Middle Village native and acclaimed filmmaker David Lee Madison is returning to his roots to shoot his next film named for the neighborhood where he grew up.
Madison currently lives in Milford, Pennsylvania, but he spent the first 27 years of his life in Middle Village. He attended St. Margaret’s School, P.S. 49 and I.S. 119, and is a graduate of Queens College.
Over the years, he has seen his hometown transition and change, giving him an insider’s perspective of the area, both past and present.
“We plan on showcasing the most important aspect of Middle Village, its residents,” Madison said of the film. “We will also bring the viewer back to some great nostalgic places of the past. We hope to make a film that is informative, smart, nostalgic and funny.”
Growing up in Middle Village left a long-lasting impression on Madison, and he intends on sharing what he loves about his hometown in this film, which he described as having “elements of a documentary film with a staged narrative to set some of our talking points.”
“Middle Village had such a positive impact on the person I grew up to be,” he said. “The place was so unique to any other place I have been, I feel this story should be told. My favorite memories of growing up in Middle Village are playing ball at the schoolyard, riding my bike in the park and hanging out with my wonderful group of friends.”
“I don’t think that many people realize that Middle Village, which is just a handful of miles away from the biggest city in the world, was and still is just a small town,” Madison continued. “Much like you would find in the middle of America.”
Madison and his crew have already begun filming scenes for the movie, visiting staples of the Middle Village community such as London Lennie’s restaurant on Woodhaven Boulevard, Juniper Valley Park, Middle Village Playground and areas of Metropolitan Avenue.
“We plan on filming at several other locations throughout Middle Village over the next two months,” Madison said.
Filmmaking has been a major part of Madison’s life since his early childhood.
“I developed a love for film as a very young kid,” Madison said. “When I was about 8 years old I remember seeing “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time. It had such a visceral impact on me, I knew right away I wanted to be a filmmaker.”
This love of filmmaking led Madison to create some great horror films, including his last film, “Mr. Hush,” a throwback to classic slasher films. This movie about Middle Village will be a drastic change from Madison’s usual work.
“As a filmmaker, you like to explore different things,” he explained. “I have a great passion for my old neighborhood, and feel we can tell a story that will connect to people throughout the country. My last film, ‘Mr. Hush,’ had become a bit of a cult classic in the horror genre; it was even placed in The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library to be preserved forever. I just wanted to take a step back from my beloved genre for a moment.”
With no set release date yet for “Middle Village,” Madison expects the film to come out right before Christmas.