TROY BURBANK- Writer, Director and Producer of GONE FOR THE WEEKEND: Troy was born and raised in the Leonardo section of Middletown. He traveled extensively as an amateur boxer, won championships, and boxed professionally for several years, but Middletown has always been his home.In Asbury Park in 1986, Burbank auditioned for the Mickey Rourke movie Home Boy and got paid for hitting the bag for two days of acting. “Professional fighting was my passion and on the back burner simmering was always the dream of writing a script and making a movie...it was always evolving,” says Burbank. “I would say Gone for the Weekend best compares to 1984's Bachelor Party and today's Hall Pass. It's funny, you will laugh. There's a lot of drinking, partying and hollering,” says Burbank. The huge response for auditions drew hundreds of local and NYC actors interested in being cast in the movie. Filming was done on location in many favorite local spots. Leonardo Boyz Productions would like to thank and encourage everyone to support local businesses: Atlantic Cinemas, The Blue Bay Inn, Slater's Deli, Atlantic Bagel, and Town and Surf Diner.
Troy Burbank and Andrew Bane, partners in Leonardo Boyz Production, both possess that 'fire in the belly' to create something big. So with a script written by Burbank, together they teamed up with like-minded talented folks and made it happen. The A-Team includes local guyz; Danny Sanchez, Mark Weiss, Robert Ruvolo, Brad Perott, Ernie O'Donald, Phil Kozma, Paul McGarry, Marc Fratto and Gregory Garaizar.
Burbank says, "I was born and raised in the Leonardo section of Middletown, and although my professional boxing career took me all over the place, Middletown has always been home. I trained in a boxing program at Middletown Police Station in the mid '80's. I always wanted to be a fighter. I saw the movie Rocky and that was it. I decided I wanted to be a professional fighter. Then shortly after I started boxing at age 13, there was a production company filming a movie in Asbury Park in 1986. They were looking for boxers to be in Home Boy, a Mickey Rourke movie. So I auditioned and got paid for hitting the bag for two days of acting. It was my first real hit though because even though I was paid for two days of acting, they cut the scene and I never made it into the film, but it changed me... I had the passion for fighting professionally and I also caught the bug at a young age for film production. Professional fighting was my passion and on the back burner simmering was always the dream of writing a script and making a movie...it was always evolving."
When asked what the sequencing was with professional boxing and film production, Burbank said: "I took the dream of professional boxing and turned it into a reality, boxing professionally until age 32. I have 5 boys who now are aged from 10, 12, 16, 17 and 25. I had eight pro fights and many amateur championships. When I retired from boxing, I started writing scripts and discussing different ideas with my longtime good friend Danny Sanchez who was also someone I used to work out with boxing. I wrote a short film called White Trash Cribs inspired by MTV's Cribs in 2008. We also had a feature film, shorts, commercials,... When we did White Trash Cribs, Danny Sanchez hooked me up with a great contact and now friend; George McMorrow, founder of Cinecall Soundtrack and Production in Red Bank then now in Keyport. Sanchez has been involved in various productions with us since 2008 and now he is a part of Gone for the Weekend, it's local talent at its best."
When asked to speak about his production company Leonardo Production, Burbank said: "I was born and raised in the Leonardo section of Middletown, where I met my partner in Leonardo Production, Andrew Bane when we were in kindergarten, at age 5. I love Leonardo because it's the type of town where everyone knows one another and I like that. Bane and I graduated Middletown South together in 1990 and have always made a great team. When I wrote the script for Gone for the Weekend, there was no question that together, Bane and I along with our team could make it happen. This was truly a community production."
When asked what the movie Gone for the Weekend compares to Burbank said: "I would say Gone for the Weekend best compares to 1984's Bachelor Party, and today's Hall Pass. It's funny, you will laugh. There's a lot of drinking, partying and hollering... We interviewed for casting out of NYC and locally. We got such a huge response and auditioned literally hundreds of interested actors. The movie was filmed on location in so many favorite local spots. We've had tremendous support from local business owners. Without their support we would not have finished production yet, that's for sure. The movie screening on December 1st will be a great community event. No matter where the movie eventually goes, this is home for it. Anyone that would like to support local arts will really enjoy seeing the movie here first in at the Atlantic Cinema. Area businesses who we would like to thank and encourage everyone to support are: Atlantic Cinema, The Blue Bay Inn, Slater's Deli, Atlantic Bagel, and Town and Surf Diner. I'm telling you, come out to join us for the screening December 1st and enjoy Gone for the Weekend! There's bound to be a great after party!" — Interview and story by Jeanne Wall from TAP in Middletown