It blows Antonio Salvatore Servidio’s mind that his life story is being told in film.
“It never hit me until last week, until I started seeing the trailers on the Internet,” he says. “It’s crazy to think that the short film is actually done.”
Servidio is the executive producer and co-writer of the short film “Tunnel Vision.”
The film will have its first New Mexico screening on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at The Guild.
The film depicts the story of Johnny Russo, played by rapper G-Eazy, and his drive to extinguish anything that comes in the way of his moneymaking abilities, with the exception of the federal government.
Servidio says the movie details the journey of one man’s life on the streets outselling and out maneuvering some of the biggest criminals in the world, only to find out that his lawyer is the biggest crook of them all.
The short film is based on the real-life hustle and machismo Servidio, also known as Johnny Russo, one of the biggest hip-hop promoters of the past 20 years.
The story and information in the screenplay are based on true reports from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice. These factual accounts are supported with additional information provided by Johnny’s mother, other family members and his attorneys.
As a young man, Johnny Russo was incarcerated for five years in federal prison. After his release, he rebuilds his life, becoming a successful real estate mogul before the financial crisis and mortgage meltdown bring his empire crashing down.
“The film had to be as authentic as we could get it,” he says. “I was asked to not write about the film from a first-person view. The documents were all used for the film.”
Servidio and the cast shot for four days around Los Angeles.
“We shot for 15 hours a day,” he says. “The film is only 25 minutes. That was a lot of footage, and it’s been a great experience to be a part of.”
Servidio wanted to have a screening in Albuquerque because the city always stepped up to pack the hip-hop shows he promoted.
“I haven’t been to Albuquerque in a long time,” he says. “That was one of the places we enjoyed making stops at. It’s incredible to see how fast the time has passed.”
Servidio has seen the film and says there will be a feature-length film coming and they are getting all the financing and actors signed on.
“My mom saw the short film and cried,” he says. “She enjoyed the whole film and says G-Eazy carried the film.”