Former resident releases movie


Filmmaker and Valley Stream native Jason Michael Brescia’s latest project, which was released on multiple digital platforms last week, is a film called “Bridge and Tunnel” that its producer said is “reflective of where I was at in my life” as a younger man.

The movie is more personal than his first, said Brescia, who previously wrote and directed “The Newest Pledge,” a comedy that was released by Lionsgate in 2012. He co-produced “Bridge and Tunnel” with three other Long Island natives: Joe Murphy, also from Valley Stream; Douglas Torres, from Merrick; and Chris Viemeister, from Lynbrook.

The story follows a group of Long Island twenty-something’s as they enter adulthood during the global financial crisis. It was filmed at locations around Nassau and Suffolk counties, including two scenes in Valley Stream. One is a funeral at the Holy Name of Mary Roman Catholic Church, where Murphy is a member, and another was shot outside Sip This on Rockaway Avenue. Other scenes were shot in Nassau in Rockville Centre, Malverne, Merrick, Seaford, Bellmore, Long Beach and Franklin Square.

Brescia and Murphy attended Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale together. Murphy was doing standup comedy in New York City when Brescia asked him to participate in some film shorts, and those turned into the feature-length “Bridge and Tunnel.” He said it was “kind of surreal” to return to Valley Stream to film, and that he was grateful for the opportunity. “I have memories of buying my first Metallica record at Slipped Disc,” Murphy said of the record store that used to occupy what is now the coffee shop Sip This.

He recalled the affinity for Valley Stream that he and the other students from the village had at Kellenberg High. “I don’t know if it’s that South Shore working-class pride?” he said, adding that other students didn’t display the same sentiment for their communities.

Brescia said that his team met in Valley Stream several times per week during production. They received free meals from San Antonio Bakery on Rockaway Avenue during filming. “I’ll say this,” Brescia said. “‘Bridge and Tunnel’ could not have been made without the support of the 11580.”

The soundtrack features music by Long Island musicians John Nolan, of Taking Back Sunday, Vinnie Caruana, of The Movielife, and Ryan Hunter, of Envy on the Coast.

The film is available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Verizon Plus, AT&T U-verse, Dish, Google Play, YouTube and Microsoft, among other outlets.

Murphy said he hopes people watch it. “I hope people on Long Island can relate to it,” he said, “and I hope people find characters in it that remind them of their friends and family.”