Fernando J. Scarpa (Doradus /Jay ROCCO) Update for 2015!

Monday, January 5, 2015

I got a chance to meet and interview LA writer/director, Fernando J. Scarpa in Philadelphia this past summer. His short film Doradus (click for T&T post) was well received at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival 2014 (click for T&T PIFF2015 meets PhillyTechWeek) In fact, it was the first time Scarpa had a chance to view the film with an audience of strangers, having only shown Doradus rough cuts to friends, family and colleagues.  Leaving the screening he was buoyed by the enthusiasm of the audience, motivating him to want to continue the development of the project. "I remember I called co-producer Mara New from the airport and said, we have a jewel, let's make it grow", muses Scarpa.

Since that phone call, Doradus has done six festivals in six months; won the Audience Award in the winter session of Hollyshorts; will be screened again at the Opening Ceremony of their summer session; and has been selected to screen at Reno Film Festival (RTIFF 2015).  On top of which, Fernando feels very close to signing a deal with a major TV network to produce an episodic, mystery thriller series based on Doradus!  He revealed to me the names of two actors who are in negotiations to be attached to the show. I'd love to be able to name names in this update post, but he asked me not to, until it's a done deal.

I feel very honored that Fernando appreciated my interview with him so much that he would call to keep me updated on the progress of the project. I then asked him what else was in store for the new year? To which he responded,  "Actually, since you asked, it's a perfect thing for Tinsel & Tine, as my next short film features a real life vegan celebrity chef - very Film and Food!"

The new short (comedy/drama) is entitled "Jay ROCCO" and this time Fernando plans to do double duty, both directing and acting in the lead role. Jay Rocco is a multimillionaire, Italian fashion designer living in LA, who discovers a thief breaking into his house. Only the thief turns out to be a son he never knew, Matteo.

"I wanted to touch on the subject of uncommon families. Many family are dysfunctional today because people are too fatigued to talk, really communicate. And friendship is often lacking. My parents are the inspiration for Jay ROCCO; they will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year in June. My brother's and I have always been able to talk to them and my parents are each others best friend.", Fernando explained.

Matteo will be played by a new protege of Fernando's, 21 year-old Phuc Cao. "Phuc is a talent I discovered at an audition for the stage. I've been training him since last year and he's taking acting classes at the 'Antony Gilardi Acting Studio' in Hollywood, CA. I believe in him so much. he will break your hearts in the movie."

Jay ROCCO, like Doradus, will be co-produced and feature Mara New, who will play Sophia, Jay's colleague/friend and editor in chief of a fashion magazine.  Here's where the food and film part comes into play - Sophia (like Mara) is a strict vegan (although describing a vegan as strict is pretty much redundant).  In the film, Sophia will only eat dishes prepared by top vegan LA chef Cody Chaet, who in reality is the vegan guru behind Vegan Lifestyle Academy.

You can find out more about Jay ROCCO through its Indiegogo campaign

Scarpa hopes to take this project in the same direction as Doradus, do the film festival circuit, with the idea of gathering enough steam to get producers interested in backing a scripted series.

Tinsel &Tine and Philly will be watching and rooting for the success of both projects. We also can't wait to say - 'you heard about it all here first!'

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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