Michael Turley, Alleged Director of Terrorist Hoax Movie, Makes Actual Movies (and Magic)
Michael Turley, the alleged director of the terrorist hoax video starring his own nephew as a terrorist, is actually known as "Michael Giannantonio" in the world of professional film-making. If you're into hypnotism and magic, you may also know Turley as "Gianni."
Turley was arrested last week after allegedly having his nephew wear a sheet on his body and a towel on his head, then run around a Phoenix intersection with a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher, in an attempt to "test" the Phoenix Police Department's response to a terrorist situation.
-Michael Turley Wanted to "Test" Phoenix Cops -- With a Kid Dressed as a Terrorist Running Around With a Fake Grenade Launcher
-Michael Turley Put His Own Nephew Up to the Task of Pretending to Be a Terrorist
It turns out that the guy does actually make movies, albeit not incredibly successful ones.
He wrote and directed his own movie starring John Voight, which sounded awesome until we found out that John Voight is not Jon Voight. According to Turley's/Giannantonio's description, it's a movie about a guy who gets stuck at a lot of red lights.
According to IMDb, he's also credited for cinematography work in 2003 on the TLC show What Not to Wear, in which a pair of fashionistas put someone wearing awful clothes into slightly less-awful clothes. Turley also got credited for cinematography for Howard Stern on Demand, among other shows and films.
Turley was also hit with a $2,000 fine from the Arizona Corporation Commission's securities division in 2006, after he tried to raise money for a new movie by promoting it as an investment opportunity, and the securities division discovered he's not a registered salesman.
On the plus side, Turley does do magic.
You can see his magic website here -- Gianni says he can do "almost any trick."
In hindsight, it may not have been the best idea to "tweet" that "crazy video" of some kid pretending to be a terrorist on the streets of Phoenix.
Turley faces charges of knowingly giving a false impression of a terrorist act, endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and misconduct involving a simulated explosive.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.