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Locals Write, Shoot Original Movie in White Plains

Two Westchester residents have defied the stereotypical actions of men who are about to reach their middle ages. While some cope with age by splurging on sports cars or yachts, Christopher Springer, of White Plains, and Todd Giglio, of Greenburgh, decided to chronicle their lives in the acting and music industries by making a film right before they turned 40.

“We were both actors many years ago and we had both given it up for domestic lives,” said Springer, the movie’s co-writer and co-star. “We were talking about why we gave it up and I said, ‘You have a lot of equipment from doing weddings, let’s use it.”

The title, “Drawing with Chalk,” came to them on the evening of July 2006. Within four days, the two had repackaged their personal stories of struggling to break into the entertainment industry into a plot about two best friends whose decision to revive their band begins straining the guitar player's marriage.

Giglio, 42, and Springer, spent about six months on the script. They then rushed to film all but a few scenes before they turned 40 in the summer of 2008. After years of editing, the two are now waiting to get the newest copy of their movie back from the manufacturers before they pitch it to distributors.

“We’re starting to get press from as far away as Australia and I’ve seen two checks [that] is more than I’ve made in ten years,” said Giglio, who co-wrote, directed, and co-starred in the movie. “At this point I don’t care where the film ends up, I just want it out.”

The two began touring their movie at film festivals in 2009. Their work has played at about 15 festivals, where they said they received mostly positive feedback.

“Anybody over 30, their eyes light up and they’re like, ‘That’s my story,’” said Springer. “We’ve heard that a lot on the film circuit.”

From its plot to its cast, “Drawing with Chalk” could not be more of a family affair. After Giglio and Springer met as acting students at SUNY Fredonia, they lived together in Hell’s Kitchen, and became brother-in-laws when they married sisters about ten years ago.

Giglio's son Brennan, 5, also plays his son in the movie.

“He was phenomenal and he held his focus well,” said Giglio. “We only had to bribe him with chips and soda a couple of times.”

"Drawing with Chalk” evokes a small, struggling hometown through scenes filmed in Greenburgh, White Plains, and Giglio’s native Canisteo, New York.

Giglio said they spent somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000 on the 87-minute film. The production cost was hard to calculate because they bought and sold a lot of equipment.

“It gave us a reason and that was the rational with the money,” said Springer. “If we went back to school, how much time and money would that cost?”

Giglio’s band, The Turnback, recorded half of the soundtrack before the movie and crafted the second half during the film’s production. The “Drawn in Chalk” soundtrack has helped Giglio's band get upcoming gigs in New York City and Liverpool, England.

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