Joshua Wagner, who graduated Motion Picture Institute in 2000, has completed his latest film, a documentary on famed game show contestant Johnny Blaze. Titled Gong, But Not Forgotten: The Original Johnny Blaze Story, the documentary covers the nightclub singer and Elvis impersonator, who rose to fame after appearances on The Gong Show, and his renewed attempts to reclaim his fame by hosting his own late night talk show.
Josh describes how the project developed from first meeting Johnny Blaze while working at a bar in LA, as he would perform his "so bad it was good" Elvis Karaoke act, to convincing him to let him make a documentary on him despite his reluctance. Maintaining his pipe dream, Johnny said he didn't want to make a documentary 'until he was [already] famous.' After filming Johnny Blaze for months, Josh became disheartened after finding the footage redundant and stale, and put the film on hold to work on his other projects. Johnny Blaze in turn called him frequently demanding to know when the film would be completed. Despite the bumpy road, Josh was eventually able to find his story.
The film is on sale on Amazon and Hulu and was screened at the Downtown Independent Movie Theater in Los Angeles.
Since graduating in 2000, Josh has written and directed two features films in addition to the recent Johnny Blaze documentary. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead (2011). Broken Ridge, an upcoming film he co-wrote the screenplay for, is set to star John Cusack.