Interview with Filmmaker Steve Alleva (DON GARBAGGIO)

DON GARBAGGIO was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the September 2021 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

‘Don Garbaggio’ was based on my Stepdad, Sal. He was a NYC Sanitation foreman..flashy, and charismatic, with a kind heart and a love of the classic Italian mob movies.

He was a proud member of the NYC Sanitation Department. It was very much his life for 32 years.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

7 or 8 months.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Three garbagemen.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

In a sense everything but casting, as I had my two actor/comedian friend’s Pat Marone and Frank Failla in mind already.

Though if I had to pick the biggest obstacle, it would be finding a location. Everything but writing was a learning curve, but finding a location was especially tough.

However, after a couple of months of searching, and not exactly knowing what I was looking for, I found one that worked perfectly.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was great to see and castmates feel the same way. It was especially good to see in particular, one of the audience members, pick up on a line that I thought might be a bit subtle, comedically. Their insights and encouragement were just terrific.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I’d have to say when I decided to make ‘Don Garbaggio’.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

It would have to be, ‘The Wanderers’, released in 1979. It was about 1950s/60’s Bronx street gangs, based on a novel by Richard Price, Great movie..a comedy mostly, but also very dark at times too.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

That is another discovery I had to make. Once we were done, what to do with it? I was glad to discover FilmFreeway. It made the process very easy.

9. What is your favorite meal?

I’d have to say pizza.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I got the idea while writing ‘Don Garbaggio’, that it had the feel of series,or atleast a sequel.. So,I’d like to continue to see what’s next for the Garbaggio crew.

In the meantime, I’ll continue writing, doing some standup , and acting…with a nap in there too.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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