Posted by: Drew | April 9, 2008

Gone Too Far – Southeren Gentlemen Productions – Atlantic County – Jersey Shore

Gone Too Far: A police drama that was shot in Abseacon NJ in August 2007 in just four days is a short film that debuted at the Garden State Film Festival, last week.

The Synopsis

Decorated SWAT Commander Darrell Ford (Jim Klock) finds himself on the wrong side of the law. In this intense hostage drama, rookie cop Robert “Mac” Mancini (Michael Buonomo) stumbles across an incident where Ford has crossed the line and is forced into the role of negotiator. Helped by veteran negotiator Bowler (Michael Mack) the two men try their best to convince Ford to surrender. Will the two men be able to end the standoff peacefully, or does Ford have plans of his own? One thing is for sure, on this day, all three men have Gone Too Far.

The Crew and Cast Speaks

Jim Klock and Darrell Martinelli – No Need to Call For Backup

Darrell Martinelli an Atlantic City native and resident is a dedicated father of four and currently a student at Rutgers School of Law-Camden, where his emphasis is on business and intellectual property law. If that’s not enough to be involved with, Martinelli also handles the business affairs of Southern Gentlemen Productions as well as being the webmaster for the company’s websites.

Working primarily behind the camera, Martinelli is an accomplished editor. He has produced numerous video projects, such as school video yearbooks, sports videos, wedding videos, and family video albums in the southern New Jersey area. Martinelli had a brief role in Southern Gentlemen Productions film My Turn and he co-wrote, starred in, and directed the Southern Gentlemen Productions short Daddy’s Home.

The relationship between Martinelli and Jim Klock began while serving as police officers in Alexandria VA and led to the formation of Southern Gentlemen Productions. Klock was already a working actor with his own production company. You may recognize Klock from TV shows such as: 24, Vegas, Jericho, Shark and Desperate Housewives just in the past year. He has also starred in the feature films Sway and My Turn as well as in the short films A Good Man, December and Camp Grimm.

Once you see Gone Too Far, you will see that this talented writer and director knows that you can just “Shoot First”. In fact as both the writer and director of Gone Too Far you can see from the quality of the work, Klock and partner Martinelli have “cuffed and stuffed” this movie into the proverbial slammer. As further proof of this the movie has already won Best Short at the Los Angeles Hi Def Film Festival.

Their production company, Southern Gentlemen Productions, which started in 2001, has offices in Los Angeles, NJ and VA. Gone Too Far is their ninth film. They share tasks as directors and producers and seem to compliment each other well. Martineli handles the business offices and Klock handles the actors and production details. Billy Bob Thornton was named by both as a main influence to their work.

“It’s about stories, not a lot of shootouts and bombs going off, it’s about telling a story.” Martinelli says of their work. Klock also adds, ” I want people to feel as if they just walked a mile in someone’s shoes.” Referring to some of the great people he worked with on the police force.

Klock had a few key points to make about the Writer’s Guild strike and upcoming Screen Actors Guild (SAG) negotiations. “I hope we don’t do it, I hope we can get it worked out, the writers definitely helped us, if we can get a similar deal…the blessing is that it won’t affect small productions like us…we’ll still be able to make our movies, the strike will affect the big companies (like Warner Bros., Miramax, etc.)” He also said that as an actor the strike would affect him directly since most of his work is on TV but as a film maker it won’t affect him since they are shooting under one million dollar films with no distribution deal. There is one small light of hope for the independent filmmakers in all this as many bigger name “A” list actors will be looking for pet projects to work on.

Southern Gentleman Productions is hoping to make connections this weekend as they want to continue to shoot primarily in New Jersey and as Klock puts it, “We would love to win, as winning gives you credibility.”

Michael Buonomo

Born in Brooklyn NY and grew up in Marlboro NJ, Michael Buonomo jumped into a theater program after sustaining an injury while playing sports. Buonomo wanted to kick start his acting career by attending Brookdale Community College in Monmouth County, NJ. Buonomo acted in plays and performed improv to get his chops. At the age of twenty he starred in his first play as “Algernon” in the Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Seeking to improve his craft he went to N YC and studied at The William Esper Studio. You may know Buonomo as a Soap Opera alumni from One Life To Live (cop) and Passions . Buonomo has been working in independent film for several years including his role as an FBI agent in Ghetto Dawg, filmed in Asbury Park NJ.

On the Writer’s Guild and SAG strikes he feels that LA doesn’t need another four to five month walk out, as there are no auditions, no parts, and no money. He intends to be working on an independent production in August when all the trouble may boil over so he will be protected.

Buonomo tries to get back to Jersey whenever possible as he says “The pizza isn’t as good on the west coast.” When Buonomo was younger he was a Point Pleasant and Belmar patron of the beaches and preferred Jenkinsons over other beach town bars. Buonomo also noted that “…on the west coast they don’t have a boardwalk out there.”, admitting to loving the east coast and still wishing it were possible to commute to LA.

Mike Mantella

A friend of Buonomo and lifetime resident of Marlboro, Mike Mantella was the associate producer on Gone Too Far. Following Buonomo off to acting classes, Mantella quickly found that he suffered extreme stage fright. Already a prodigious writer, he decided to work from the opposite side of the lens. An alumnus of the University of Las Vegas, he took filmmaking and finished up in Jersey’s own Rutgers University.

Mantella likened working on Gone Too Far as “…being called off the bench.”, since he had not been actively working on a film project. Mantella really enjoyed the experience and looks forward to being involved in another production later this year.

Late word from Martinelli on the 6th Garden State Film Festival , “We sold out the screening on Saturday, people were outside who could not get in.” While they did not win an award Martinelli says, “All and all it was a great experience, we hope the feature film we shoot this summer, Live or Die, makes it in the festival next year. Asbury Park was a wonderful host and we had a great time.”


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