Backseat production managed and coordinated this feature film in the Bronx that was adapted from a successful stage play. Writer and Director Larry Romano (The King of Queens) has worked for 15 years to bring his play to the big screen and with the help of Backseat along with Hit and Run Productions and Bronx Farm Films it’s becoming a reality!
Backseat’s Phil Rush acted as Production Manager and Assistant Director, Nick Esposito also production managed and ran the Backseat Bus which served as production office, actor holding, makeup and wardrobe, catering and more. Doug Sakmann worked as Production, SPFX and Stunt Coordinator. Backseat also brought in a large portion of the production team with Mark Yancey (2nd Cam Op and AC) Joe Narode (2nd AD) Jeff Bell (Key PA), and Joe Paciotti, Lou Rangel, Emma Esposito, Nicole Graziano, Seager Dixon & Pat Kloutman as Production Assistants.
For 15 days, the Backseat team worked and lived on the streets of the Bronx, on night shoots from 7pm-7am in some of the toughest and most dangerous areas (according to the NYPD who assisted on some of the bigger nights). Hit and Run Production’s Ari Taub (The Fallen, 79 Parts) worked as producer on this project, making sure everything stayed on track. The Backseat members have been working with Ari for over 15 years so it was a great reunion.
About ‘Saturday in the Park’
Larry Romano has been thinking about bringing Saturday in the Park from stage to screen for over 15 years. It has been silently nagging at him in the back of his mind, like something he forgot to do, but instead of a chore, it was a pursuit to bring Saturday in the Park alive once more. Like a doting father, he wanted to bring his baby up as best he could, then set it free to go where it may. He adapted the original three man play to screenplay including several new characters and added plot.
The concept is the same however: do you grow up and take responsibility as the world changes around you or do you just let it ride and go along to get along?
The first “character” you will meet in Saturday In The Park is the Bronx. The toughest of New York’s five boroughs. The crime ridden streets of the Bronx circa 1986 is perhaps more of an antagonist than protagonist in this story, however, it is the catalyst for many of the characters personalities, thoughts, morals and actions.
The principal characters are Mikey and Danny, lifelong friends who have grown up in the hard streets in a neighborhood just outside of Yankee Stadium. Danny is a drummer and is planning a trip to California. Danny has even sold his drums to raise money for the trip. Mikey, who plays guitar and is fronting a new band wants his lifelong friend to stay in the Bronx so that he might join the band.
In their interaction you can see the mean streets ebb and flow. They often discuss their bedroom triumphs and even “finesse” a friend out of his money and his watch. But the core of the conversation is about the future. Danny ponders if he can ever “make it” in New York City, and that is why he wants to try California. Mikey is staying, he is a “New York Guy.” We learn how close these two have become and how difficult the decisions they are making are.