¡Fo Reels, Yo! (...and for rants, and for other things too.)

Log Line:
Al, a loser from Queens, is having a bad day. Bad week. Bad year. What happens next depends on one chance encounter in the toilet stall of a bar bathroom.

"Under the N" is the story of a 30 year old working class native of Astoria (an area in Queens, NY, experiencing widespread gentrification) named Al. 

A loser in love, art, and his job, Al is pushed over the edge when a fight with his ex turns ugly, and he loses a treasured link to his past. Even in encounters with a pathetic drunk, and a pair of friends who have surrendered to premature middle-age, his own life does not compare favorably enough to continue. Can a weak bladder induced chance encounter with a free spirited DJ in a bar bathroom convince Al to go on?

Al.............Marc DONOVAN
Chloe........Emily ALPREN
Pablo........Todd D'AMOUR

Bum..........Richard WHALEY
Dina..........Eve BLANGIARDO
Jimmy.......Mike HILLIARD
Dave.........Ralph ROGERS
Dom..........Dennis BONETTA
Male DJ......Erwin FALCON

Dir...........Johnny SALVATORE
LP............Vince PUJO
DP............Peter OLSEN 
AD............Steve WARRINGTON
AC............Morgan SANDLER

Gaffer.......Jarrod KLOIBER
Gaffer.......Jeremy RODRIGUEZ
Grip..........Dan SHARNOFF
Grip..........Simon SHIM
Grip PA.....Will LINDSAY

Mixer.........Brian MIKLAS
Mixer.........Justin GRAY
Boom.........Tom JORDAN
Boom.........Amanda JACQUES

2nd AD......Mike ROSENBLATT
Art Dir.......Jesse GOLDSTEIN
Make Up....Jenn BENVENUTO
PA.............Julianne ZUCCARDI
Stills..........Ralph ROGERS

Editor........Daniel TURKEWITZ
Composer...Tyler JAKES
DJ Music....Dirty STYLUS
Sound........Kevin WILSON

Run Time:
25 minutes

Shooting Format:

Aspect Ratio:

Filming Locations:
Astoria, Queens; Park Slope, Brooklyn


Saturday, Sept. 13th, 2008, 3:30 PM (PHOTOS HERE)

Merrick Cinemas

15 Fisher Ave., Merrick, LI, NY


Continued Tour:

Sunday, Sept. 21st, 2008, 8:00 PM (PHOTOS HERE) 

Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown Hotel

2901 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN


Saturday, May 30th, 2009, 6:00 PM (PHOTOS HERE)
Perspective Studios West

1315 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, CA


Friday, June 5th, 2009, 2:00 PM (PHOTOS HERE)

College of Staten Island, Lab Theatre

2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY


Saturday, Dec. 5th, 2009, 4:30 PM (photos coming)

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Aud. "B"

2501 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis, MN


Online Viewing Dates: Feb 24th - Mar. 6th, 2010

DIFF Online Competition


"I'm gonna go take a piss. When I come back, I'm gonna start shooting people. " (Al, to Jimmy and Dave before the bathroom scene.)
Edited by Daniel Turkewitz.

Set to "Root Down" by the Beastie Boys.  (Prunes version with Adam Hiniker.)  


Director's Statement: 

"I'm gonna go take a piss.  When I come back, I'm gonna start shooting people."  From behind the bar of what I thought was the coolest dive in all of Queens, I overheard some angry, bitter, half drunk, working class guy in his early 30s, stammer those words before taking a few awkward steps towards the unisex bathroom.

The angry guy, who looked like an "Al" to me, was addressing a pair of hipsters.  In fact, everyone there minus me and "Al" was a hipster.  Post college Upper Midwesterners (Wisconsin mostly) who emigrated to Astoria, Queens after pricing themselves out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and before that, Manhattan.  Despite being a native New Yorker and having met people from every corner of Latin America, Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Far East, I had never met any kind of Midwesterners, let alone Upper Midwesterners, until they started crossing the East River.

I liked them.  Their liberal politics.  Their eclectic music tastes.  Their dry wit.  Being that I'm incapable of waking up before noon, I also enjoyed tending bar.  Something which was never a possibility in any of the old school neighborhood pubs due to the fact that I wasn't born in the same exact rural, Irish town that every other Astoria bartender seems to come from.  

Then, while stepping towards "Al" to see if he needed to be shown the exit, I heard an unforgettable sound.  Rather than react to "Al's" threats with a slight look of fear, menacing words of their own, or even something physical, the slightly younger pair just shared a condescendingly smug chuckle.  Not a loud one by any means.  Far from it.  It could have easily been lost to the much louder alcohol fueled cackles coming from other parts of the popular drinking hole.  Still, it pierced my eardrums.  As "Al" huffed off to the bathroom, I continued to eaves drop on the two hipsters as they exchanged banter (in dry, fashionably dead pan voices) about how often "Al" must beat his wife. After a few more ha-ha's, they later made a bet on who would be the first to write a screenplay featuring "Al's" line.     

Never having seen "Al" before, or since for that matter, I had no idea why he was so hostile.  But, suddenly I realized why I was.    

I wasn't working at the coolest dive in all of Queens.  I was working at a safe house.  A safe house for the shock troops who would begin Astoria's (once a working class neighborhood first made famous by "Archie Bunker" of All in the Family) transformation into a Williamsburg-North.

Ironically, I was born in Williamsburg years before anyone started calling it Bill's-Burg.  I remember the drug dealers, burnt out lots, open fire hydrants, decrepit waterfront, and abandoned warehouses.  Initially, I was ecstatic to see that old hood reshaped into a cool nabe.  But suddenly, after this one brief exchange, one almost certainly started by "Al," I realized that I preferred abandoned warehouses to converted lofts.  Lofts which I, or others who looked like "Al" would never be able to afford.  While the DJ was spinning some obscure Nick Cave track, I realized that I'd rather be singing along to Brown Sugar at one of the local Irish pubs.

I also realized that I would beat these hipsters in using "Al's" line in a script.  Writing that screenplay came easy enough.  But actually making a movie out if it was, in a final twist of irony, only made possible thanks to my artistic D.P., Peter Olsen; my effervescent female lead, Emily Alpren; and my hard rocking original music composer, Tyler Jakes. All extremely talented, good people.  All proud natives of the Upper Midwest.*