The prospects of getting a few special convention guests . .

I'm the type to aim for the sky even while knowing I'll more likely shoot straight across.:-) But my hope would be to secure an appearance by one or more of the writers and directors, including an appearance by David Chase himself in some kind of question and answer session with the attendees.

I have one contact which I don't want to magnify beyond what it is . . . an EXTREMELY casual acquaintance with a man who works directly under Chase as his assistant and who spent several years as a location manager for the show. He contacted me privately early this year in response to my postings over the years at Sopranoland (a board he monitors pretty regularly). He was very complimentary about what I'd written and asked for a little bit of personal information, which I shared with him. I reciprocated and asked for some info about him, and that's when he dropped the bombshell about where he worked. We exchanged a couple of emails after, and he eventually invited me to call him at his office if I ever wanted to chat, since he preferred that to emailing.

I took him up on it towards the end of season 6a. I missed him at the office the first time. But he called me back a week or so later, and we chatted about various aspects of the show for a good 20-30 minutes, him mainly asking questions about what I liked or didn't like about the season thus far (which was through episode 8), me asking him questions about production, writers, etc.

Just before the conversation ended, he invited me to come to NJ to watch some filming. I was somewhere between "HOW SOON?" and "no thank you" and explained that my reluctance to accept his invitation owed only to a fear that I might feel a little bit like Dorothy after she peaked behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. I don't want to risk destroying my utter belief in the reality of these characters by getting too close to what happens behind the scenes.

But his open, generous offer makes me think I could at least approach him to help line up some participants from the writing/directing/production staff, or from the cast if there were enough interest. I assume he is closest to David because he works as his assistant, so that's the reason I'm holding out hope that "the man" himself might be persuaded to attend our little party.

If God smiles on us and that were to actually happen, I imagine a Q & A with him hosted by a committee of some of our most insightful and articulate posters (a poll to nominate those people, perhaps). A part of the session could also include open audience questioning.

To conclude this session, I'd like to present a musical montage on large projection screens that chronologically encapsulates the entire series, perhaps including behind the scenes footage of the key writing and production crews. Our way of presenting a thank you to him for the enormous gift that this show has been.

Feel free to make any suggestions you think might be helpful in getting Chase or some other of the writing staff to attend.

And I suppose we should consider who, aside from Chase, we'd like to most aggressively pursue so that we have alternate plans. I would say Green and Burgess but for the fact that they left, since they wrote or cowrote many of what I consider the very best episodes. Obviously Terrence Winter makes a lot of sense for the same reasons.

Tim Van Patten and Alan Taylor, among other directors, are sure to have some great insights to share on the actual filming process as well as a load of backstage anecdotes.

Would there be more interest in cast members than I'm allowing for? To me the real stars of the show are the writers, but that's not to denigrate the quality of the acting. Which actors would you most covet? Even I'm not foolish enough to consider asking about Gandolfini, but I wouldn't think Michael Imperiorli is totally out of the question, especially since he's written some episodes himself. My personal choice would be Edie Falco because she is so bright and well spoken in interviews. Dominic Chianese seems a real possiblitiy, especially if we were to make room in the program for him to sing and offer his CDs for sale at the event.

But there are a number of other actors who are probably much more accessible than any of these that we haven't heard much from at any of the usual public events and that I think would be interesting guests. Sharon Angela, Katherine Narducci, John Ventimiglia, Jerry Adler, the guy who plays father Phil whose name escapes me at the moment, all these folks have been around, more or less, since the pilot episode. All would likely have some interesting anecdotes to share.

So what do you think? Should we go Chase or bust or start lower and work our way up?:-) Nominate your top 5 most desired guests.

Re: The prospects of getting a few special convention guests

Hi guys. Great new board!

Fly, I don't know if there is anything I can do to help, as such, because as you know I am the other side of the pond in sunny London. But I think the whole idea of the convention and (hopefully) securing some guests that make this show what it is, is absolutely fantastic!

I think initially send invites to a chosen five or six people we would most like to appear, and take it from there (maybe 50/50 split between actors and writers?). The thing is to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, and start considering exactly when and where the whole thing would take place. Because no doubt all involved will have schedules booked up months in advance for the months after the show ends. I generally think 'aim high', guestwise, and in no particular order the five people I'd most like to see there would be:

James Gandolfini
Michael Imperioli
Vincent Curatola
Edie Falco
David Chase

Any thoughts?

Re: The prospects of getting a few special convention guests

Count me in! In addition to the previously mentioned excellent invitee list, i'd like to see Janice, Gloria Trillo, Adrianna of course, and don't laugh-- Cosette and maybe a pet duck! (i'm really not kidding).

I would fall over on the spot if we could have Uncle Junior sing. I'd practically marry him on the spot (if he is single that is) if he sang some romantic italian ballad to me!

I recently visited the dramatic waterfalls in Patterson, NJ, where there was a couple of scenes shot where they were threatening a character that owed money to throw him off the bridge- - i forget the exact details. It would be great to have the event located reasonably close to where alot of us guests from far away could see some really great site locations from the show. Those waterfalls are absolutely stunning, and they're right in the heart of this very historic urban area. Nearby is a state park that has alot of those tall skinny trees that remind me of the Pine Barrens or the scenes of Carmella's spec house or Ade's death scene, even thought it isn't the actual scene location.

FOMW, maybe one way to get a crack at alot of good guests from the show, would be to contact your acquaintance for info on who to contact that would know something about any other groups that are already scheduling something, and if we planned our thing in a nearby location or within a reasonable distance or on the same weekend, then it would be more likely that our requested guests could hit our gathering as well. There must be someone who coordinates this type of thing and keeps track of what actors attend what. For example, since i've heard some of you talk about the behind-the-scenes problems Chase had with Furio- well, then we'd have to be cautious about who to invite to avoid conflicts. Not to cut out Furio from the list- I would love to see Furio, just bringing up a potential issue.

Re: The prospects of getting a few special convention guests

FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:We exchanged a couple of emails after, and he eventually invited me to call him at his office if I ever wanted to chat.

Fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you, if you're young at heart.
For it's hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind, if you're young at heart.

I wish I could add some music somehow. But I guess that will have to wait for the next version of the board software?

Re: The prospects of getting a few special convention guests

Hi, Fly,

As astute viewers of "The Sopranos," over the last 6-7 years, I'd
like to add that as an art critic living in the exact location area
of NJ where the show is set, and writing for New York publications,
you can easily get Chase, Gandolfini, the whole entourage, to meet
with us here on the Board. Just direct your contact to the Board
itself and suggest it be read thoroughly. They will recognize that
yours is "an offer they can't refuse."

Always go for the top people, meaning Chase, himself. You don't
have to put them on pedestals to get their input. Artists actually
crave feedback and constructive criticism, as long as it's done
perceptively and intelligently, which I think The Chase Lounge
has undoubtedly proven itself to have done throughout Season 6.


Re: The prospects of getting a few special convention guests

Monadax, didn't realize you lived in the NJ/NY area. Would you be willing to weigh in on accommodations, restaurants, and the like? billymac is going to be the lead in that respect, as he lives and works in the area also, but, like me at the moment, he is very busy and has not had time to visit the forum much at all since the move.

Incidentally, I am about 3-4 weeks away from finishing up my busiest work season and will be on vacation the first week of October. However I plan to be going full out right after that to get things organized and put plans in motion. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some accurate info by then about the exact weekend the finale will air. It's hard to book hotels and space and equipment if you don't know when you'll need them.:)

Re: The prospects of getting a few special convention guests

Of course, we would like some of the stars or top writers of the show who live in the NY/NJ area, but also consider VanPatten and others whom have directed episodes too.
As to site, of course it has to be in northern New Jersey. Perhaps a theater/auditorium at Farleigh Dickinson Univ at Teaneck would be a good choice due to access by car with parking, bus from NYC and yet a contollable envoriment. It is also in Bergen County where many scenes are filmed (Lodi, Paramus, and recently for the 6B season, Rochelle Park)
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