WunTu Media is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Mr. Frank Calo, a well-known film producer and director with multiple award-winning film projects.
From Illinois to the New York Theater & Film Scene
Mr. Calo’s experience dates back to when he was growing up in Illinois. As a young boy, he would practice directing plays with his siblings, with scripts he would pick up at the library. Unfortunately, they were to young to understand acting, and would tell him it was boring game, seemingly ending his early directing career. However, Mr. Calo was determined to succeed.
He applied for and received a full scholarship to the elite directing school, The Goodman Theatre based in Chicago, Ill., one of the few directing schools during the time. Upon graduation, a professor suggested Mr. Calo attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, to best understand the world of acting.
“Entering the Academy was some of the best advice I ever received. It gave me a colorful insight into the process of the actor and helps me tremendously even today, and it brought me to New York City.”Frank Calo
After moving to New York, Mr. Calo developed a strong theater background working with the Forum of Italian American playwrights under the artistic direction of Donna DeMateo and Vincent Gugleotti. Their play, the original production of NINE, under the eye of Mario Fratti, ran on Broadway for ten years. It was during this time of working at the theatres when Director Gugleiotti, gave him great advice –
“He told me to listen and be part of a very creative team who believes in the art of storytelling, which is our only job, as artists, to tell the story. With him and that theatre, I learned all about storytelling and the execution of the story.”Frank Calo
Eventually, Mr. Calo was mingling with NY’s growing scene of top emerging actors, directors, and playwrights such as Donna De Mateo, Dayton Callie, Woody Harrelson, Dan Laurie, Danny Aiello, Patti Lupone, Mickey Rourke, Frank Pugliese and others.
Ground-Breaking Experience: Space Avenger
After film school, Mr. Calo was hired as an Associate Producer for the new film Space Avenger, by the prominent Sci-Fi and Horror film director, Richard Haines, and producer, Ray Sundlin.
“That was an eye-opening and ground-breaking experience for me into the independent film world. I learned so much from that small group of filmmakers. I was always the first one on set and the last to leave every day. I didn’t care about the long days because was I making movies and for me, there was no feeling in the world that could top that.”Frank Calo
Mr. Calo’s debut in the major film world came when he was offered to serve as a second-assistant director for Ghostbusters II. It was from this opportunity that led to him being entered into the Directors Guild of America.
He shared some great advice from his own experience in independent filmmaking vs. the majors:
“With the majors you have more money to spend and you can buy your way out of tight situations. In the independent film world, you have to always be ready and on your game. Never try to make a high-action film on a small tight budget. Instead, focus on a good story and great acting. Shoot as much as you can so that you have enough to cut with. It’s better to have more to play with than not enough.”Frank Calo
Awards & Accomplishments
Over the years, Mr. Calo has worked with many celebrity actors including Robert DeNiro, Demi Moore, Marlon Brando, Queen Latifah, and Madonna, as to name a few. In the ArtistNation TV appearance below, he remembers working with Madonna as one of the rememorable moments he experienced as a director:
In 2001, he produced, along with Seven Arts’ Peter and Susan Hoffman, the film The Believer, starring Ryan Gosling and Billy Zane. Directed and written by Henry Bean, the film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Festival, and all the festivals that year, including The Berlin Film Festival. It was shown nationwide and had a great box office run.
Here and There
In 2009, Mr. Calo’s film, Here and There, with Cyndi Lauper and David Thornton, won the Best NY Narrative in World Competition and at Robert DeNiro’s, Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. The film had its official News York premier play to wide audiences domestically and overseas.
Mr. Calo has worked with Robert DeNiro (Godsend) Demi Moore, Mike Myers, Shelly Winters, Marlon Brando and many more. His film The Cookout with Queen Latifah also had a great box office run distributed by Lions Gate Films.
He also worked for two years with The Motion Picture Bond Company under Robert Bordiga, as a Producer working on films throughout the NY-NJ-CT tri-state area. Mr. Calo was also one of the few and only directors who studied privately under Mr. Elia Kazan.
Current Projects in Development
Mr. Calo’s production company, FMC Productions, has several projects in development:
Awesome Gal, recently won Best of Show at the 2018 Depth of Field International Film Festival in the Tights Shorts category. The film is based on the true story of an abused teen from West Virginia and a horse abused by the cruel method of soring meeting by chance and healing their broken lives.
Eyes of the Kings
Eight years ago Mr. Calo and his co-writer, Rick Martinsen, wrote the screenplay, the Eyes of the Kings. The two locations of this movie are Spanish Harlem and a beautiful retirement home in upstate New York. The film focuses on a 15-year-old teen (Little Rudy) whose father is the leader of a notorious gang. Little Rudy gets arrested for carrying a pistol that wasn’t his and the courts make him an offer, prison or community service, working in the retirement home. Life’s tough lessons are brought to light as the teen must make the right choices, and learns to understand how precious life truly is.
Hernan De Panama – Documentary Film
This powerful documentary film directed by Mr. Calo is based on the true story of the famous “Hernan El Magnifico”, also known as Hernan De Panama. Paralyzed from a medical procedure at age two, Hernan shares his experiences as he tries to support his family in Panama.
ESQ – TV Series
ESQ, written and directed by Mr. Calo is a sensitive present day story of the inner workings of a high-end, exclusive Gentlemen’s Club based in New York City. Notable actor Dayton Callie (Sons of Anarchy, Deadwood, and Fear of the Walking Dead) is slated to play the series main role of Vincent.
Mr. Calo believes in giving back by teaching those who want to learn. Recently, he taught students from South Carolina who were visiting New York City.
From his life-long experience, he explained to them that great stories were not written overnight. It takes years of writing then rewriting and developing the story, and to always keep working on developing their own voices.
To learn more about Mr. Calo and FMC Productions’ various projects, contact FMCFilms@WunTuMedia.com.
WunTu Media is an Atlanta-based multi-media firm, specializing in the convergence of music, film, and gaming. Our award winning team has a combined experience of over 75 years in the entertainment industry. For media or business inquiries, please contact Media@WunTuMedia.com