Thursday, April 2, 2009

Neal Israel on "Tunnelvision"

Where did the idea for Tunnelvision come from?

NEAL ISRAEL: The idea for Tunnelvision came from my job.

I was the head of on air advertising at a television network in LA. This was when there were only three networks, of course. I had to come up with ways to make people watch TV.

I watched hours and hours of shows. At one point I wondered what network TV would be like in the future. How would they get people to keep watching?

So I came up with a network in the future where they would stop at nothing to get an audience. I pretty much predicted Fox, cable and every other edgy type show that we have today.

What barriers did you have to overcome to get the movie made?

NEAL ISRAEL: No one would give me money to make a film like this. So I mortgaged some property I had and some of my friends and employees helped. Also we were able to use some of the editing rooms at the network at night.

When it was all done, no one would buy it. We finally got a company that distributed pornos to take it on. The film open at Filmex (a forerunner to the LA film festival) and got a huge response.

By this time I had been fired from the network when they found out I was making a movie satirizing them on their time.

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