Picture Ranch on over 3 feature films/countless shorts & other projects and produced an Award Winning Film called “Loved Ones”. During that time as well, Sam was also a co-producer on a feature film called “Shadow of a Gun” (2018) directed by Micah Van Hove which won the “Audience Favorite” and got “3rd Place Narrative Feature Film” at the 2018 “Knox Film Festival”. It’s available to watch for free here: https://vimeo.com/281922068 or you can check out the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/169449591 

Also, during 2015-2018, Sam volunteered to film for the Ojai Valley Youth Entertainers (OYES) studio in Ojai, CA with Daena Blu in which he got to film children’s theater (ages 4-15) ranging from productions like “The Lion King Jr.”, “Annie”, “The Jungle Book Jr.”, “Singin’ in the Rain Jr.”, “Pirates of Penzance” and “Peter Pan Jr.” It was one of the most creatively fulfilling and fun project(s) he’s had the pleasure of working on. 

 

On April 6, 2019 Sam’s mom, Claudia Menaugh Gall, passed away from cancer. Sam took a hiatus from work to mourn, rebuild, and reassess how he wanted to pursue his future. Now, in 2020, engaged to Rachel Pimentel, is continuing back on his path as a filmmaker, but due to the COVID pandemic, Sam thought it would be a good idea to start writing movie recommendations for his friends/family stuck at home in isolation. 

 

“It felt like a natural transition, writing about movies, as I already live and breathe cinema. My friends and family would always ask me what to watch. I missed the feeling of that back and forth you’d have at movie rental stores or theaters. It was also just an excuse to get my writing muscles going again, to watch more movies, and hopefully reach other people who felt the same way about this particular piece of art.” 

 

While watching films, reviewing and studying in his own time, Sam still pursues work in the film industry. Currently, as COVID is about, post production has been a regular routine but almost every department Sam has a strong love and passion for. He hopes to continue to be able to write reviews, create films, and eventually open his own theater one day. This review site is a close representation of what Sam would want to show at a theater if he got to own one. It reflects the taste, style, and filmmakers Sam respects, loves, and is inspired by and hopes to honor them whether it be by writing about or paying homage to in a future film. 

 

“One of the greatest things my film mentor, Ed Kaplan, ever taught me was that if you’re going to be in the film business it helps to love ever genre it has to offer. So my takeaway, whether he meant this or not, has always been to be open-minded. I knew that I love film and I should stick by it as literally as I can because it’s true for me. I love film. Regardless of the genre, I can appreciate the art of making a film. In general, I just love stories. I don’t judge, I just want to hear as many different perspectives as I can. It’s such a fun way to learn, see new people, new perspectives, places you could never go, that’s the beauty of film. Of storytelling.” 

 

- Sam Gall

I am an affiliate partner with a few companies, in particular ‘Amazon’, ‘Disney’, and ‘Google’, full details in my about section. Any purchases made through the links I provide I get a small percentage from. Sadly I don’t have control over the Google ads, but I do over the ‘Amazon’ links which hopefully shows. It helps me out for now, especially as an independent owner of a blog site.

 

I’m still just starting out, I hope you guys understand, but hey, it’s either I charge a paid $$$ subscription to read my reviews or I put ads and affiliate links on the site which you guys can just scroll past. Hopefully it won’t be like this forever and I can do this as a full time job. That would be the dream. I’d still want to be making movies too. Can’t do one without the other.

 

If you’re feeling generous, there’s also a donation link below that’s linked to my PayPal. If you have any questions feel free to reach out anytime! Happy reading, watching & playing!

Affiliate Partners:

- Amazon

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- Gamefly (game rentals)

- NordVPN (internet service providers)

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