Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



Wishing safe travels and a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday to all.




Photos: More from Naples Film Festival


Photos by Marisa Asleson
Another huge photo gallery from the Naples Film Festival

via Bev (Blue Velvet Vincent)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

‘Household Saints’ Revisited Today

The Italian Tribune, 11.24.10

Every once in a while we watch a movie from years ago that we like to recommend to our readers as a film worth watching again or viewing for the first time. We recently honored the actor Vincent D’Onofrio, one of the main characters in this film, for his fine body of works and think you would also enjoy his performance in this film, still pertinent to our lives today and well worth viewing.

The film Household Saints was first released in 1993 and stars Tracy Ullman, Vincent D’Onofrio and Lili Taylor. The beginning for this film about miracles takes place at a pinochle game, when one of the players, Joseph Santangelo, in love with the daughter of a fellow player, raises the stakes of the game higher and higher. He ultimately asks for the right to marry the daughter, Catherine. His friend Lino agrees and after losing the game he goes home and orders his daughter to fix a nice dinner because Joseph and his family are coming to dinner. He tells her to make a nice meal to impress Joseph adding that it should be good enough for a man to want to marry her. She replies, “Nobody gets married for the food,” perhaps admitting she is not such a great cook.

Joseph (Vincent D’Onofrio) and his family do come for dinner and he and Catherine (Tracy Ullman) eventually get married. Of course, as happens in most marriages, they gradually change.

Their initial years are a constant trial as they live with Joseph’s shrill and hateful mother. When Catherine becomes pregnant her mother-in-law fills her head with horrifying old wives’ tales- superstitions of all the terrible things that can lead to miscarriages or the birth of monsters. When Mrs. Santangelo finally dies Catherine can finally bloom like a new spring flower and to celebrate this new freedom she paints their dank and dreary apartment in bright pastels and buys new Tupperware.

Their baby is a girl, Teresa (Lili Taylor), who becomes a serious and quiet young lady who grows up a very devout Catholic. She is very attracted to the uncompromising dogma of the church which challenges her to become a saint. She is completely devoted to her namesake, St. Teresa, known as the Little Flower of Jesus. While her parents have become modernized she is a throwback to her grandmother. When she announces her wish to enter a convent her father explodes.

Of course she doesn’t defy her parents and eventually goes off to college, it’s the early 70s and change is in the air. Most students are on the floor in sit-ins, not prayer. Teresa meets a young man who already has his life mapped out. He wants to get his law degree, get married, have children, buy a town house on the Upper East Side and get membership in all the clubs that turn their nose up at the Italians. Teresa is attracted to him but ultimately must decide what she truly wants for herself. Will she follow the path of worshiping these “false gods” or follow a plan of her own.

Not just a story of three generations of Italian Americans in the latter half of the twentieth century, the director Nancy Savoca explores a larger subject than just these women’s lives. She wants to show how, in only three generations, an Italian family that was comfortable with becoming an “American” family now has a daughter who feels threatened by this modernism. She also explores the possibilities of sainthood in a very secular world.

This is a warm jewel of a movie that even today will evoke memories in all of us as it brings to mind our own personal family dynamics. The film was on the “Best Films” list of over 20 national critics and was nominated for a Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. It is available on Amazon and Netflix if you can’t find it in your local video store. If you haven’t seen Household Saints take some time to rent and watch this film and if you have seen it on its first release you would surely enjoy watching it again!

/jenn

Vincent D’Onofrio’s directorial debut to be picked up for distribution?

Geeking Out About, 11.24.10

In addition to being able to hear “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” actor Vincent D’Onofrio speak about his experiences directing his first movie, a slasher/musical called Don’t Go Into the Woods, the audience members at the Center for Communication screening and Q&A of the film heard from D’Onofrio himself that he had a meeting with people from Tribeca Films to pick up the film for distribution. However, when contacted, a spokesperson from Tribeca Films declined to comment.

Shot on a budget of $100,000 in upstate New York, the Don’t Go Into the Woods centers around an indie rock band who while taking a break from their “daily distractions,” end up disappearing one by one and dying from gruesome deaths, singing all the while. D’Onofrio and his collaborators Sam Bisbee, (co-executive producer, co-screenwriter and composer) and Joe Vinciguerra (co-executive producer and co-screenwriter) answered questions at the Q&A session, which was moderated by Brad Balfour from the Huffington Post.

About the production process, D’Onofrio said that there isn’t a big difference between writing a love song and writing a song about death, and added that there wasn’t any CGI used in the production. Also in attendance was one of the actors, Cassandra Walker (Ashley), who said that while she heard the music before reading the script, the concept was a bit wild to her.
Full article


Thanks Leah!

Visit "Don't Go in the Woods" on Facebook for Photos by fans



Visit "Don't Go in the Woods" on Facebook for photos taken by fans.
/jenn

Video: Meet The Director Vincent D'Onofrio Q&A Pt 2


Meet the Director: Vincent D'Onofrio at Cencom on 11.22.10

This terrific video posted on Youtube by BillieJean0902--
This was filmed during the end of the Q and A with Vincent at NYIT, as he was answering a question from a member of the audience. Just before I resumed filming, he said "Don't spoil it for me." to her as everyone laughed. The Q and A followed a screening of Vincent's film "Don't Go In The Woods" which he directed. Also present for the Q and A was singer/songwriter Sam Bisbee and screenwriter Joe Vinceguerra, who co-wrote the script, actor Cassandra Walker and moderator Brad Balfour.

/jenn

Video: Interview w/Vincent D'Onofrio at NYIT Cencom


Posted on Youtube by Whysomany

At an NYIT Movie Screening for the new "Don't Go In the Woods" a Blair Witch meets Glee movie musical, Jaime Summers (Musical Theatre Writer) interviews (From right to left): Vincent D'Onofrio Director, Joe Vinciguerra Executive Producer/Co-Writer, Cassandra Lee Walker Actress/Singer, Sam Bisbee Executive Producer/Co-Writer/Composer, & Brad Balfour Huffington Post. November 22, 2010.
Jaime Summers asks "Since the inception and rise of Glee, movie musicals have become the next big thing, what would be your recommendation for up and coming writers like myself to actually go and do a movie musical?"
Vincent D'Onofrio answers "Do what you want. Do whatever you feel like doing because you're right, I mean this whole Glee thing is helping our movie out a lot. So as long as this Glee thing lasts, God Bless it... Everyone is singing their asses off these days...You don't have to do anything conventional. You can do anything you want... Just have the guts to do it".

Thanks Misty!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photos: NYC Horror Film Festival




Visit "Don't Go in the Woods" on Facebook for more photos.

/jenn

Video: Cast of "Don't Go In The Woods" speaks with IndependentFilm.com


Posted on Youtube by independentfilm.com--
Interview hosted by Adi Ezroni, with the cast of the film including Cassandra Lee Walker, Kira Gorelick, Kate O'Malley, Gwynn Galitzer, Nick Thorp, and Jorgen Jorgensen-Briggs. Film Written and Directed by Vincent D'Onofrio of Law and Order fame.

/jenn

Video: Meet the Director Vincent D'Onofrio at Cencom


Posted on Youtube by r3velNm3
Nov 22: Screening of "Don't Go in the Woods" and Q&A w/Vincent D'Onofrio - Center for Communication in NYC.



/jenn

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video: ITZ's interview with Vincent D'Onofrio


InTroubleZone's Chuck Ardezzone interviews Vincent in Naples
ITZ on Facebook

Thanks Misty!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reminder-- Meet the Director: Vincent D'Onofrio on November 22



Tons of Photos from Naples Film Festival

Photo Gallery of Vincent on Day 2 of Naples International Film Festival
by Wilkinson Photography

Photo Gallery by Marisa Asleson


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lights, camera, lawsuit

TimesUnion, 11.17.10
By PAUL GRONDAHL

ALBANY -- The producer of the financially troubled independent movie "Sister Spirit," which left a string of unpaid bills after three weeks of shooting locally over the summer, is now suing its financial backer.

Producer Heather Rae filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court last month against David M. Thomas for defaulting on a contract for a $1 million line of credit in which he agreed to bankroll the low-budget feature film, according to the filing.

Thomas is a former IBM executive who lives in Florida, according to financial records. The financing of indie movies is conducted at such arm's length that Rae conceded she never met Thomas, didn't know the source of his reported wealth or even where he lived.

Thomas could not be reached for comment.

"This deal was done by an attorney we knew who had worked on other film projects and he represented Mr. Thomas as a wealthy financier who was building a fund to finance independent films," Rae said. "I've been doing films for 20 years, and this is how they're done. We saw proof of funds and bank statements, so there's a lot of mystery in this. We relied on the attorney to do his due diligence."

The troubled indie movie brought fiscal ruin to Rae, producer of the Academy Award-nominated movie "Frozen River." She invested her family's life savings of $200,000 into "Sister Spirit," her car was repossessed and her house in Boise, Idaho, is in foreclosure as a result of her losses.

"I'm at the point where I'm trying to figure out how to buy groceries," she said.

Another producer, Molly Conners, an Albany native who worked with Rae on the critically acclaimed "Frozen River," also invested heavily with her own money on the project. Conners, who lives in Brooklyn, is a daughter of Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners.

Meanwhile, dozens of vendors across the Capital Region, ranging from caterers to off-duty city cops who provided security, are no closer to getting the money owed them for their work in the offbeat comedy whose cast includes Alicia Silverstone, Jon Cryer and Vincent D'Onofrio.

The amounts owed locally ranged from $40 a day for nearly 250 nonunion extras to more than $12,000 in unpaid bills to Birch Hill Catering in Schodack for 16 days of feeding 150 members of the cast and crew.

The movie had a working title of "Ass Backwards" and was about 75 percent completed when checks began bouncing after the Thomas line of credit was frozen.
Full article


Thanks Linda!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photos: NYC Horror Film Festival


11.12.10 Becca and Vincent at NYC Horror Film Festival
Thank you to Becca (1987porsche944)!! Visit her on Flickr for more photos.

"Regarding Don't Go In The Woods...it was unique and entertaining in that it was a musical slasher film...nothing I'd ever seen before. I liked that he used a real band in the movie. It was entertaining and different overall.

Mr. D'Onofrio himself was a nice guy and accessible to the fans, I'm sure we were driving him crazy in the lounge area after the film! But he happily posed for photos and chatted with us. :) ~Becca"


Monday, November 15, 2010

Q & A at the NYC Horror Film Festival


11.12.10 Q & A at the NYC Horror Film Festival
Posted on Youtube by BillieJean0902

Friday, November 12, 2010

Photo: Vincent with ITZ's Chuck Ardezzone

Chuck with Vincent
InTroubleZone's Chuck Ardezzone with Vincent. Photo copyrighted by David Rice

Photos: Vincent D'Onofrio at Naples Film Festival








Vincent and Leila


Elizabeth D'Onofrio

Thank you to Tricia!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Saluting our Veterans


November 11, 2010
God Bless You and Thank You for your service.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Filmmakers of Naples Film Fest

Photos

Vincent D'Onofrio speaks at the Naples International Film Festival about his film "Don't go into the Woods" and what it takes to be a father and an actor. Vincent spent much of his time with his oldest daughter and fellow filmmaker and Veteran Hero Scott Winkler from the film "Warrior Champions". Also featured in the album is author and inspiration for the movie "My Run" Terry Hitchcock signing his book after the film's feature. Terry poses with Director Tim VandeSteeg. Spencer and Zach Battiest entertain the festival's outdoor goer's with their soulful and moving music Sat. night. - Naples News

/jenn


Terry Kinney testifies in Kate Erbe's court case

Contact Music, 11.3.10

Kathryn Erbe - Erbe's Ex-Husband Testifies In Alleged Stalker Case

KATHRYN ERBE's actor ex-husband TERRY KINNEY has told a court in New York City how their teenage daughter began "screaming and crying" when she was allegedly contacted by the man accused of stalking her mother.

Charles Nagel, 36, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was charged with federal interstate stalking earlier this year (10) for allegedly bombarding the Law & Order: Criminal Intent star with creepy love letters and turning up at the set of her hit TV show in New York.

He is also accused of sending messages to Erbe's brother and her 14-year-old daughter on Facebook.com in a bid to contact the actress.

Nagel, who denies the charge, went on trial this week (beg01Nov10) in New York City and Erbe's ex-husband Kinney took the stand at Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday (02Nov10) to testify.

He told the court his daughter became hysterical when she allegedly received a long, rambling internet message from Nagel.

Kinney said, "She was screaming and she was crying. She was holding her computer out in front of her saying, 'It's him! It's the guy!'"

Erbe's brother Jonathan also testified that he was "terrified" when he allegedly received a message from Nagel, adding: "I was afraid for my sister."

Thanks Pauline!

11.6.10- Erbe's Stalker Found Guilty

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Photos: Naples International Film Festival

From NaplesNews: Scenes during a special screening of Vincent D'Onofrio's movie, Don't Go in the Woods, at the Silverspot Cinemas in Naples for the Naples International Film Festival on Nov. 6, 2010. D'Onofrio is best known for his role as Detective Robert Goren on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent.'

Visit Naples News for photos

Friday, November 5, 2010

Naples International Film Festival opens with 900 in attendance

Naples News, 11.4.10

NAPLES — With about 900 in attendance, the second Naples International Film Festival seems to have carried over last year’s buzz.

As a few hundred VIPs nibbled on sushi and oysters in Daniels Pavilion, at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, friends Karen David, Phyllis Titlebaum and Bunny Kaufman mapped out their plan of attack.

“We’re seeing five movies,” Titlebaum said before Kaufman rattled off a list.

“I just had so much fun last year that I had to come back,” David said.

For its second year, the festival has taken a slightly different turn. Gone are the locally produced films in favor of indie cinema with more recognizable faces. Academy Award winner William Hurt, "Dexter" star Julie Benz and magazine cover model Amber Heard highlight a list of faces you’ll definitely recognize in this year’s films. Vincent D’Onofrio, star of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” is appearing Saturday with his horror-musical “Don’t Go in the Woods.”
Full article


Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Singing Slasher

Savannah Magazine, 11.4.10
Photography By Adam Kuehl/SCAD


Screen sensation Vincent D’Onofrio shares his unorthodox cure for boredom.

Over the past 30 years, Vincent D’Onofrio has given unforgettable performances as Private Leonard in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” Det. Robert Goren on “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” Ed Wood, Abbie Hoffman and Orson Welles. In 2005, he directed and starred in the short film “Five Minutes, Mr. Welles,” garnering attention at film festivals around the world. He joined us at the Savannah Film Festival Monday night before the screening of “Don’t Go Into The Woods,” his feature-length directorial debut.

Q: Why a slasher-musical?
A: I don’t know! It started when I was driving with my wife in upstate New York and we were waiting for this other film I’m directing to come through. It was taking too long and I was getting bored and I wanted to shoot something. I asked my wife, “What do we have? What can I do?” and I realized that we have 100 acres of woods where we could shoot something. And one of my good friends is a composer and lyricist and I have friends that are writers and a whole crew of guys who would come if I asked them to. I thought that maybe we should just do some kind of crazy horror-musical.

Q: The crew you used on the film are professionals but all the actors you used had no training or experience. Why did you cast non-actors?
A: All the kids were basically off the street. I wanted it to have a flat kind of tone, so it would be this kind of odd feeling … a musical with all this kind of flat acting.

Q: No one overacted? Did you coach them?
A: Nobody overacted. I helped them out a little bit, but they are all incredibly talented musicians. Everyone sings and plays for real in the movie. It is really them. Music is where their talent was, and they were artists in other respects. Some were sculptures or puppeteers. They were a bunch of New York kids. Their perspective on things was clear, they weren’t in a bubble, and they were pretty worldly kids considering I just kind of found them. Every time I saw them go too far I’d tell them “That’s not you — you’re trying to be someone else. You’re here because I cast "you.”

Q: Was it fully scripted, specific dialogue?
A: Yeah, I had to work with them on that with exercises, but they handled it really well. Personally, I think that there are a lot of flat performances in everything that we see these days. There is a lot of very unskilled acting going on everywhere. I don’t mind it, actually. It’s different from my generation of actors but as long as they are not posing or modeling, I like it because it’s honest. It might not be this multi-layered performance, but at least it’s honest.

Q: Are any of them pursuing acting thanks to “Don’t Go Into the Woods?”
A: Yeah, a couple of them. We’ll see!

Q: The next movie your working on sounds very different.
A: Yes. It’s called “Johnny and Me,” and it’s about a father/daughter relationship.

Q: Will that be more conventional and straightforward?
A: Yes, but it also has a weird kind of twist.

Q: Have you always wanted to direct?
A: Not really. I just kind of got the bug lately…so I’m just doing it.

Q: What about your short, “Five Minutes, Mr. Welles?”
A: Yes, I did a short that was successful; it traveled around for a couple of years. The complete opposite of tonight’s movie. It was a true art piece. This thing that you are going to see tonight is not art by any means. It is total fantasy.

Q: You made it for a young audience?
A: Yeah…I have a feeling that you are going to hate it.

Q: I might. I saw you many years ago in Sam Shepard’s play “Tooth of Crime, Second Dance.” It was a post-apocalyptic, dark play set to a T-Bone Burnett score.
A: You saw ‘Tooth of Crime?” You did? God, my daughter was 4 or 5. It must have been 1996. I sat her in the chair during rehearsals.

Q: So when I heard that this was a musical, it seemed like familiar territory for you.
A: That’s funny that you are bring up “Tooth of Crime” because I was going to sleep last night and for some reason Sam Shepard came into my mind. Halfway in and halfway out of sleep I thought “have I ever worked with Sam Shepard?” And then I remembered the play and realized that it is not unlike what I am doing in this movie. That was a very difficult play to do.

Q: So, you like theater and singing —what about horror movies?
A: Not really, I watch them if they are done by good directors.

Q: Is "Don’t Go In the Woods" frightening?
A: There are a couple of jump moments but it is gorier. The whole movie is based on an artists mind and what you have to do to be an artist. In this case, a musician. Not in a deep way, just in kind of…if you have spent anytime with a self-indulgent type of artist, they have this one thing that they all have in common.

Q: Yes. That would be a mirror!
A: No, that’s a narcissist. I’m talking about self-indulgence.

Q: Will you do anything like this again?
A: This one looks like it is about to sell, so if it sells and people go see it…and I make the $100,000 back that I put into it, I’m good. The next one will have a bigger budget.

Q: How much time did you spend in pre- and post-production?
A: Three weeks in post. I had to do everything fast because I didn’t have the money. Two weeks to write the story and music and we shot it in twelve days. I’ve been in the business for a long time, so if I tell my friends to show up they do. People I’ve worked with for over 30 years — cinematographers, grips, electricians — we are loyal to each other, this group of friends that I have. Also, we are going to know each other for he rest of our lives. So they kind of have to do it! I find it easy to make a movie. The days can be long and the politics can be tough at times but it is not difficult to see a movie through from the first shot to the last.

Q: The idea alone makes my mind spin. I look forward to seeing your movie and your future acting and directing projects.
A: Thank you. Enjoy the movie.


More Photos from Savannah Film Festival


On Facebook by Savannah Film Festival


Video: Perspective: Vincent D'Onofrio


The actor and director of "Don't Go in the Woods" talks about his career and what impresses him.

Photo: Vincent and Liam Neeson at Savannah Film Festival


On Facebook by Savannah Film Festival (with a 'share' button!)
Vincent D'Onofrio and Liam Neeson during the 2010 Savannah Film Festival.

-------------------------------------
SCAD District
Coffee talk: Using local resources
November 4, 2010
By Cameron Belk

By Cameron Belk

At the Marshall House Nov. 2, Students and professionals gathered around couches and warmed up with coffee and doughnuts before discussing the importance of utilizing local resources in Savannah. Writer and producer David Roach, Tourism and Film Services Director for the City of Savannah Jay Self and actor and director Vincent D’Onofrio spoke of their professional experiences in the film industry and the advantages of using resources within the community.

Film and Television professor Michael Chaney began the conversation by discussing the student’s advantage of having unlimited access of film equipment and the local organizations supporting student filmmaking.

Savannah Film and Tourism Commission.

Self spoke of the importance of student filming in Savannah and how future students will strengthen the community.

“We want our community to understand the artistic value of filming,” he said. “People like to tell stories about what they know, and SCAD alumni will bring their work back to Savannah in the future.”

To protect against liabilities when filming, Self said it is important students and professionals have a permit (free of cost) to access public and private property. He encouraged students to contact the Film Office with any questions concerning filming.

He added for an example, “The city doesn’t offer electricity, but we have availability throughout the town, and it can be turned on at your convenience if requested on your permit.”

He also urged students to be safe. “If you have a fire, have a fire marshall and an extinguisher.”

Locals in the community.

The panelist agreed that people enjoy new experiences and when asked a favor involving the film industry, will often participate if they are credited in some way. If lumber, food or clothing is needed during filming, ask someone for it, but first figure out how both parties can benefit from the favor.

For “Beneath Hill 60,” David Roach needed a “no man’s land,” a war zone roughed up and filled with trenches. He found the perfect farmland, went to the farmer and asked if he could borrow the land for a few months. After he told the farmer what he planned to do with his land, the farmer agreed to let him borrow it only if he was able to rough it up himself.

Roach gave the man a small part in the film and allowed his family to visit the set at their leisure, and in turn used the land for free.

“There are some people that still see film as magical,” Chaney added, and everyone in the room laughed in agreement. “So people are willing and wanting to help you.”

Out-of-town sources.

Macon Film Group representative Tabitha Walker welcomed all students to film in Macon, a permit-free town.

“We have old homes, a lot of baseball fields and we want to help you,” she said.

Tips from the professionals.

“Two of the most powerful words you can say are: please and thank you,” said Chaney. Students and professionals should write thank you notes to those who donate or volunteer.

The panel all agreed the importance of keeping a reputation valuable. Organizations will not allow a person to use their facilities if that person has a destructive reputation.

Also, do not have 500 crewmembers when you only need 50. “Working around a low budget is very possible,” said Roach. “Don’t be afraid to ask for favors or volunteers and support the community you are in.”

D’Onofrio stressed the importance of remaining close to your classmates and local organizations.

“Get cozy with the Film Commission. They can work in your favor,” said D’Onofrio. “Remain loyal to them, and they will remain loyal to you.”

Self added: “Contact us and we will get you in touch with the right people.”

The panel left the students on a positive note, encouraging all students to make use of their local resources.

Celsius strikes pre-sales for Down and Dirty Pictures

Screen Daily, 11.4.10
By Geoffrey Macnab

Cast to include Vincent D’Onofrio, Andy Serkis.

Celsius Entertainment has pre-sold its forthcoming Down and Dirty Pictures to Poland (Monolith), Switzerland (Praesens), Carmen (Russia), Queen (Indonesia), MVP (Singapore), Odeon (Greece) and Jaguar (Airlines). Celsius is also fielding offers from France, Australia and The Middle East.

The film, adapted from Peter Biskind’s best-selling book, will star Vincent D’Onofrio as Harvey Weinstein, Andy Serkis as Bingham Ray, Toby Jones as Jeff Lipsky, Elias Koteas as Scott Greenstein and Matthew Perry as John Schmidt. The director is Ken
Bowser and the screenplay is by Dean Craig and Joshua James.

Here in Santa Monica, Celsius is giving first market screenings to Brian Yuzna’s Amphibious 3D, which recently received its world premiere at Sitges.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Video: Vincent D'Onofrio at Savannah Film Festival



Photo: Vincent and Leila at Savannah Film Festival


Liam Neeson, right, poses with fellow actor Vincent D'Onofrio and his daughter, Leila D'Onofrio, left, and SCAD president Paula Wallace after Neeson was awarded the Achievement in Cinema Award Tuesday night.
(Photo courtesy of Adam Kuehl/Savannah College of Art and Design)

From acting to directing, Vincent D’Onofrio shows no signs of stopping

SCADDistrict, 11.2.10
By Katelan Cunningham

If you don’t know Vincent D’Onofrio from his first role as the unhinged soldier in Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” then you’ll recognize him for his quiet demeanor and meticulous crime-solving knack as Detective Goren on NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”

D’Onofrio rolled into town for the Savannah Film Festival and the screening of his first feature-length directorial debut, “Don’t Go in the Woods,” Nov. 2 at 9:30 p.m.

Since his role as Private Pile in “Full Metal Jacket, D’Onofrio has worked steadily. “[That part] had everything to do with my career,” he said.

As a kid he was musician, worked in the technical side of theater with his dad, then started acting. Working with Kubrick was D’Onofrio’s first experience with a film director.

He said, “You got a sense that [Kubrick] kind of knew the film that he wanted to make and [you] just hoped that you were going to fit in. He had this film to make that was in his head, and nobody really knew what it was, except for him.”

For “Don’t Go in the Woods,” D’Onofrio said he cast it from the street.

The movie is about a group of musicians who go into the woods for inspiration in seclusion. They have several unexpected visitors, one of whom is a murderer.

Oh yeah, and it’s a musical.

“Except for one person, everybody sings and everybody dies,” D’Onofrio said.

In choosing his cast for the film he said they mainly had to know how to sing.

“If they could sing tonally perfect, then I wanted them to put their trust in me when it came to the acting,” he said.

D’Onofrio found inspiration for this film by his friend, composer and writer Sam Bisbee. He said Bisbee’s music inspired the film and was a lot of the motivation behind the story and tone of the movie.

With surprise hits in horror like “Paranormal Activity” and “Open Water,” which are filmed as these “real life” horror stories, where does a musical thriller fit in the genre?

D’Onofrio says it doesn’t. “I think that the gore and the killings in it are all kind of metaphorical and it’s not necessarily about some crazy guy going around killing people like ‘Friday the 13th’ or something.”

After comparing it to a Vincente Minnelli film, (“That was kind of a joke,”), he said, “I think it’s closer to ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ than it is to ‘Friday the 13th.’”

Even with his directorial debut, D’Ornfrio has no intention of moving behind the camera full time. He said he’s going to keep acting and making movies for as long as he can. He has the same ambition for what he does as what he looks for in other actors and filmmakers.

“If they’re very ambitious and there’s something about them that you can tell they have no choice but to make a movie, or do a play, or write a movie,” he said. “You can tell in people if they have no other choice.”

Coming from a man who has played everything from an alien-infested farmer to Orson Welles with amazing skill for 30 years, ambition is not a word spoken lightly.

He said if you have ambition, “eventually you will make your movie. Whether it will turn out good or not, that’s up to the film gods, I guess, but perseverance works.”


Actor/director Vincent D'Onofrio arrives in Savannah for film festival

SavannahNow, 11.3.10
By Linda Sickler


Vincent D'Onofrio doesn't do many film festivals, but he's made an exception for the one in Savannah.

"They said they wanted to screen my movie, so here I am," he said Tuesday at the Marshall House.

D'Onofrio's film "Don't Go in the Woods" was on the schedule for a Tuesday night screening. "I told them I would do whatever they needed," he said.

That includes meeting with Savannah College of Art and Design students today. D'Onofrio plans to attend SCAD film and television professor Michael Chaney's coffee meeting to talk filmmaking, and he also hopes to speak to a class.

D'Onofrio flew into Savannah on Tuesday and is staying until Thursday. With him is his daughter, Leila, 18, who said her father is "a fun, cool dad."

"He's like a big kid," Leila said. "He's the one forcing me to play video games and not the other way around."

Very much a family man, D'Onofrio said he doesn't do much socializing.

"I have three kids, ages 2, 10 and 18, and we live a very normal life in New York City," he said.

While he's well-known as an actor, D'Onofrio also is a director and producer and directed "Don't Go in the Woods." The film is "a creepy musical about a band that goes into the woods to write an album and gets more than they expected," he said.

The screenplay was written by D'Onofrio's friend, Sam Bisbee, a composer and lyricist.

"He's an amazing rocker," D'Onofrio said.

A sometime singer himself, D'Onofrio sings in the film, although he's not seen. His voice is heard on the radio as a country singer named George Geronimo Gerkie.

Breaking in

His father was involved in community theater, and after doing some tech work, D'Onofrio turned to acting. Today, he's been called "The Human Chameleon" because of his versatility.

"When I was 18, I realized I wanted to be an actor," D'Onofrio said. "I got very confident being on stage because I was a magician as a kid."

D'Onofrio studied at the Actors Studio and the American Stanislavski Theatre, debuting on stage in the Broadway play "Open Admissions" in 1984. He went on to do several plays before he was cast as "Pvt. Pyle" in Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam film, "Full Metal Jacket."

The part was his career break, and D'Onofrio gained nearly 70 pounds to play a recruit who wants to be a Marine but can't keep up during basic training. In a particularly harrowing and heartbreaking scene, he is severely beaten by fellow recruits and becomes mentally unbalanced.

That role remains D'Onofrio's favorite. "It's why I'm here," he said. "I haven't stopped working since it."

Over the years, D'Onofrio has appeared in films such as "Mystic Pizza," "Dying Young," "JFK" and "Men in Black." He has done extensive work in television, and in 2001, he took on the role of Detective Robert Goren, the lead character in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

The show has been successful, but D'Onofrio prefers film. "Television is a lot of hard work," he said. "Film is like a vacation.

For young people wanting to get into the film industry, D'Onofrio has some advice: "Perseverance is everything. You have to be able to handle rejection."

D'Onofrio has a budding filmmaker of his own. Leila plans to earn a film degree at New York University.

"You have to be able to say, 'This is what I'm going to do and nothing is going to stop me,'" D'Onofrio said.

[Browse Amazon]

[CURRENT PROJECTS]

List of films in production.

"Emerald City" [Airs 1.6.17]

TV Series - A modern reimagining of the stories that lead to 'The Wizard of Oz'. Vincent.....The Wizard

"CHiPs" [TBA]

Film based on the cops television series CHiPs

Shoots Oct. 15–Nov. 15 in Los Angeles.
Warner Brothers


"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

"Pele" [2016]

The life story of Brazilian football legend, Pele.

Vincent D'Onofrio....Coach Feola
Filmed in Brazil November 2013

"TENN" [TBA]

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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