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Local filmmaker, former reporter to be featured at Syracuse Film Festival

Look familiar?

Think back about two years ago. John Gerard, a Camillus native and local filmmaker, decided to take his life on the road for 31 days to see if he could become famous. The Eagle Newspapers published a feature on his endeavor, and, in addition, he appeared on News 10 Now and WSYR's Bridge Street. Gerard's ultimate goal was to be interviewed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Afterwards, he came back to Syracuse with better material than first realized. He took his experience and turned it into a documentary that will be shown during the Syracuse Film Festival.

Gerard, a former WTVH TV 5 weather anchor and reporter recently laid off due to consolidation efforts with WSTM TV 3, shares his journey with Eagle Bulletin editor Tami S. Zimmerman. He will also make an appearance at his screening set for 6 p.m. Saturday April 25. There will be a question and answer session for the public.

How many other local filmmakers are participating in the Syracuse Film Fest?

I think I'm the only local filmmaker who was accepted this year. I believe a few others did submit. But for whatever reason, I guess mine was the only one selected.

Why do you believe your documentary stood out?

Film festival founder Owen Shapiro said he really enjoyed the comedy. I have a very self-effacing style and I'm not afraid to show myself looking stupid -- like the back shaving scene for instance. People seem to enjoy that type of self-inflicted humor. And let's face it, these days people need things to laugh about.

What is the film about?

The project itself is part life-long dream, part social experiment and part mid-life crisis. I've always been fascinated by fame and I wanted to see if it was possible for a person to become nationally recognizable in a month simply by generating publicity. So, I drove cross-country from New York to LA trying to get booked on TV shows along the way, with the end goal to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. And as you'll see, it was a wild ride.

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