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Enjoy the best of both worlds: Portal for Film & Festival News, exploring the best of the festivals community.  

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Film Connecticut


 

This site will cover the worlds of film, video and the visual arts in the state of Connecticut, beginning with coverage of the Connecticut Film Festival from May 4 to 10, 2010. One of the most important places in the Northeast Corridor of the United States, the state of Connecticut is fast emerging as a go-to destination for innovation in new technologies and the visual arts.


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Meet Filmmaker Denny Tedesco

 

Denny Tedesco decided to make his film debut THE WRECKING CREW about a subject close to his heart. His father had been a studio musician who played backup for some of the reigning giants of the recording industry. But as the son of a musician who stayed in the shadows for his career, Tedesco was also aware of the difficult choices and somewhat unfulfilled lives these people endured. So, his choice for his directorial debut seems inspired...a tribute to the unsung musicians who play back up to some of the industry's biggest names. The film has been a hit on the international film festival circuit, and opens the Connecticut Film Festival tomorrow evening (tickets still available: www.ctfilmfest.com)

But first more about Denny.......he grew up in Los Angeles the son of a musician father and an artist mother. He started his film career as a set decorator on feature films such as the cult classic EATING RAOUL. He then traveled the world as a lighting technician and location producer for IMAX films. From the shark infested waters of Australia to the plains of Africa, he has filmed under the most challenging conditions. He was sent as a location producer to cover the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and also to Kobe, Japan to cover the catastrophic earthquake. Denny continues to conduct interviews for A&E Biography as well as TV Land and Comedy Central for Robert Small Entertainment as well as producing commercials for Time-Life.  

Over the last 13 years he has produced promos, videos and commercials for various companies and networks. Most notably in 2000, he produced the Academy Awards opening staring Billy Crystal and also the music video for Elton John’s song, "I Want Love", directed by artist Sam Taylor Wood and starring Robert Downey Jr.

His familiarity with the world of music inform his work on THE WRECKING CREW, his directorial debut. The Wrecking Crew were a group of studio musicians in Los Angeles in the 1960s who played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Mamas and Papas, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers and were Phil Spector's Wall of Sound.  

 

On his website (www.dennytedesco.com), Denny includes an interview that explained his interest in doing this film. "I started this project in 1995 when my father, one of the original musicians featured in the film, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I guess it was a way of me dealing with what was going in our lives and at the same time wanting to let the world know about what impact he and his friends made in musical history."  

 

Asked why the project took over ten years to complete, Denny replied that he "never thought it would take this long. The first 2 years, I felt I got a lot of stuff and cut a 14-minute piece that I really liked. I was hoping to use that to raise money. But it was difficult to raise money from a 14-minute clip. But in the end I look back now and realize if I had finished the project after a couple years, it would never have been the project that it could have been. I think losing my father and putting space between the loss and now gave me more insight of what its like for these musicians".  

 

The film is most compelling in describing what it was like to be musicians at the top of your game and yet be invisible to the general public and to many in one's owwn industry. "My dad and his fellow musicians worked on so many hits, so it was hard for them when years passed by and you still have your chops as a musician and you're wondering why no one is calling, I think it takes its toll. It's part of the cycle. "  

 

THE WRECKING CREW screens on Tuesday evening at 7:30pm (6:30pm red carpet arrivals) at the historical Palace Theater in downtown Danbury. For information on the film and other events at the Connecticut Film Festival, visit: www.ctfilmfest.com  

 

Sandy Mandelberger, Film Connecticut Editor    

 

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