Bronx-born Tony Vitale worked his way up from location intern to location manager on films by directors Irwin Winkler, Robert De Niro, Nick Gomez and Paul Mazursky before making his writing and directing debut with "Kiss Me Guido" (1997), a film that brings together gay and "guido" cultures in an attempt to break down the walls existing between the disparate groups, ". .. to reduce people to human beings instead of labels." Vitale did it first as a one-act play at the Village Gate in 1991, wrote the second act in 1993, turned it into a screenplay in 1994 and went about acquiring financing. "Kiss Me Guido", lensed for less than $1 million, rewarded its producers Ira Deutchman and Christine Vachon when it sold to Paramount Pictures for a reported $2 million. After working on "A Bronx Tale" (1993) for a year, De Niro reportedly called him into his trailer and said, "Tony, would you mind taking a crew up to the Bronx and taking the opening shot of the film." Vitale's first 37 seconds as a filmmaker were the opening shots of "A Bronx Tale".