Mystic Pizza Box

Mystic Pizza Box
A slice of heaven

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Velocity of Gary-Valentino and his lovers celebrate Halloween

Look what I found! Woo hoo!

Happy Halloween!

This pic was taken at the Kingston Farmers Market on 9-24-2011.

Woooooooooo! Watching the Village Halloween Parade on NY 1 and LOCI episode "Baggage" now. Reminds me of the parade scene in "The Velocity of Gary" when Valentino, Mary Carmen and Gary dress up as the Supremes for Halloween and grooved to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." I would haved loved to see them do the Thriller dance. Hee hee!

DGITW Q&A with Vincent D'Onofrio Part 1-October 22, 2011

Tribeca Film Festival On The Road held the first of two screenings of "Don't Go In The Woods" at the Rialto Theater in Westfield, NJ last Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM, followed by a Q&A with director Vincent D'Onofrio, co-screenwriters Sam Bisbee and Joe Vinciguerra and producer Erika Hampson. Sam Bisbee also co-wrote the songs featured in the film. The Q&A was hosted by TFF executive producer Mary Shafer, who asks Vincent why he decided to do a slasher musical "in the woods". Vincent addresses that question and also explains how he went about casting the film himself with mostly non-actors and members of his nephew's band, the Dirty Dirty. He teases Sam a bit when Sam starts to answer a question about his experience working on the film, and they both seem to have a cameraderie going on during the entire Q&A. Vincent also introduces cast member Kira Gorelick, who as sitting in the audience just a few rows behind me. Sam, Joe and Erika also join in the Q&A to elaborate on Vincent's comments about casting and speak on co-writing the script and writing the songs, which Sam describes as a "seat of the pants" experience. Erika says that working on the film was "awesome" and that wrangling the cast was easy. Vincent says he wanted a "low-key" and "slacker feel" to the film and a "flat...low tone" delivery of the lines, which is why he cast mostly non-actors. Is DGITW the "anti-Glee?" Hmmm.

Btw, the film will be available on demand as of December 27, 2011 on Time Warner Cable.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tribeca Film Festival on the Road at the Rialto Theater-DGITW Screening and Q&A

Last Saturday night's screening of "Don't Go In The Woods" and the Q&A with the director, writers and producer of the film turned out to be an experience I will never forget. Excited and nervous, I arrived at the Rialto Theater in Westfield, NJ at 9 PM after having a snack at the nearby Windmill restaurant with Dad, who drove with me all the way from Brooklyn, NY. He decided not to join me at the screening, since he tends to get sleepy during movie screenings, so Dad parked down the street and listened to the World Series on the car radio while I was inside the theater. After a warm greeting at the door and receiving a coupon good for a complimentary popcorn and soda, courtesy of AMEX, I headed towards the line forming in front of the entrance to screening room 1 and waited for seating to begin for the 9:45 screening. No sighting of Vincent yet, but I knew he would be at the theater soon to introduce the film he directed in 2008 in Kingston, NY. One of the ladies waiting on line with me was excited because she had met Vincent at the opening night after-party Friday night followig the "Janie Jones" screening and she was looking forward to seeing him again at the Q&A after DGITW.

Just before we saw the short film "Mr. Stache" at 9:45 PM, Nancy Shafer, executive producer of the TFF, came up front to introduce director Vincent D'Onofrio, saying that his film is "kind of awesome" and that we would have a lot of fun. I was sitting in the second row aisle seat on the right and Vincent strolled down the aisle and stood right next to me while he introduced "Don't Go In The Woods" and told us "If you have a cell phone, you can leave it on." He also quipped "If there's a baby next to you, you can pinch it, make it scream." Since I was seated and looking up at Vincent while he stood near me, he looked like a giant next to tiny little me, leaving me so awestruck, I didn't even take a photo of him or speak to him. And then, he walked back up the aisle and disappeared before the short film began, followed by DGITW.

Of course, I was sitting just two rows away from the the row of director chairs where the Q&A would take place after the film and I wanted the best view to film the Q&A. Although the back rows of the screening room were pretty packed, I had plenty of room up front and the entire second aisle to myself. I positioned my camcorder inside the cupholder next to my seat so I could film the Q&A and have my hands free to snap photos with my cell phone, which turned out really well. Also, no shaky picture this time! Yay!

It was so much fun to see DGITW again and hear Sam's great songs, even while people were being killed onscreen, as Sam had mentioned during his show at the Living Room last Tuesday night in New York City. A scene early in the film shows Nick, Anton, Carlo, Johnny and Robbie driving to Kingston to camp out and write songs-guess where-in the woods. A George Gerkie song "I'm in Love with a Man" plays on the car radio and the guys sing along. Later, Nick confiscates the cells phones brought by his bandmates and he and Carlo...wait! Better not tell you what they do to the cell phones, or I might get whacked! LOL Good thing I'm not in the woods.

Some of the songs featured in the film include "There's No Way," "I'm Glad I'm Blind," "Break My Fall," "Hurricane," "Je'taime," and "I'm in Love with a Man." Contrary to a previously posted review that criticized the film for having the female characters only reprise songs performed by the male characters, there were several songs sung by women, including "There's No Way" and "Je'taime." So there.

The killer shows up after the guys and girls get together in the woods to sing, camp out and make out, and the blood flows in mysterious ways, as we see a hulking, masked man in a broad rimmed black hat, black gloves and long black coat stalking his prey with a sledgehammer. Yikes! I won't give away the ending, but prepare for a cameo by former LO:CI cast member Eric Bogosian and an ironic twist tinged with dark humor. He he he. If Vincent and Sam do make the sequel, jokingly titled, "I SAID, Don't Go In The Woods," they should film it in Central Park, or, better yet, in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, where the wild things are! With a cameo by yours truly, of course, as long as Vincent does the killing. LOL As Johnny says in the film "I'm from Brooklyn. What do you think?"

The Q&A began just after the screening ended at 10:30 PM, and Vincent was joined by screenwriter and songwriter Sam Bisbee, producer Erika Hampson and screenwriter Joe Vinciguerra, who was a surprise addition to the panel. Nancy Shafer moderated the Q&A and asked questions about the making of DGITW before taking questions from the audience. At one point, Vincent declared that you have to be prepared to "kill all your darlings" to succeed as a filmmaker. Sam Bisbee surprised me when he pointed out that I was filming the Q&A when he was explaining why he didn't want to give away the ending of the film, even though Vincent remarked that we've already seen it. Reminded me of something similar Sam and Vincent had said last year at the NYIT screening of DGITW, without referencing me, of course. Dammit, Sam! Towards the end of the Q&A, which lasted just under 30 minutes, I finally got up the nerve to ask Vincent about "Johnny and Me" and whether he'll be able to make the film. Vincent surprised me when he said he might not make the film after all because the script wasn't ready and the subject, a man with Asperger's syndrome and his relationship with his daughter, is very difficult for him to write about. Remembering what he had said last month at Utopia Studios, I expressed empathy with Vincent and reminded him about my brother who has autism, and I told Vincent that I hope he does make the film. I also explained that I was filming the Q&A to post on my site to share with my fellow siblings. Vincent sounded more positive about the film after I finished speaking and thanked me for my support, and I also thanked him. At one point, a gentleman sitting across the aisle from me walked over and handed me a microphone so everyone could hear me, although the acoustics in the room were pretty good and I was close enough that Vincent and I could hear each other just fine.

After the Q&A ended at 11 PM, we all left the screening room and made our way to the lobby, where Vincent and the others were posing for photos. I spoke to Vincent, Sam and Erika outside the theater and they all signed my program. I got a picture with Vincent but needed to use both cameras, as the young lady who tried to take the pic with my cell phone had trouble using it correctly, which was frustrating. She accidentally made a video short instead of a still photo, then I gave my camcorder to a young a man who did take two good pics of me and Vincent. Whew! Vincent was very patient while this was going on and said "Let me know when you're ready" before I finally got the camcorder out. Then, after we posed again, he was ready to move on, and so was I.:)I thanked Vincent again and said good night to him.

I spoke to Sam briefly about his music, his recent show at the Living Room, where he's done shows for years, and last year's fiasco at the NYC Horror Film Festival, when DGITW was screened so late that Sam's performance and the after-party had to be cancelled. I also told Sam about a new movie theater in Brooklyn called the Nitehawk Cinema on Metropolitan Avenue which screens independent films and he seemed impressed. Finally, I spoke to Erika Hampson about DGITW and the future theatrical release and on demand release. According to Erika, the film is officially coming out in January, as Sam has said on Tuesday night, but it should be available on demand later this week on Time Warner Cable. I mentioned that some VDO fans had posted messages online complaining that they could not get the movie on demand and she said "we'll look into it." She's so nice and easy to talk to. Going on midnight, I took the wheel as Dad and I headed back to Brooklyn by way of the I-78 going east. We talked about my conversation with Vincent and what Vincent had said about "Johnny and Me" and his personal experience with autism. Soon, I would be able to share all this with all of you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Utopia Studios and the Artists Panel with Vincent D'Onofrio 9-25-2011

The Actor's Dialogue Panel with Vincent D'Onofrio began at 10 AM on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at the Utopia Studios on Tinker Street in Bearsville, NY, just outside of Woodstock. I was tired from being up so late after attendng the Maverick Awards ceremony in Kingston the previous night and had to be up early to drive to Bearsville for this event. I could only imagine how tired Vincent must have felt, especially since there was an after-party following the awards ceremony in another town (which I did not attend.) As it turns out, Vincent announced that he had a cold just after he arrived with Mary Frankel to begin the artist's panel event. Despite the fatigue and stuffy head, Vincent was relaxed, charming, well-spoken and fascinating to listen to as he related many great stories about his experiences in becoming a film and television actor, and he showed a talent for mimicking voices of people he has met and worked with, including director Stanley Kubrick and actor Marlon Brando. There was a woman with a newborn baby in the audience who fussed a bit during the nearly 90 minute panel discussion and Q&A, but Vincent didn't seem fazed at all. He even told the new mom, who was obviously a fan, "You don't have to leave with the child." Vincent surprised us all when he answered a question related to his experience with autism and he said "I know that I am not normal.." and went on to explain what he meant. I never knew that he has dyslexia or that he considers himself to be "in the autism spectrum," as he put it. As the older sibling of a man with autism I have also had a lot of personal experience with autism related issues and I was gratified to hear Vincent share such personal information about himself. After the event ended, I spoke to Vincent briefly outside before leaving. I was too emotional to thank him, as I had wanted to, for being so forthright about his autism experience, but I did say hello and shake his hand, and Vincent smiled and said "Hi, it's good to see you again." I also saw the mom and her baby outside and snapped a photo of her snapping a photo of Vincent, while holding her baby. How cute was that? :)