Film will capture a gang’s adventures

Filed under: News — admin @ 5:43 pm November 29, 2009


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Film will capture a gang’s adventures

Everyone had a gang in school, but some members of the Nutley class of 1969 had something a little different. They had the 2%.
The group was a collection of guys, about a half dozen or so, who were given their names by the high school principal of the time, Mr. Broffman.” We were all in the auditorium and our principal was giving a speech and he said that two percent of the class was not on board with the rest and that it was this small group that was causing this trouble and chaos in school,” said Ralph Cardinale, a” charter member” of the “2%”. “ We took that name and ran with it. We printed up our own business cards in shop class, gave ourselves that name. It took on a life of it’s own”.
The legend grew and the boys separated themselves from the pack, dressing in leather jackets, high rolled collared shirts and expensive pants as they walked the schools hallways.” We were a family. We had no one else, there was no one at home waiting for us, no one to tell us to do our homework or be home before curfew. We did what we wanted at a very young age and it bonded us together”, said Cardinale.
When high school ended the boys would stick together for a couple of more years before eventually drifting apart, embarking on their own lives. “Sooner or later life takes you and sends you in the direction you are going to travel. We never lost touch but we all kind of went our own way. It was time to start our own lives,” said Cardinale.
The boys may have split up but the stories and the legend and over time, Cardinale and his fellow members thought that their stories may be transferable to the big screen. “We have stories that could go on for days. When we get together the stories we share are unbelievable,” said Cardinale. “One night their was a girl at the bar just talking and she actually asked the bartender if he know the whereabouts of the” 2%” these days and sure enough one of our guys walked in that very moment. “We know we had something.”
Last January though the group was dealt a blow when one of its members, Gary Milano, passed away. “It brought us all back together and it made me realize that this was the time. It was now or maybe never for us to get this thing going,” said Cardinale.” We had to get the wheels moving, it has got to be now.” Cardinale would search tirelessly for a screenwriter, executive producer and other essentials for the movie but every avenue he traveled lead to a dead end. Then he came across a fellow Nutley high graduate Lou Perrelli who was working in film. “It was like divine intervention or something because he was just the man we wanted. Someone local who had lived the times with us, who knew what we were about and how to capture the attitude of the old Nutley”, said Cardinale. “He put us in touch with Joe Sheleski, a director from Belleville, and all the wheels began to fall into place”.
The guy’s would use Milano’s funeral as a starting point for the movie, getting all the “guys” back together again. “We decided to have the movie begin with all of us at Gary’s funeral sitting around the table just exchanging stories about Gary and the old times. We then flashback to the stories we are telling”, said Cardinale.
One of the stories that will be featured in the movie is the story of how Cardinale met his wife, “I’m sitting on the stoop and I whisper to my buddy Sal that I really think that girl is hot who is walking across the street and I think I want to go out on a date with her. Well Sal takes that and yells it across the street, saying I think she’s hot and this and that. I’m desperately trying to get him to shut up but while I’m doing that she yells back, “tell him to call me,” and the rest is history” said Cardinale.
Picking the stories was the hard part, admitted Cardinale, who said the movie will include roughly seven to eight stories all together with about five flashbacks and two stories told at the funeral. “We have young actors coming in to play us for the flashbacks and for the other scenes it is going to be us as ourselves. I’m real excited about the chance to be on camera but also a little nervous about it,” said Cardinale. “It will also be great to see people portray us as we were when we were younger.”
All the filming will take place in Nutley in August, with the shooting dates scheduled for the 26th, 27th and 28th. Cardinale and the rest of the guys have been collecting donations and gathering materials for old shots like old cars and clothes. “We want it to look and feel real. The town police dept. have been working really well with us.
Gathering all the staff and materials necessary for the short film was not easy or cheap, but Cardinale received a timely donation from one of the gang that got the project off and running.
When the filming is done, the 2% will be entered into independent film festivals all around the area in hopes of being noticed. “If we get in, that would be great and if we win obviously that will be even better. Most importantly though, we will have done it and that is what this is about,” said Cardinale.
The men featured in the film aside from Cardinale will include Chico Caprio, Dan Dippel, Sal Failla, Bob Presutti and Gary Milano. They all admitted that if the film gains notoriety and the chance presents itself to make a full length motion picture or mini-series, they would be up for it. “Who knows where this could take us, but accomplishing this will be a feat in its own regard. I still can’t believe we’ve come this far,” said Cardinale.
The crew is still looking for extras between the ages of 14 and 20 to be in the film and is also still in need of some materials. If anyone is interested in helping or being in the film, please contact the 2% by e-mail at ralphlakota@aol.com




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