Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hollywood partnership formed on playground films in South Amboy

NJ.com, 9.21.10
by Stephen Stirling/For The Star-Ledger

SOUTH AMBOY — Hollywood writing partnerships are often forged in meetings with studio executives and can be wrought with arguments and differences of vision and passion.

But Westfield resident Greg Principato and Mountainside resident Timothy Reinhardt may have stumbled on a secret — theirs was formed on a school playground and couldn’t have worked out any better.

“We met because our kids went to pre-school together,” said Greg Principato, who is directing the short film “Crackers,” which he co-wrote with Reinhardt. “We sat down for like two hours and I basically told him the story. Within a week he had close to 60 pages written for me. It all just kind of clicked. I’ve worked with other writers before and a lot of writers are kind of flaky but with him right from the outset it just worked.”

“Crackers” is a dark-comedy starring “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” star Vincent D’Onofrio and Academy Award-nominated actress Brenda Vaccaro. It follows the story of Gus (D’Onofrio), an Italian chef whose life is turned upside down when his father-in-law (Dan Hedaya) chokes to death on an ossobucco bone and his mother-in-law (Vaccaro) is forced to move in with him and his wife (Beth Ann Bonner).

Reinhardt said the experience has been surreal, particularly how smoothly his partnership with Principato evolved.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “We’ve been telling people the story and they don’t believe us.” Principato, Reinhardt and the cast and crew descended on South Amboy last week, where the movie was filmed in its entirety in five days with eyes on a winter release.

“Crackers” was largely filmed in the home of Chris and Dawnn Marconi, whose Victorian-style home on Bordentown Avenue was deemed perfect for the project by Principato.

Chris Marconi the prospect of vacating his home for a week, while dozens of people roam through his house with heavy equipment and tear up his backyard, was daunting at first, but he enjoyed the experience.

“The house has taken a little bit of a beating, so it’s been a little bit stressful, but fun,” he said.

The Marconis may have gotten a new garden out of the ordeal as well. The crew of “Crackers” had to construct one in their backyard to fit the script, and though they offered to replace the grass, Marconi said they might keep it.

“We kind of like the idea now,” he said.

Both Reinhardt and Principato, who just wrapped up work as a first camera assistant on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” said South Amboy turned out to be a perfect location.

“The script kind of has a Jersey flavor,” Reinhardt said. “And the town’s just been great.” The movie may have unearthed some local talent as well.

Ten year-old Jaime Morani and her mother saw D’Onofrio sitting in the front lawn of Marconi’s home and walked over to get the Emmy-winner’s autograph. When the not-so-shy Morani said she always wanted to be in a movie, before she could tell her school friends she was on the set, preparing for a role as an extra.

“I’m excited,” she said. “I want to be an actress, definitely. You get to be out in the world.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A' Winter release' - let's hope it's not winter, 2035 and just in New Jersey!!

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List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson


A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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