Your new movie Tony
Martone - in a few words, what is it about?
For my film; it’s about a conflict between rival families,
the Martones and the Amatos, but I wanted to put my spin on
it. Basically it’s about Ray Amato having a lot of heat from
the FBI in NYC; they decide to go into East Providence and
invade the Martone territory. This suggestion was made by a
Nicky the fixer on purpose because he’s got his hand in both
families. In this film also shown a few surprises a few members
are working both sides of the family. It’s got violence, great acting and an incredible story.
Tony Martone being
a gangster movie, is this a genre at all dear to you, and some of your
It most definitely is — a crime / mafia film is something I
always wanted to dabble into. Most of my films fall into
psychological thriller or horror. So this was due to happen.
This film is up for best mob flavored production at MLC awards
in Green Bay in September. MLC
stands for Mobster - Latino - Comedy.
Apart from movies, did you do any
research into the mobs of Rhode Island?
There is some activity in Providence, RI, and we know about
activity in Federal Hill. But this fictional story I wanted to
do a city not really known for mob activity but make it
plausible. I think we accomplished that well. Martone is really
a feared and respected member of East Providence.
Other sources of
inspiration when writing Tony
movie was inspired by one of my favorite films, Donnie Brasco,
where it’s more in a modern setting — in that film they had
an FBI informant. I wanted to have a few twists in the film and
leave the ending kind of open.
Martone features quite a few mob hits, murders, and the like - so
do talk about your movie's approach to violence!
We made a real
wire out of piano wire. We made some handles and that prop was
seen in the film. I wanted to keep a simple and effective weapon
theme in the movie. The other inspiration was the bag over the
head to suffocate someone, I wanted to incorporate a lot of
subtle mafia flavored components into the film.
words about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
I wanted to incorporate some nice themed locations
into the film. We did film many scenes in East Providence, RI.
What makes this film unique is we filmed in Connecticut, Rhode
Island, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. I think having a budget
to move around into different states and locations is important
,so we incorporated the right locations for the film.
can you tell us abouut Tony
Martone's cast, and why exactly these people?
Just to name a few and some back stories on cast:
I saw some of Danny Fainman’s acting, and he had the right style and
look and personality to play Ray Amato. He was cast. Another new member I worked with for the first time was Gio Drasconi who played
Angelo in the film, one of the Amatos. He reminded me of a Joe Pesci-style actor. He likes shovels too
— watch the film. I worked with David
Torres jr for the first timem who had many qualities for the perfect
mobster. I enjoyed his style and flair into the character of Stefano. We
cast Mario Carneiro in the lead role of Tony Martone. He’s got the
right look and believability to play the all-feared Don, which he
pulled off beautifully. It was great seeing that come to life.
Nicky Scarz has a larger than life believability in his performance, and
he was cast to play Nicky the fixer who plays both sides. All the rest
of the cast was hand selected because something stood out — and they
performed their roles beautifully.
talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
Some funny stories on set. Mario
Carneiro was laying down in a coffin for hours. He said to the
funeral staff, "This is very uncomfortable." The
funeral staff said they never received any complaints.
graffiti wall for the scene depicted as Dirtyburg, MA, which was filmed
in Jamaica Plain, MASS, had the wall designed by Artist @ Large, a
local artist in the area, for use in film.
the filming of the Amato establishment scene in Rehoboth, MA, the cast
and crew finished filming during a Tornado warning and a hail storm just
passed on Nov 13, 2021.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Tony
We premiered this on July 8th at The Stadium Theatre in
Woonsocket, RIm with public and cast and crew. The most reacted
scene was when Mario Carneiro was in the coffin and the surprise
twist and reaction from his wife. The other was the end twist
before the end credits. People were also wondering if there will
be a sequel. It was also a sad night; my father Stephen
McGee died at home. He was my father and composer. I also
eventually renamed my production company from
to Hawk Studios. The reason of this honor is explained below —
I put a loving memory in his honor at the end of the film.
received the phone call from my mother with some heart wrenching news.
My father and composer Stephen McGee had passed away from home on July 8
around 8/10pm. This was our last collaboration together — he was
ascending during our premiere to the Heavenly gate called home.
you believe in spirit animals? It was early hours; I left the house then
when back home because I forgot my cell phone. Upon getting back in the
car, I noticed something watching me from a distance. A bird in a
tree, about 5 feet in the air was watching me. The actual image is on
the left, it was a hawk. I approached the hawk and talked to it and when I
got within 1 foot away, it looked at me and flew away.
this Hawk — be dad?
if I did not forget my phone that day – would I not see the hawk? I
later thought it was not a spirit animal and it could be dad. Why — you
ask? My father wrote a song 5 years ago called Rise, the lyrics
are making my hair on my arm rise up. The album cover 5 years ago was a
hawk/bird on it. This hawk was a sign and possibly dad.
Any future projects you'd like to
I’ve filmed Tom Sizemore and other castmembers in
August for the film
Mob Humor. Not my project but I was hired as cinematographer. As far as
my own projects, Article 92, a military drama/sci-fi, and also When the Sun
Dies, an end of the world film, coming soon as well.
Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever
Follow us at mcgeeproductions.us that
was just re branded to Hawk Studios.
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I wanted to incorporate some eye candy in the film as far as
vehicles and also the music. Some background about both below
which gave it a more mafia film. Even though this is a modern
time movie I wanted to incorporate some older cars. The
classic blue car seen in the film's intro is a 1949 Ford Custom Club
Coupé. It was turned into a hardtop by taking out the B pillar. The
interior is from a 1966 Ford Thunderbird with exterior color called Le
Mans Blue from 1969 Pontiac color. The front grill is from a 1951 Ford pickup
that is upside-down. The rear bumper is from a 1954 Mercury.
far as the music. The opening music, Tony Martone Blues, was composed and written by Alberto Bellavia who is an
Italian composer residing in Italy. My father also composed some more of
the modern music, like in the strip club scene was a song my father did
Thanks for the interview!