Amy Jo Johnson talks The Space Between, Power Rangers

Amy Jo Johnson took some time earlier this week to speak with Solzy at the Movies about her new film, The Space Between.  The film will screen as a part of the Super Host Tour at The Picture Show in Bloomingdale, Ill., on September 7, 2017.

Thank you for joining Solzy at the Movies.  How are things treating you?

Amy Jo Johnson:  Pretty good.  It’s been quite busy but yeah, it’s good.

You’re touring your new film, The Space Between, which you wrote and directed.  From the time you conceived the idea, how long did you work on the film?

Amy Jo Johnson:  We started writing it maybe April 2014 and then developed it through the entire year and then shot the film in the summer of 2015.

How did you get the idea?

Amy Jo Johnson:  The first short film I did was called Bent.  I sort of took an idea from that film and then explored that idea about this girl who doesn’t tell her best friend that she’s pregnant and the father of her child is not her husband.  I sort of just developed it based off of that storyline and just created characters around that.

Having watched Orphan Black, seeing Kristian Bruun running around like crazy was so hysterical.  How much of that scene was written or improvised?

Amy Jo Johnson:  The whole thing was written but when you put Jayne Eastwood, who played his mummy, and Kristian together, there was stuff that would come out of their mouths that wasn’t on the script as well—that was so golden and hilarious.  They were just a real amazing team.  I wish they’d have their own TV show.  They’re so funny together.

You’re doing a Super Host Tour, which includes a stop at The Picture Show in Bloomingdale, Ill., on September 7th.  What was the reasoning behind a tour and not a regular theatrical release?

Amy Jo Johnson:  Half the film—the money was raised through Indiegogo, which only works when you get the support of people—in this case, who have followed my acting career for about 20 years.  I really wanted to make sure that when the film came out, I want to create some sort of tour that I could go around with Jessica Adams, my producing partner, and actually visit and meet some of the people who actually helped us make the film in the first place.  We decided to do it that way—as one-off screenings across the country.

You brought the film to several comic cons.  Having watched the film, it doesn’t seem like the typical film that one brings to a comic con.  What has the reaction been like at the cons?

Amy Jo Johnson:  It’s been wonderful.  I’ve really enjoyed—I think we did eight—we have to more to go which would make eight conventions.  The screenings have been awesome and the people that come have been so supportive.  The film is really fun actually to watch with an audience, especially when you come and when you perform (inaudible) and claps that happen through it.  It’s such a fun movie to watch with a crowd.  These screenings have been great.  Yes, I wouldn’t think right off the bat that would be the right audience but it seemed to have work and each convention to screen the film—I’ve had a blast with people watching it.

I remember watching Power Rangers on television when I came home from school back in the day—and you’re the fourth that I’ve met or spoken to.  Can you talk about what the series has meant to you over the years and what it means to interact with the fans at cons?

Amy Jo Johnson:  Sure, yeah.  Like I said—even with diving into filmmaking now and doing The Space Between and raising the money on Indiegogo, it’s just been really awesome to have the support of people who watched Power Rangers 20 years ago and now are grown up—children and now they’re adults.  When I was doing the show, I had no idea the impact that it would have on people so that’s just sort of an added benefit and blessing that came along with it.  I had no idea I was helping people out when I—because that’s pretty cool.

It’s been really incredible to get to know a lot of different people through the past year going to the convention and hearing their stories.  I cried 5-6 times a day standing in my line and people come up to me and tell me these amazing stories that they’ve gone through or experienced and I’ve been really helpful.  I find it really incredible to people I’ve met.

Any plans for a stop at C2E2 or Wizard World Chicago next year?

Amy Jo Johnson:  I don’t know.  I haven’t figured out where I’m going in 2018 but I’ll probably do about 5 conventions next year and I would love to.  I love Chicago so I’d love to come back.  I’ll be there—close to there—on September 7th.  For sure it’s one of my favorite cities so I’d like to come back again.  I actually recorded my album, called The Trans-American Treatment, in Chicago.

Do you still keep in touch with your fellow Rangers?

Amy Jo Johnson:  I do.  David Yost is one of my best friends and I talk to JDF all the time.  Other than that, when I see them at a convention or something, it’s always very friendly with everybody.  But those two people are still in my life and I talk with them all every other day.

Any thoughts on the new movie?

Amy Jo Johnson:  I loved it.  I thought they did a great job.  I was very impressed with Dean Israelite, the director.  I thought his talk on it was really—I don’t know—I would have loved to have been in it 20 years ago.

For smaller film projects like The Space Between, is crowdfunding the way of the future for the smaller projects?

Amy Jo Johnson:  Yeah but I think you can only do it so many times and then you sort of tap out that resource.  I’m working on Breaking Emma right now—my next feature—and I may, might at the very end of the day, do crowdfunding just to—I think people like to be involved and get to be a part of the film.  So I may do it at the very end not necessarily do it more for camaraderie and just creating a team together.

What’s that film about?

Amy Jo Johnson:  It’s called Breaking Emma.  It’s about a girl—an actress from Los Angeles that sort of gets burned out and takes a trip to Montreal.

Thank you for your time.

Amy Jo Johnson:  Thanks!  Nice talking to you.

Amy Jo Johnson’s The Space Between screens at the The Picture Show in Bloomingdale, Ill., on September 7, 2017.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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