In The Media

Jason Czajka

If you took a classic road trip comedy like Planes, Trains and Automobiles and you mixed it with a buddy comedy like Grumpy Old Men, what kind of movie do you think you would get? You really don’t have to look far and wide for the answer – writer and director Tony Vidal’s Free Byrd would be just what you were looking for!

Free Byrd is as much your standard comedy fare as it is an exploration of the love between a father and son.

James Lindorf

There are a lot of movies about finding yourself or discovering your path in life. The rarest of these films are about someone older discovering that their dreams never died; they just stopped trying to achieve them. Writer/Director/Producer Tony Vidal’s latest film Free Byrd is one such movie.

An endearing… movie about never giving up on yourself.

Featured: Tony Vidal, Prankster Entertainment, Baja

Tony Vidal is a Bay Area filmmaker and director of the upcoming road comedy, Baja. He’s also a man who has lived a full life–emphasis on full! From working directly in film to managing real estate, he has a wealth of diverse experiences that have informed his work onscreen. In anticipation of Baja‘s opening this week in select markets, we got to ask Tony a few questions about his life and his unique approach to the craft of storytelling with film.

(Click here to read complete interview.)

Featured: Baja

There is something to be said for the familiar. The reason you re-read that book, re-watch a movie millions of times, or revisit your favorite episodes of a show is because you know the laughs will leave you howling or when the drama will make you cry and those emotional highs comfort you like a cozy blanket. That is not to discount originality, of course, but retelling a familiar story well is better than an original tale told poorly. One doesn’t need to know the specific details of the new comedic road trip movie Baja before watching it in order for that snuggly warmth to pervade every frame.

…Jake Thomas, Chris Brochu, Michelle DeShon, Arienne Mandi, and Zoe Corraface are all great together. Individually each of them is fine and likable, but their group dynamic as friends feels so genuine and true that you are rooting for all of them.

The characters are really likable, the actors’ chemistry is off the charts, and the cordial ambiance invites the viewer to lay back and have a good time.

Retro comedy ‘Baja’ offers a vacation for the mind

Since the days of Frankie and Annette, low-budget filmmakers have understood that the dopiest stories sell, so long as the location’s sunny and the characters sincere. Writer-director Tony Vidal’s youth comedy “Baja” …(has) a genially retro vibe and a breezy beach atmosphere.

Vidal juggles multiple sitcom-level subplots, which resolve in the most preposterous way imaginable. There are stories involving absentee dads, shady surf bums, dead pop stars and a failing resort hotel.

Film producer returns to alma mater San Rafael High to direct movie

To hear him tell it, Tony Vidal was “a quiet, nerdy guy who studied a lot and got good grades” at San Rafael High School in the late 1960s. But he wasn’t above playing a prank or two.

Three decades later, the 56-year-old film producer and screenwriter returned to his alma mater to direct his first movie, “The Prankster,” a teen comedy about high school kids who rebel against authority by pulling what Vidal calls “sophisticated and fun pranks” – like humiliating their boorish dean and sabotaging the Senior Follies.