I will not lie. It is one of the screenwriters' creed; to write what you know. And I know about porn.
A big part of Gonzo was inspired by Boogie Nights. Initially, I hated Boogie Nights, but the day after I saw it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. How glorified the porn industry seemed to be to the common man while in reality, it is an industry, and the actors are working. There is absolutely nothing remotely sexy or arousing about being in porn whatsoever.
Another huge element I borrowed from was Bob Roberts. Again, it took the third viewing until I really appreciated this political mockumentary. If you watch Bob Roberts and Gonzo in the same day, you could see that the plot parallels quite closely. Although Gonzo has its own flavor and originality, it owes a lot to Tim Robbins and his vision.
Gonzo was tremendously fun to shoot from start to finish because the cast and crew were wonderful, delightful bunch. A huge majority of the cast came from a theater arts class, "Acting for the Camera" with Nina Rhodes. Having a virtually barren first audition, I went into the class and asked for people to show up and almost everyone did. In retrospect, I probably cast more people than I needed (in the newly edited version, I left some extra roles out, and trimmed it by half an hour.)
Gonzo was also given more time to develop, with one quarter dedicated to writing and shooting, and another quarter just for editing, composing music, and publicity. One of my fondest memories would be the first read through at a local fast food chain, with the cast reading the explicit words and laughing their asses off. That's when I knew that Gonzo was going to be a blast.
Awards: Jury Award for 1st Annual Western Film Festival Year of the Horse | Victim | Authorship | Cells | Gonzo | The Confidence Game