After spending nearly a decade in Los Angeles, a Rossville-native wants to bring Hollywood to Staten Island. NY1's Lisa Voyticki filed the following report.
Julio Vincent Gambuto and Burak Uzun went to Staten Island Academy together back in the 90’s.
Today they’re writing the script for their first movie together.
Gambuto moved back to the Island from Hollywood in May to launch his own production company called "Borough Five Pictures."
"As a filmmaker I want to shoot here, I want to make stories that are from where I grew up," said Gambuto.
His resume includes selling a television show concept to E! Entertainment, producing a show for Nickelodeon, and working alongside actor James Franco to co-direct a movie. He originally moved out to California to study film at the University of Southern California, but before that, he had a long-running one-man-show called "Julie from Staten Island" in Times Square. It was about his experience leaving the borough to attend Harvard University as an undergraduate.
With the new company, he plans to add staff this fall, and is slated to enter pre-production for the first film, "Team Marco," in January.
The crew will begin filming in May.
"Team Marco" is about a Staten Island boy who is obsessed with his ipad until his grandfather introduces him to bocce.
Gambuto says he'll hold casting calls in the borough, and scout locations here too.
The rough draft of the "Team Marco" script has references to New Dorp Lane, and Exit 5 on the West Shore Expressway.
In fact, as part of developing the story for this first film, he and Uzun are going to play bocce with a local bocce team in Bloomingdale next week.
Meantime, Gambuto is developing the company out of a work space at Urby in Stapleton.
He and Uzun meet there every week.
"This is the most exciting work I've ever done with this," said Uzun, the company's co-writer who lives in Grasmere. "I think that if to be honest if Compton could have movies made about it, Staten Island should too."
Gambuto says these are going to be low budget independent films, but he's confident once the world gets to know the real Staten Island, we could see them on the big screen.
"Very few people know our food is amazing, that our people are incredible and I think setting our movies here is a great opportunity to show a side of the Island I know to be true and genuine but most New Yorkers don't know."
For more information, visit boroughfivepictures.com