Producer / Director / Actor William DeMeo is no stranger to filmmaking, but his latest project, a new episodic mob TV series entitled “The Neighborhood”, could be a game changer for him.
Set in 1980’s Brooklyn, “The Neighborhood” is about Benny Zerletta, played by William DeMeo, a mob soldier who is constantly challenged by his mother’s death bed wish to seek guidance from above and leave his life of crime while having to live up to his responsibilities as a made man of a powerful crime family. A yin / yang kind of thing that will keep audiences in suspense of how Benny manages these opposites without getting himself killed, or whacked as they say in that world. Rest assured that an array of hair-raising trials and tribulations await Benny in this series.
The first two episodes, which just wrapped production in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, William’s former neighborhood, deliver an exciting storyline inspired by true events in the former mob capital of America. Expect to see all kinds of props popular during that era including vintage cars sourced by actor Anthony Aveni, who also plays a role in the series, as well as 80’s teased hairstyles, fashions and music.
William, who not only plays the lead character but also directs the production and wrote the first two episodes, has surrounded himself with great actors for the characters he created. His dream cast includes Louis Lombardi, known for the highly popular series 24, who also executive produces; James Russo, known for Donnie Brasco, Django Unchained, The Bronx Bull; Nicholas Turturro, known for Blue Bloods, CSI, White Collar; Leo Rossi, known for The Accused, Analyze This, Sinatra Club and the upcoming The Life and Death of John Gotti; Paul Ben-Victor, known for Entourage, CSI, True Detective and Joseph D’Onofrio, known for Good Fellas, A Bronx Tale, Patrick Borriello, known for Die Hard With A Vengeance, A Bronx Tale, as well as Christina DeRosa, known for Bad Moms, just to mention a few. Another noteworthy appearance is the man running for New York Mayor Bo Dietl.
Roy H. Wagner, who doesn’t seem to go anywhere without his cute dog, including on set, is the Cinematographer. A great production team was put together with too many to mention here, but check out the series’ IMDb page for more details on who’s involved. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6706080/?ref_=nv_sr_1
William’s son, Cristian DeMeo, a young actor, is also involved in the production. What a great opportunity for this millennial to work alongside his father and learn from him and the other experienced cast and crew, as they together venture into the most likely epic success of this series. As an actor, Cris was recently seen in “Back In The Day”, a 2016 film his father wrote, produced and played the lead role in.
Famous Brooklyn film location spots for “The Neighborhood” include the now closed Vegas Diner as well as Our Lady of Grace Church. The Romanoff Restaurant was recreated for a couple of important scenes that take place in the former Pastels Club. With a huge number of background actors involved, sourced by Chris Victor of Victor Productions, who also appears in an acting role, the Brooklyn set was jumping on July 5th and 6th.
The production of “The Neighborhood” has brought back fond memories for many Brooklynites and William DeMeo couldn’t be more thrilled about that because he wants to make the people he grew up with happy. With his kind and giving personality he has become a local hero, which for sure should contribute to the series’ success. Seeing him stay grounded and humble amid all that hoopla about him and his production is refreshing.
What people from back in the day miss most in today’s age of electronic communications is the personal connection we all used to have before cellphones, computers and apps turned us into robot-like people. Millennials will never know what it was like to have a private life or moment. Who, growing up in the 80’s, doesn’t miss the fun we had and connection we felt when we actually met up in person, hung out and socialized with each other rather than sitting at home and connecting via cellphone?
If you are one of those people missing these good old times “The Neighborhood” TV series will take you back there. Be prepared to relive that era and to follow some great characters providing a lot of suspense, drama and entertainment in the process.
“The Neighborhood” – Coming in 2018. Get the popcorn and pizza ready and invite all your friends to a viewing party at your house.
William DeMeo and producer Robert D’Aleo are also working on a cool documentary about life in the 80’s on Brooklyn’s 86th St. Check out the trailer here: https://youtu.be/CqeSBNuae_Y
You can follow William DeMeo and “The Neighborhood” here:
Social Media links:
Facebook William DeMeo Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/WilliamDeMeo1/
Facebook Cruising 86th St. Documentary: https://www.facebook.com/Cruisin-86th-St-1702847453276533/?ref=hl
Photo credit: Lisa Petz Photography
Karynne Summars is an author, screenwriter, film producer and freelance journalist. She is a contributing writer for several international magazines. Her feature articles cover entertainment and culture as well as international travel and personal development. Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Karynne currently resides mainly in New York with additional residences in Berlin and Marbella, Spain. Website: www.karynnesummars.com