NY Elite: Congratulations on being an ISC finalist. What does it mean for your work to be selected at the International Screenwriting Competition in New York?
Jack Vecchio: New York is still the mega-center of theater and the greatest backdrop of so many iconic films. While L.A. does a great job of manufacturing a fabrication of Chicago, NY, S.F., Texas etc; New York should always be regarded as the King’s Throne when it comes to recognition. The ISC welcomes writings from all over the World with a standard that must be met in order to be considered as a contender. I am tremendously humbled that the ISC has viewed my script in the conversation as one of the best.
NY Elite: Can you tell us about the work that you participated with at ISC? What is the story about?
Jack Vecchio: Coast To Coast Cops is a warm life-long story of 2 above average intelligent men that grew up together in NY and loved playing cops & robbers in which they were always the cops. As they grew up, they realized their advanced intelligence, and both received master’s degrees – one for sociology and the other for psychology. They both concluded that being cooped up in an office just isn’t for them but being cops is. They join the NYPD together, exceed together and become detectives/partners with great success. Their unusual & advanced methods of outsmarting suspects put the city in a position of regularly being challenged by defense atty’s.
Frankly, their methods are years ahead & will probably be normal as police work advances. Due to unusual circumstances, they find themselves “suspended indefinitely” and are forced to find another agency as they both have families to take care of. After a montage of ridiculous police dept interviews, they find themselves in So. Cal. being hired as partners to combat and take down a very powerful drug lord/businessman who is ruthless in his methods to take over the city. Our clever NY cops find themselves trying to overcome dealing with culture clashes along with strong headwinds from city hall. This is where their intelligence is their saving grace.
NY Elite: Can you tell us yourself and your artistic talents?
Jack Vecchio: I’m regarded as a top tier actor. I’m currently starring in the series “Promiseland” on Amazon Prime as well as being slated to star in “Neighborhood Watch” and 3 other feature films. I’m a very good writer having recently written a 20 chapter book – in 1 draft.
I’ve been a working actor for 40 yrs. I’ve “punched up” countless scripts & writings for other writers over the past 25 yrs. In 2010, I did a contemporary rewrite of “12 Angry Men” (renamed One Angry Jury) which included 4 female jurors which was held over 5 weeks & has been requested several times to take to the stage again.
NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?
Jack Vecchio: I’ve been writing scripts since 1987 and have written more than I can possibly count
NY Elite: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
Jack Vecchio: My re-write of “12 Angry Men” in 2010 which took me 4yrs to write without compromising the original storyline. I starred in the stage show “Go West, Young Man”. Starring in “Maginot” was very special as well.
NY Elite: What type of scripts do you want to write in your career?
Jack Vecchio: I love situation drama and situation comedy along with translating true stories to screen
NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
Jack Vecchio: The character must be at least close to relatable to the audience. The audience must be able to feel like they’re along for the ride in order to be excited about what they’re investing in.
NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?
Jack Vecchio: I’m currently starring in “Promiseland” on Amazon Prime. I’m slated to start shooting “Neighborhood Watch” with director Matt Rocca. I’m expecting to get “Coast to Coast Cops” produced as a mini-series in 2022.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Jack Vecchio: I usually try to wear the color royal purple as often as I can. Purple is the awareness color for domestic violence. I grew up in an extremely abusive household from a Father with a black heart & dark soul. That is my creative way of making people aware of the suffering in the wake of domestic abuse.
NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking/writing?
Jack Vecchio: When I decided I’d dedicate myself to the entertainment industry; each Sunday night, I began loading up my Toyota P/U with a camper shell with clothing, wind-up alarm clock, towel for showering at the gym etc. I’d drive from San Diego to L.A., find a place to park on the street and I’d sleep in my truck until 4am. At that time, I’d wake up, get to the gym, work out for a couple of hours and then shower & get dressed so I can stand outside the studio gates hoping that someone who looks similar to myself would not make their call time and they’d grab me and give me a chance on the spot. I did this every day of the week and would return to San Diego Friday night after we wrapped. I had an agent, but you can’t count on them being as dedicated and passionate as you are about your craft.
I learned how to choreograph fight scenes, write dialogue to improve scenes, direct scenes, cultivate characters and I helped fellow actors improve their acting skills. I took classes all over L.A. and studied my craft at every turn. My system worked over most of the next year and, soon, I gathered enough roles to be able to put together a resume’. My tenacity paid off when a friend of mine mentioned that his Uncle was Aaron Spelling’s Exec Producer and he’d get his Uncle to make 1 call on my behalf to assure me steady work based on his influence. This worked and I stayed very busy for the next 2yrs securing a principal role in a Steven Seagal film which opened loads of doors. Persistence pays off!