If You are an Expert, it is Important to Use it


The original idea of DocuMystery was that it was a feature or television genre. It can mean much more. People love mystery and a good tale, and documentaries have merged a bit (actually a lot) with unreal mystery, and clear manipulation. What comes to mind are the fake “Search for Ghosts” shows where in “reality” poltergeists and other apparitions.

One Within Another Within Another

As you know, especially if you are an expert in your industry, that the field at large is not just one thing, but there are categories within categories. You might start with just two or three words regarding what your industry is, but then you need to find the subheadings and even the subheadings of the subheadings.

A Bit Like the Stock Market

The goal is to figure out a single aspect of your industry that has customers who are underserved. Just like in the stock market, you might try to select a stock that could be perceived as not having potential and is overlooked. But in your research, you have reason to believe the stock’s value is going to go up.

Give them What they Need, or at Least Perceive as Needing

Of course, this kind of thing is a gamble, especially in these sometimes-chaotic days. But if you do have insight into an industry, comb your field for any individuals who are not getting what they need, therefore you can supply in the form of “How To” eBooks what they need.

How do You do a Test Marketing of Your Book or Book Series?

If you have a couple of social media accounts, one way you can evaluate your idea is to set up a page on your website, or if you do not have a site, you could use a sales page. You need to find a free forever version of an email marketing setup with no outlay. There are a couple of these that can be found easily in a search.

Free Forever

You can get a free forever plan from companies that are promoting the premium versions of what they do by giving you free access. The tradeoff is often that when you use their app for free that there will be advertising of the company you are working with.

Subscriptions, Subscriptions, Subscriptions

Now that you have an email signup on a sales page, your social media sites can be used to see if you can get interest in your idea. Be helpful and provide value to people assisting them with solving their problems that they have in your industry. This can lead to them being made aware of your newsletter and potentially subscribe to it.

Yianni Stamas Talks About a Possible Simplified Way to Launch Your DocuMystery Idea

Why Today is Notable

Did you know that on this day, December 17 in 1903 that two brothers known as “Wright” were the first ever to fly in an airplane? What does this have to do with making Documysteries? It is yet another influence that makers of documysteries can have for their work: planes. Whole movies have featured documysteries that occur on the form of transportation. Sometimes in the documystery something scary happens onboard and now it is a fight against time to try to make things (pardon the pun) Wright (sorry).

Airplanes Can Make Shooting DocuMysteries Easier

The terrific thing about shooting a movie on a plane of course is that it is like the “House Movie” where all the action takes place in one area. This makes the shooting of the DocuMystery a lot easier because the crew and actors don’t have to move from location to location or even studio set to studio set.

If You are at the Beginning of Developing a DocuMystery Here is a Possible Option

Are you working on developing a DocyMystery? If so we would love to hear about it. We know that all across the United States of America that innovators are working on pet projects, some of which come to fruition and some that do not. For those of you who are thinking of making a DocuMystery but have no idea where to start, a possible suggestion is to write it as a novel first. That way you don’t have to worry about pulling actors and a crew together. As my late mentor once said “All you need to write is a pen and a piece of paper.” And while you are writing the screenplay version you can even promote and sell your novel on Amazon!

The Journey of Chazz Palminteri

A Journey From Stage to Screen

The primary goal and mission of DocuMystery is to explore no budget filmmaking methodologies, often times in the mystery genre. We’re definitely making an exception to that right now. Many of you have probably heard of Chazz Palminteri and his journey from writing and performing a one man show called “A Bronx Tale” that lead to a movie of the same name with Robert De Niro and then runs on Broadway, both with his one man show as well as a version that was a Broadway musical. Quite a process. A special thanks to Mental Floss for the content and inspiration used in this post.

A Process that Helped Director and Actor

On September 29, 1993, the now-defunct Savoy Pictures distributed the coming-of-age crime drama A Bronx Tale, starring Robert De Niro and Chazz Palminteri. It was based on a one-man show Palminteri had started performing in Los Angeles in 1989, and then performed it Off-Broadway the same year. Palminteri ended up writing the screenplay and using it as a vehicle to act in the film, whereas De Niro used the script to make his directorial debut.

Partially Based on Real Life

The film, which is set in the Bronx in the 1960s, centers on a kid named Calogero “C” Anello who witnesses a mafia boss, Sonny (Palminteri), murder someone. As Calogero grow ups, he sees Sonny as a father figure but also copes with his own father’s (De Niro) advice. Partly based on Palminteri’s own life (yes, he really witnessed a murder), the semi-autobiographical film grossed $17.2 million against a $10 million budget.

Made Into a Broadway Musical

In 2007, Palminteri resurrected the play on Broadway, and in 2016 A Bronx Tale: The Musical began performances on Broadway. Palminteri wrote the book and De Niro co-directed with Jerry Zaks. After 700 regular performances, the musical closed on August 5, 2018 (though it’s now on tour).

Turning Early Defeats to Victories

While living in Los Angeles and trying to be an actor in the ’80s, Palminteri worked various jobs, including a gig as a bouncer at a nightclub. “One night a guy was going to come in, and he was very rude to me,” Palminteri told The A.V. Club. “I told him I wasn’t going to let him in, he got mad and told me that I’d be fired in 15 minutes. I said, ‘Sure sure, everyone tells me that.’ That man turned out to be Swifty Lazar, the biggest agent in the world at the time—this was 1989—and sure enough, 15 minutes later I did get fired.”

Creating a One Man Show

Palminteri went home and considered his options. “I thought that if no one was going to give me a great part—and it was very difficult to break into film, obviously—then I’d write one myself.” He wrote the play in increments—every week he wrote more and performed the material at Los Angeles’s Theatre West. “I really honed it and sharpened it,” he said. “About 10 months or a year later, I had a 90-minute one-man show.”

Sticking to an Artistic Vision

Palminteri’s play garnered enough buzz that studios offered anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million to purchase the story rights, but they didn’t want Palminteri to act in it, as he wasn’t a big enough name. De Niro saw the play and decided to help Palminteri out. “At first, I didn’t want anything in the ingredients if I did a film of it—I wanted a totally clean slate—but I saw it and liked it and liked Chazz,” De Niro told Interview Magazine. “While he was writing the screenplay I said, ‘Let me make this clear. If you give it to a studio, they’ll pay you for it and people will get involved and they’ll give the Sonny part to another actor. If you give it to me now, I can guarantee you’ll be in it and we’ll set it up our own way and I’ll have more control, which is what I want. I don’t want any producer getting in the way and telling me what to do.’ I didn’t want all that mishmoshing—I knew what had to be done.”

Breaking Through the Stereotype

In real life, Palminteri’s father was a school bus driver and a saxophone player. “Too many movies speak about us as just gombas or Mafioso,” Palminteri told Roger Ebert. “I wanted a movie about the working man, about a real Italian-American community. The real fabric comes from working men. My dad was similar to Lorenzo. I used to see him put his boots on in the morning to go out and drive the bus. He’d get up in the rain, the snow, smiling, just to make his children’s lives better. That’s all he wanted. No dreams to be this, or that. To me, a man like that is a hero, and I wanted the movie to reflect that.”

Finding an Actor

In casting the film, De Niro wanted to hire non-actors from New York. “One day Marco Greco, who was casting for us, was on Jones Beach and he saw this kid and asked him if he wanted to audition for us,” De Niro told Roger Ebert. “The kid says, ‘You’re not looking for me. You’re looking for my brother.’ And his brother, Lillo Brancato, came out of the water, and started doing impersonations of me and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. He was great. He was perfect for C. It always excites me to work with people who are new, who fit. To create this world—this medieval village in the Bronx—I needed real teenagers, not actors trying to be teenagers.”

A Warning from an On Screen Father

Soon after the film’s release, Brancato became an in-demand actor, even starring in season two of The Sopranos. But his on-screen father warned him about the trappings of fame. “De Niro came to my house in spring or summer of 1993, not only to warn me, but also my parents,” Brancato told People. “My parents are Italian immigrants and knew nothing about show biz and the temptations that lie ahead. De Niro talked about the changes that will occur in my life. He said this can be very dangerous if not handled the right way.”

A Prison Sentence

Unfortunately, Brancato did not heed De Niro’s advice and ended up serving eight years of a 10-year prison sentence following a 2005 attempted robbery that led to the death of a New York City police officer. Brancato was found guilty of attempted burglary but acquitted of murder. His co-defendant was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Challenges of Being an Actor and Director

Because it was De Niro’s first time directing, he turned to regular collaborator Martin Scorsese for some tips. “I asked certain things about the way you do this or that,” De Niro told Interview Magazine. “I also talked to other actors who have turned directors, like Danny DeVito. I guess I felt that I’d be okay. I didn’t want to build up some kind of fear of it. Directing yourself isn’t stressful—you’re just a bit uncomfortable, because when you’re acting, you have to set your mind in a certain way, and then you have to direct everybody else.”

Real Life and Movie Life Merge

Eddie Mush was a gambler both in the movie and in real life. During a racetrack scene in the movie, Mush, Sonny, and Calogero bet on the same horse, Kryptonite, and lose. “We were looking for someone to play Bad Luck Eddie Mush, the guy who is a jinx,” Palminteri told Roger Ebert. “We couldn’t find anyone. Finally I told Bob [De Niro] the real guy, Eddie Montanaro, was still around, 63 years old. Bob saw him and cast him—but I was worried, because Eddie really does bring bad luck, and sure enough, the first day he worked, it rained.”

Doing a New Kind of Role

In 1993, De Niro told Interview Magazine he thought casting himself in the movie would “get it off the ground more easily.” He had already promised Palminteri the role of Sonny, a part De Niro could’ve played, but the role of Lorenzo—Calogero’s father—was more interesting to De Niro. “I hadn’t done this kind of part, and it’s something really different, and I wanted to do it for that reason, because people would expect me to play Sonny. As Lorenzo, I had my own experiences to draw on, and it’s something closer to me because of my kids. I have a son Lillo’s age.”

An Onscreen Romance

One of the film’s main storylines focuses on Calogero’s romance with Jane (Taral Hicks), a black girl from the neighborhood. De Niro told Interview Magazine the plotline almost got excised, but he wanted to keep it in. “People would say, ‘Just make it between a father and a son—that’s really a story in itself,’ which it was. But I felt that to take away any one of those elements would be wrong. The part with Jane is the one part that you didn’t expect, and for that reason alone I didn’t want to take it out. There’s a beginning, middle, and end to this whole relationship. It happens fast. They meet and fall in love and boom!—they come together.”

Help Getting off the Ground

The chairman and CEO of Sony Music—who’s also known as Mariah Carey’s first husband—helped get the musical off the ground. In an interview with The A.V. Club, Palminteri said it was the Bronx-born Tommy Mottola who suggested adapting the film into a Broadway musical. (He ended up producing it.) “Even though I had been trying to do one for years, it was him who put it on his back and made it happen,” Palminteri said. “If not for Tommy Mottola, it would not have happened. He put his money where his mouth was.”

Choosing Love over Fear

During a 2016 interview on The Today Show, Palminteri explained why he thinks the film and musical still resonate today. “There’s the black neighborhood and the Italian neighborhood, and what A Bronx Tale talks about is how people can come together,” he said. “One of the main aspects of the play is: Is it better to choose love or fear? Because Sonny studied Machiavelli in jail. He tells the boy, ‘What do you choose, love or fear?’ In the end, Sonny ends up choosing love. So I think that’s why it’s so relevant today.”

ArtisticPreneur.com Gets New Page

Jumping for joy over ArtisticPreneur'com's Web Page
At DocuMystery.com we’re jumping for joy over ArtisticPreneur.com’s new page.

Under a Microscope

A website that we watch closely here at DocuMystery Central is ArtisticPreneur.com. Why? Because this website leans toward being an informational marketing site.

ArtisticPreneurial Growth

The rumor is that ArtisticPreneur.com has planned on adding several new pages in the next couple of months. As of this writing there is a new pull-down submenu in the About section. The name of the new page is Mission and Vision.

Out of its Element

The interesting thing about the new page is that fact that it has a Mission and Vision at all. It’s usually nonprofit sites that do this. Also when we read the Mission and Vision it proved to be very idealistic. The collective of media artists freelancers at ArtisticPreneur.com tend to be realists, or even cynical.

Is America Getting Better or Worse?

How then does a group of realists put as their Mission/Vision page something so clearly full of “hope?” I mean, isn’t the evidence out there that our country has been hijacked? Things keep getting worse and worse. How then the hope?

Hoping for Hope

Having hope is something some artists have. We hope hope will spread along the lines of this pull-down submenu.