A group of slick-looking Italian guys wearing suits had a confrontation with a detective outside of Angelo's Pizza in Malverne Friday afternoon while a film crew captured it all on camera.
No, they weren't shooting The Sopranos movie that many fans of the HBO series have been pining for since it ended in 2007. But if you're a fan of the mafia crime drama genre or you enjoy films with strong female characters then you may want to check out "Send No Flowers" when it comes to a film festival near you.
The independent film, written by Lee Kolinsky and Huntington's Michael Lovaglio, follows the story of an aging mobster (played by veteran actor Tony Lo Bianco) whose daughter takes over running the crime family.
"The rival crime family doesn't like it, assassinates him and tries to move her out, but she holds her own ... It's like a chick mob flick," producer and director Fred Carpenter told Patch Friday in between takes outside the Hempstead Avenue pizzeria.
It was the first day of what Carpenter expects to be a roughly 20-day shoot, and although they won't be returning to Malverne, they'll be filming in other parts of Nassau County including Island Park, Carle Place, Baldwin and parts of the North Shore.
After working separately with Kolinsky on "The Blue Lizard" and Lovaglio on "The Night Never Sleeps," which was shown at the most recent SoHo, Long Island and Hoboken film festivals, Carpenter brought the two screenwriters together to collaborate on this script.
"Lee came up with the story," says Lovaglio, 56, of Huntington. "He had written the first draft of the script and gave it to Fred Carpenter, who asked me if I wanted to do it."
Although Lovaglio works as a New York City cop, he also holds a BFA in fine art from New York's School of Visual Art and in the past few years has written numerous scripts about organized crime. This script, however, was the first one he ever wrote with a female character as the lead. "It was kind of challenging," he admits.
Inspired by his own on-the-job experience as a city cop and his favorite 1970's crime dramas including "The Seven-Ups" and "The French Connection," both of which starred Lo Bianco, Lovaglio wanted the film to be "edgy." He says, "It's violent. It's not a soap opera by any means. It's a drama that has action."
The film has some serious star power including Lo Bianco, Robert Clohessy ("Blue Bloods"), Cathy Moriarty ("Raging Bull") and Sean Young ("Blade Runner," "No Way Out," and "A Kiss Before Dying"). And most of the police officers who appear in the film are actual cops who Lovaglio has befriended during the past 30 years he's been on the force.
Once the film is ready, Lovaglio plans to submit it to festivals in the area and shop it around for distribution rights.
"It was fun to write," he adds, "so hopefully we'll entertain people."