Jersey City-based film company Sip Studios is bringing a new mafia comedy to this Sopranos-loving area. A film called Wise Guys just released the trailer for the new, dark comedy series starring Sopranos legend Robert Funaro and Tik Tok star Troy Bond. The series is being directed by award-winning filmmakers and owners of Sip Studios, Jersey City locals George Martens and Josh Echevarria. Read on to learn about this film and its New Jersey connections.
About the Film
Wise Guys, is a surrealist dark comedy about a fictional Jersey City crime family that follows Tommy Rinaldi, a delusional young man whose only dream is to be the boss of the family. Tommy’s search for acceptance has led him to a life of crime. Suburban life is now a thought of the past as Tommy has now found the dark side of the city. The eight-part series explores Tommy’s power-mad delusions and the harsh reality that comes with being tied to the mob.
The team behind Wise Guys is eager to add to the gangster genre by using dark comedy to highlight the toxic, dangerous, and absurd world of being in the mafia. The character of Tommy is played by Tik Tok star and comedian Troy Bond. “During a global pandemic I found myself coping by rewatching Goodfellas on repeat, obsessing over Italian gangster cinema and writing a series that inspired a Wise Guy universe,” Troy said about the movie in a press release. “It was clear to me that too many people were glorifying these bad people, so I felt it was time to make these mobsters a laughing stock.”
Robert Funaro plays a character called Tony Baritone, who is the Boss of the family. Funaro is no stranger to mafia stories, with a long career in film and TV, in particular portraying Eugene Pontecorvo on The Sopranos. The Wise Guys story is set and will be filmed entirely in Jersey City. The trailer was also filmed locally in JC. With these Garden State bona fides, it’s only natural that the story will be a hit amongst crime-story lovers.
About the Directors + Sip Studios
George, who is the director of Wise Guys, lives in Jersey City and founded Sip Studios with a few other filmmakers three years ago. The spot, located at 140 Sip Avenue in Jersey City, is a film studio and creative space. Sip Studios also hosts comedy shows, concerts, live stream events, produces podcasts and music albums, and more. The company aims to be a space that supports the community of filmmakers in Northern New Jersey.
The trailer is available online and has been featured at the 2021 SopranosCon, during the first-ever Mob Movie Con. At the event, Wise Guys won Best New Project. The group also brought a “Pie a Wise Guy” event to MobMovieCon to promote the film. Wise Guys was also promoted on the Judge Jerry Springer show with a comedy act by some of the team.
The group is in the opening week of its 30-day fundraising campaign to fund the 22-minute pilot they plan to film. The Wise Guys were persistent in bringing comedy to the area in a time when comedy clubs were nonexistent during the pandemic, posting comedy sketches on their website and hosting socially-distant shows.