New York City director Jack Gattanella has been busily at work putting the finishing touches on his latest film, Green Eyes. Having shown a rough cut at the Bergenfield Film Festival on May 3, Jack plans to add the sound track and give the movie a final polish before its eventual release (Jack is hoping for the fall of 2012. The movie stars the incomparable Audrey Lorea, legendary beauty Dasha Kittredge and born ‘leading man’ Thomas Wesson.
Green Eyes, loosely based on Last Tango is Paris, is a film that Jack has been working on for years. Jack’s Infidelio is something of a preqel of Green Eyes, featuring the same three main characters played by different actors. In Green Eyes, the story of Jamie betraying her boyfriend Glenn with his best friend Nicolas is taken further. The film delves further into Nicolas’ life after he learns that Jamie, driving while distraught, died in a car accident. Between Nicolas’ loveless affair with his cousin Rannie’s friend Ingrid, and his own struggle to make it as a photographer, Nicolas Hizney risks losing himself and any real sense of purpose and identity.
Much of the filming for Green Eyes was done about a mile from an airport, which made shooting tricky when airplanes roared overhead. Other challenges included the amount of extras and lights that were needed for some scenes. During one scene, showing a car pulling up, they had to retake it a bunch of times, and the scene never even made it into the movie!
In spite of these challenges, the whole cast and crew really pulled together to help. The role of unofficial DJ for the project was filled by actress/producer Audrey Lorea, for example. And while Jack’s style is informal, he has a way of getting the right people for the roles and putting a successful project together. In fact, Jack and the cast and crew of Green Eyes are part of a close-knit community of actors, directors, producers and screenwriters in NYC that includes Zack Abramawitz, Gabe Rodriguez, Matt Rosen, Clarke Mayer and many others. These folks collaborate on each other’s projects, often taking multiple roles in the film-making process. The result is an amazing pool of talent that has led to a variety of quality films, many of which are being shown at film festivals across the NYC area.
Actor Thomas Wesson, who has the starring role of Nic in Green Eyes, was impressed by how much of Jack’s own money and time and effort went into the project. ‘He was very accommodating when I had any sort of conflict. I was able to juggle other projects at the same time as filming with Jack.’
Audrey Lorea, who plays Ingrid, the new love interest for Nicolas after Jamie’s death, said that it was ‘easy for me to portray that character, since, of all the roles I’ve portrayed, hers is the most like me. I see her as a modern day Edie Sedgwick.’ As producer for Green Eyes, she enjoyed giving actors the opportunity to have input during the process. ‘I involve the actors in the post-production collaboration. I want them to take initiative more than direction.’ Audrey’s directorial debut, Heaven Is Now, currently in post-production, should also be released this summer.
Dasha Kittredge, who plays Jamie, also feels that her role is close to how she is in real life. However, unlike Audrey, she claims to have a harder time playing such a role. Despite her fears, she pulls it off admirably. Dasha also acts in Audrey’s Heaven Is Now.
Jack’s previous films include such cinematic treats Jealous Jerzy, a tale of jealousy with a non-cliched twist ending and Lines of Glory which is about, well…you’ll want to watch it! It’s a humorous and wacky film that pretends to go ‘behind the scenes’ at a shoot of another film, and has references to Quentin Tarantino’s foot fetish, among other things.
Check out Jack’s IMDB page.
Jack attended school at William-Patterson University in New Jersey and majored in communications with a concentration in film. He met Matt Rosen while there, and they developed a bond of trust and friendship that helps tremendously in making films. He and Carlos del Rosario, editor for the film, have a great ‘tag-team relationship’ where he and Jack are on the same page when going over the film in post-production. Jack counts these professional relationships as key to his films’ successes.
His past experiences with film prepared him for the creation of Green Eyes. While only the rough cut has been made available for viewing, it is nonetheless a fairly tight production that, with enough polish, can be great. Jack has shown with the film that his skill as a director seems only to improve. Close to hitting his stride as a director, Jack Gattanella is sure to offer even greater things to come.