We had the good fortune of connecting with John Redlinger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, what is the most important factor behind your success?
“Success” is obviously relative, and to even be asked the question is a huge honor. But for me, collaboration has been the deciding factor. Nobody can whistle a symphony – somebody far smarter than I am said that, but it’s true! Surround yourself with people who you respect, admire, and learn from (and for me, most importantly, people who aren’t afraid to challenge your ideas) and you’re nearly unstoppable after that! Nothing I’m proud of has ever been the result of a one-man-band. And to that end, I’m fortunate to get to work not only good friends, but brilliant collaborators who elevate each step of the process and push me to rise to every occasion and opportunity.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was a little kid with a big ego who dreamed of being the blend of Marlon Brando and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Something like “What if On the Waterfront met Predator, and Michael Bay directed?” … Time and the inherent friction of the industry provided reality checks and much-needed maturation. In many ways, my creative upbringing is not unique – artsy kid moves to LA, yada yada yada… but curiosity never let me settle into one specific rut. I’ve always loved every aspect of storytelling, and the more I learned the more I wanted to know. The most valuable experiences came from working behind the camera – and that’s mostly where I find myself today: writing, directing, and producing. Through the little production company I co-founded, Bad and Classic, I’m proud to have a hand in everything from narrative films and commercial work, to helping new upcoming voices create their own content. It’s an ever-changing landscape, and I couldn’t be more excited to take part.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m imagining a post-pandemic world, or at least one where we’re all united in common sense Covid-safe precautions… breakfast burritos at Burrito Bomba or Cofax (let’s be clear, I’d eat these for every meal!). For a long time, I lived off of 3rd Street near the Grove… so I’d be remiss not to shoutout Joan’s on Third, D’Amores Pizza, and – bias admitted, I’m a Texan – Slab BBQ. With hikes, sights, a tourist destinations galore it’s tough to have an original idea about LA hotspots… but for more relaxed offerings I’d suggest checking out The Huntington Gardens, Underwood Family Farms, or taking in a drive-in movie (more and more options keep popping up, bit for an old-school experience try Mission Tiki or Electric Dusk).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh boy, where to begin… Lynn Shaw, the Texas theatre teacher who nurtured countless kids’ dreams. My business partner Sam Schweikert, actor/filmmaker/photographer extraordinaire. Longtime friends and geniuses Chris Wittine, Naeem Munaf, Mimi Torres, and Brian Davis. My parents who have always been ridiculously supportive. Brian Sokolik, logical mind and voice of reason – and the the guy who should bill me for years of career therapy. My partner, Olivia Hill, far-and-away the funniest, kindest person I have ever known. And last but certainly not least, The Michael Laskin Studio – a true community of actors, thinkers, and multi-hyphenate-artists who have provided the backbone of my artistic pursuits and my LA community. (Surely, I’ve neglected many many more people to whom I owe greatly, and are all deserving of recognition)… But no doubt I’d have thrown in the towel long ago were it not for the relentless talent, wisdom and friendship that all these people give with seemingly endless generosity.