Imagine . . .
John Lennon and Elvis Presley taking a drive and a private talk about life on a late southern California night. That’s the premise of Vito Brancato’s award winning film “Driving John Lennon”.
Inspired by the actual meeting between Elvis and The Beatles in 1965 in Bel-Air, Driving John Lennon centers on the climactic scene of Brancato’s original screenplay Our Night with Elvis and lets viewers eavesdrop on a dramatic and revealing conversation between rock and roll’s two biggest icons.
So the story goes, after an evening of clashing egos, Presley and Lennon go for a drive in Elvis’ flashy red Coupe Deville and have it out on a lonely stretch of Mulholland Highway.
Showcasing spot-on performances by Max Helm (Lennon) and Alex Pappas (Elvis), Vito’s film snatched up multiple awards on the festival circuit including a Silver Remi at Worldfest Houston.
Set on the outskirts of Chicago’s notorious west side (in a building once owned by Al Capone), filmmaker Vito Brancato’s old-world Italian Avito Caffe serves as his production office and an authentic film set for his indie web-series Gangster Cafe . The series follows a local crew of hoods who use a neighborhood coffee shop as a front for their criminal activities. The plot thickens when a sex addicted FBI agent stumbles onto their scheme to smuggle heroin in bags of coffee beans.
Using the full length, 10 episode web-series as a low budget prototype, Brancato takes his vision a step further with a sexed up, steroid injected version called The Taylor Street Social Club. Vito has written the entire first season which he is currently shopping to major cable and internet outlets.
The premise of Taylor Street: An old Chicago mob social club is converted into a trendy, retro, hipster coffee house . . . with a secret gambling den and house of prostitution upstairs. But things get heavier when a New York Mafia family engages the crew as a distributer for their heroin – which is smuggled into the country in bags of Italian espresso beans, of course.
Brancato’s career in television has its unusual roots in the colorful world of professional wrestling. Vito cut his filmmaker teeth on Sportschannel’s (Fox Sports) Chicago Championship Wrestling as an editor, writer, director, producer and the villainous star performer Tony “The Razor” DiVito.
After a four year run, Vito parlayed his colorful ring persona into the half hour comedy TV program “The Razor Show” which garnered a cult following with Chicago viewers. The success of “Razor” led to a string of independent films and videos including a dramatic film for PBS, BLACKSTONE – The Chicago Plot to Kill JFK.
Originally broadcast nationally on the anniversary of JFK’s assassination, BLACKSTONE is a political thriller and an unlikely love story woven within the biggest conspiracy in U.S. history.
Based on true-life characters and actual events, Chicago 78 is an epic gangster yarn wrapped around a steamy, sexy love story that spans three decades…
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