Your new movie Stand
Up Guy - in a few words, what is it about?
is about Roman (Michael Riccio), the son of a mob boss who at one
time ruled the city. Roman was supposed to inherit the empire, but had
been set up and put in jail for 15 years by his childhood friend Angelo
(Joseph A. Halsey). Now that Roman's out, he begins looking for revenge and
to take back his family business.
Up Guy being a gangster movie - is that at all a genre you're
especially fond of, and some of your genre favourites?
very much attracted to crime movies. Not necessarily just gangster films.
I like the idea of people trying to make it rich quick any way they can. I
am interested in the behavior of criminal activity. In some cases it may
be clear that money or power is the motivator, but there is usually some
other reason that motivates as well. In Stand
Up Guy, Roman lost
everything he knew, his friends, his family, his inheritance. Those are
the motivators for his quest. As for other genres, I like almost
everything -- action, comedy, sci-fi, drama, western. I am pretty much all
over the spectrum.
sources of inspiration when writing Stand
Up Guy? And to what extent can you actually identify with both
Angelo and Roman?
Good, The Bad and The Ugly was a major influence for this film. I had
written the stories for two other gangster films: Send No Flowers and
Blue Lizard. This was my shot at a gangster trilogy. I tried to fit the
FBI agent, the gangster and the gangster wannabe to that mold.
can relate to both Roman and Angelo. Roman had everything he could want in
the world and was betrayed by his best friends. The betrayal is something
I can relate to. And Angelo was jealous of his longtime friend who had
everything. Another area where I can relate.
As far as I know, Stand
Up Guy was your directorial debut - so why did you choose exactly
itís my first time out as a director. I had directed some informational
commercials for one of my companies. Internal use only. When I met Michael
Riccio a year or so ago, we discussed doing a project together. He
mentioned to me a few ideas that inspired me to write. Michael also wanted
me direct and I had asked a few other people what they thought and was
supported by director Steve Sage Goldberg and director Fred Carpenter.
What can you tell us about your directorial
approach to your story at hand?
really just wanted a lot of anger to push though as well as give a feel
for manipulation. Roman is extremely angry, but he is also being
manipulated by Agent Cappelli (Russ Camarda). Angelo thinks he is
manipulating everyone so he can stay on top and getting away with it. He
is also angry heís had to fight so hard to get to the top.
Agent Cappelli is trying to manipulate everyone, not caring who is
on top. He wants to look good to his superiors and get them off his back.
Do talk about your cast,
and why exactly these people?
are extremely important with short films. Not that they arenít with
features, but a short has very limited time to grab the audience. So cast
is really something I donít want to mess with. At least thatís how I
feel more and more each time Iím on a project.
Joseph A. Halsey
level was one of the reasons why we cast the actors we did. I knew
everyone we cast was great at their craft and that makes a guy like me
feel good when going into a project. Iíve worked with all of the other
actors prior to Stand
Up Guy. Joseph A. Halsey was in Junkie
Camarda was in Send No Flowers and Bullified, Tony Kost was in
Flowers and Robert Hellmers was in pretty much everything Iíve worked
Riccio was the newest actor to our fold. He did amazing work as Roman. We
worked on the character from day one and he was so excited about being
part of the film.
A few words about the
shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere was very professional. Steve Sage Goldberg and Cecily
Mihok-Trenka had my back every step of the way. It was one of the best
sets we ran together and the crew was totally on the ball. Thanks to the
whole crew for supporting and working on the film.
can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie yet?
started rolling out the trailer at this point. The reaction to that has
been great. It received a nomination for best trailer at the Long Island
International Film Expo. We should be submitting the completed film to
festivals within the next few weeks.
future projects you'd like to share?
I have two short film projects which I co-wrote. One is called Remember
Me?, directed by Cecily Mihok-Trenka. That one is a dramedy. The other is
called Hunterís Moon, directed by Sean Q. King. That one is an intense
drama with horror elements. Both
films are outside my crime genre and Iím really appreciative to be a
part of them.
Lee directing Joseph A. Halsey
As far as I know
you entered the filmworld as a screenwriter - so what can you tell us
about Lee Kolinsky the writer, and did you receive any formal education on
was a production assistant once on an independent Liev Schreiber film. It
really didnít work for me. Other than that Iíve always been a writer.
I went to school for filmmaking and screenwriting. I have several feature
scripts written and my heart is certainly in the creating of great
concepts and turning them into scripts.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to Stand Up Guy?
made four films prior to Stand
Up Guy. Two of them were features, both
directed by Fred Carpenter. We met through a mutual friend. Fred read one
of my scripts and decided to take a shot and brought me into his film
family. The Blue Lizard was made in 2002 and can be seen on idriveinmovie.com. The second,
Send No Flowers, can be seen on demand on Timewarner, Comcast and
Cox Pay Per View. The other two films were shorts
directed by Steve Sage Goldberg. They are Bullified
can be seen on DirectTV and AT&T Universe.
Junkie Heavenn is
hitting the film circuit.
would you describe yourself as a writer and as a director?
a patient filmmaker who wants to move fast and efficiently. If that makes
writers, whoever else who inspire you?
no order, David Mamet, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, William Goldman,
John Hughes, Wes Anderson and a whole slew of writers/flimmakers. Family
and real world experiences also inspire me. Itís pretty much the basis
for my work. Attitudes for characters come from that.
no order: Highlander, Flash
Gordon, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Kellyís
Heroes, The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The
Wild Bunch, Millerís Crossing.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
donít really deplore any movie, but Iím not a fan of editing where I
canít catch up with the story. Any movie I walk out of the theatre with
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
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movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
For the interview. Appreciate it.
for the interview!