SOPRANOS star Michael Imperioli received an offer he couldn’t refuse when a Scottish filmmaker volunteered to create a music video for the actor’s band.
James Price has teamed up with TV Mafia Hood – who played Christopher Moltisanti on the iconic show – to present a promotion for rock band Zuba’s new song.
And Michael loved James’ work — which brought some Glasgow into the New York star’s musical efforts, after it was filmed in the Scottish city of Springburn.
James first reached out to the American artist after “going through a dark period” when his father Jim passed away last year at the age of 57.
He explains: “One morning I was watching Michael’s podcast, Talking Sopranos, and he mentioned the band. I started listening to his album online so I thought I’d message him on Instagram.
“I sent him one of my short films and three of his songs that I loved and said, ‘Listen, man, I’m a young filmmaker in Glasgow, and if you ever wanted someone to make a movie for one of your videos, I really liked these songs.
“At first he was worried – he didn’t want me to do it without any money and wanted to wait until there was a budget.
“I replied, ‘Budget guy, just let me do it.’ It was really nice and he said we could do it.”
James’ video for “Diamonds Into Dust” tells the story of a young couple who go on a Bonnie and Clyde-style crime spree through the filmmaker’s Springbourne neighborhood after tearing apart drug dealers.
It was written and directed by Price—and also co-starred as a gangster—and assembled a crew.
Rob Roy and Line of Duty actor Brian McCardie play a gang leader while the runaway couple are Rian Gordon, who was in last year’s hit Amazon hit Get Duked, and Aberdeenshire-born Amy Manson, who stars in the HBO series The Nevers.
The song is the latest release from Zuppa’s album La Dolce Vita.
James revealed Imperioli – who had a huge hit in Martin Scorsese’s classic Goodfellas and then rose to worldwide fame as Tony Soprano’s nephew Christopher – has given him his full creative spirit.
“Michael was very healthy,” says the 32-year-old. He didn’t tell me what the song was about, and he didn’t want to influence the video at all.
“Maybe it gave me a lot of freedom – I feel like I made a crazy Scottish music video.”
The musical is dedicated to his late father, who was also a huge fan of The Sopranos.
James—who has produced a series of award-winning short films and has some major TV projects in development—remembers: “My dad was in my head the whole time saying ‘You gotta make this guy good, man.’ I grew up in The Sopranos, it was Always a big part of my life.
“Just before my dad passed away, we were watching Michael on the Talking Sopranos podcast together, and it kind of seemed like a big coincidence.
“And I’ll be honest, I was joking with my friends that my father’s ghost was whispering in Michael’s ear because it was so surreal that he agreed to do it.”
He adds, “The whole video was inspired by the things we’d be watching together. I really wanted to make something for my dad. We finally got a dedication to him and I wanted to make something he would love.”
“His death was really sudden and quick – he suddenly had a stroke. We lived together in the apartment where we shot the music video.”
James jokes: “I had to clean it up to make it look like a real-life drug dealer!”
The rising filmmaker has been amazed at the way he has helped so many bring a labor of love back to life.
“Everyone was so generous in giving me their time and jumping on board,” he says.
“I did a short movie with Brian McCardi a few years ago and he was very supportive. He got off Dundee and he didn’t even take the petrol money.
“I met Amy a few years ago and wrote a short movie that she really wanted to do, but when this came out she was excited to jump on board and it was great.
She’s on this big new HBO show, and she’s going to Springburn to shoot a crazy music video for Wei Man.
“She’s so relaxed and she just went crazy with it.”
The video will be released by Imperioli and Zopa on their social media channels next week – and they are excited about James’ choice.
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“The band is thrilled with the emotional intent of James and his band of filmmakers and the score that fuses film and music through the atomic collision of inspiration,” the American star said.
James says, “It’s so surreal to be working with Michael. He’s really safer than any celebrity I’ve ever dealt with – he’s such a lovely guy and he was really sympathetic because I lost my father.”
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“If my father hadn’t died and I hadn’t been in such a dark moment, I don’t think I would have had the guts to do this—and to be honest, Michael probably wouldn’t have had as much patience for letting me.
“I’ve never had anyone at that level to be so generous, he’s been so supportive and given me complete freedom.
“It’s not the easiest decision to let this crazy little Scottish film director make a music video for their single, but they agreed to it and it’s totally right.”
– Diamonds Into Dust video will be released on Michael Imperioli’s Instagram page at 6pm on May 8
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