On location, April 2008, while filming various Brigante-Karl Buick sequences. L-R, Ryan Katzenbach, Jon Huybrecht, Susannah Jones, Jon Southwell, David Moretti and Diana Maiocco.

Ask any seasoned Production Assistant and they'll often have horror stories about being on movie sets. It's not a secret that a lot of productions are plagued with arguments and personality conflicts which often leads to turmoil on the set. Wanting to avoid this, Ryan Katzenbach and Diana Maiocco set out to assemble not only a cast of talented performers, but also generally good people. What resulted was a dynamic cast as they accomplished their goals. The actors remained loyal to the project for the five years it took to film, and, in a lot of cases, became friends who have gone on to work on other projects together. There was a light, fun synergy that played out on the set and at the various locations. That synergy might be surprising when considering the dark nature of the material covered in Shattered.

"I can't, obviously, speak for the actors, but I think we had to keep it pretty light and airy on location given the script we were working with. These murders and the dysfunction of the family was pretty hard stuff to get your hands around and embrace, and once you did, you didn't want to stay in that dark place any longer than you had to," says Ryan Katzenbach.

LEFT, May 25, 2006 Production Meeting. This meeting was on the eve of the first official shoot of Shattered. The next morning, the DeFeo trial shoot commenced. Seated around the table, Author Ric Osuna who flew in to visit location, Jon Huybrecht (Butch DeFeo), Josh Bower (Gerard Sullivan) and Shawn Bordoff (William Weber).

As Ryan Katzenbach's research progressed into the film, shooting often became more complicated. The preshoot script, which had been completed in 2005, was virtually set aside by the third shoot. "We had learned so much more about the case that we essentially set the original script aside and developed addendum pages, separated the addendums from the rest of the script, and followed those pages," Katzenbach explains. "It became a sort of piece-milling of the story that was contoured to the interviews and new materials we were discovering along the way," notes Katzenbach, "and as a result the actors, who I don't believe had ever worked like this, had a lot of questions about their continuity. I was able to always direct the scene I wanted with our cast, but I wasn't always able to explain to them how it would all fit together, so they just sort of went with me in blind faith," he added.

"When you shoot a film, you are covering a script, generally speaking, that takes place over a relatively short period of time....a day, a week, a month....and as a result, there is always an expected continuity on set. With this project, it took us years to shoot it, and the story covered several years of time. The actors would worry about their appearance....like if they got a hair cut, or they lost weight or they gained weight, and they would panic and I would have to explain, no, don't worry about it," Katzenbach explains, "because the scene we're shooting next week isn't a 'back-to-back' scene with the one you shot last month. People change, hairstyles change, and it was kind of a neat transformation to see variance in the actors from one period to the next, much like I think the real characters would have changed," he added. "The other fact that was considered was the fact that there were not specific timeframes involved in a lot of this story. Aside from the murders and certain trial sequences, there were no specific dates involved. Sure, people recounted that Big Ronnie DeFeo did this or did that, and Louise did this or that, but there was no set date....so this allowed a lot of leeway in changing hairstyles and such. In all, it all really worked out very nicely."

"This great cast is one that I would work with again if I had to do all over. I think they deserve a lot of credit for sticking with us and seeing this project through to completion. I am very proud of each and every one of them," says Ryan Katzenbach.


Jon Huybrecht as Ronald "Butch" DeFeo
Lindsey Hager as Dawn DeFeo

David Moretti as Bobby Kelske

Susannah Jones as Geraldine DeFeo


Jon Southwell as Big Ronnie DeFeo, Sr.
Diana Maiocco as Louise DeFeo

Shawn Bordoff as William E. Weber

Josh Bower as ADA Gerard Sullivan
John Wright as Judge Thomas M. Stark
Adam Sass as Augie DeGennaro

Chris Connell as Billy Davidge

Rich Kreps as Herman Race
D.T. Carney as SCPD Homicide Detective #1
Tom Harris as SCPD Homicide Detective #2

Bob Dennis as Michael S. Brigante Sr.

Remy Bogna as Allison DeFeo

Click here to see the rest of the cast and crew on our IMDB Page




The True Story of the Amityville Murders













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