Joe Valenti was born on December 4, 1973 in Toms River, NJ. He was raised in the Township of Brick. At an early age, Joe discovered his love for music. At the age of nine, he was singing in front of a dresser mirror to the songs of, yes... Rick Springfield you know Jessies Girl. Before Joe learned how to play the guitar, he settled for the use of a tennis racket (a wrong note could never be played on a tennis racket). At twelve, Joe was given his first guitar from his Uncle Joe while on a trip to Italy. He began taking lessons back home with one of the members of the 80s band, Skid Row. Joe became a "good" guitar player, but did not practice enough to be a "great" guitar player. He would carry his guitar to school with him in the eighth grade, emulating another one of his musical influences Ritchie Valens, highlighted in the 1987 movie LaBamba. Joe would perform concerts for his class, as well as write and direct a musical that displayed the lives of rock n rollers of the fifties.
Joe also had a love for movies. He would watch them constantly, mirroring his own life after characters and events from motion pictures ( the only reason Joe ever started playing basketball is because he saw the movie Teen Wolf). At the age of thirteen, Joe wrote, directed, and starred in his first film, Triple Threat (video camera stuff, of course). This VHS twenty-minute movie teamed up Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, and a good Ninja against the bad Ninja and the Dark Lord (who was supposed to be Uncle Owen, Darth Vaders brother, back from the dead). Of course, the music and concept were used without permission, but what could you ask from a thirteen-year-old.
High school then came along with girls, sports, hormones, and pimples, and needless to say, no more movies, and no more music (he didnt know back then that music could get him women). It wasnt until his junior year, that he began to write original songs. Senior year, he performed his power ballad "Tonights a Night," in front of an audience at an annual chorus show. The song went over very well. Joe had written this song for his high school sweetheart.
Now came the college years. We needed to get back to making movies. During his freshman year at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, Joe began taking television production courses. He had originally tried the world of Chemistry ( he thought he was MacGyver), then moved to Accounting (no movie relation to that one well maybe The Twilight Zone), and finally settled into Communications. His love for film and television grew as he began to realize a career in these fields was possible. While he was growing up, being a director was looked upon as a dream now it could be a reality.
Following his freshman year, Joe became the lead singer of Sir Round Sound, a Jersey rock band, which played tons of cover songs, as well as, Joes originals. The band played all over New Jersey, as well as a few dates in New York City. A three-song demo tape was released which included "Tonights a Night," "Midnight Girl," and "Baby What You See (Aint All That You Get)," which has been recently re-recorded and put on the Lying Beside You soundtrack. Three more original songs were to follow up the demo tape, but before they could be recorded the band broke up (they say keeping a band together is harder than keeping a marriage together). One of the songs that was to be part of the second demo was "What Im Made Of." This song has since been recorded and added to the LBY soundtrack. Three of the five members of Sir Round Sound have reunited after six years to complete the recording of the soundtrack.
During his college years, Joe worked on many short videos to begin developing his directing abilities. Joe first put together a seventeen-minute rockumentary on his band. This was his first venture in combining the two passions in his life; movies and music. Next came The Chase and Making the Difference, his first endeavors with actors, Greg Wilson and Scott DiPalo. Although the short video movies were viewed as accomplishments at the time, they were not satisfying a bigger hunger. Something was still missing. FILM, FILM, FILM !!!
Because a single piece of film could not be located on the entire campus of Monmouth University ( they didnt have a film program), Joe ventured to New York University to take extra classes. Projects that spawned from the use of film, were The Chase 2 (Death at Sunset) and Following Directions. Upon graduation from Monmouth, Joe received the "1996 Television Award," "Extraordinary Service to Monmouth Univision Award" for his production assistance on a college campus television station, and "Monmouth Univision Semester Achievement Award" presented by his peers. Sounds like a good year but, just know that the strict guidelines that now exist with the station are probably due to Joes outlandish, nonconformist, maverick techniques. (If it was good for the production, it had to be done, even if it meant getting yelled at by his professors).
Ahhh okay, now the college years were over. He was now a college graduate, which meant he had to work. He had to get a "real job" He did He got a job in the television industry and was making decent money for a 22 year-old. He left jobs got new ones left those jobs got better ones. But where were the movies??? where was the music??? In an attempt to inspire himself, Joe purchased a scriptwriting program (what a great thing to have) and wrote his first real script. This script would be perfect for one of those ABC Afterschool Specials. He sent it to 37 writing agencies and out of those 37 writing agencies one wanted to look at the script (you see it wasnt a feature they only look at features). Out of the one who read the script only one rejected it.
Indiana Joe and the Box of Egairram was a thirteen-minute adventure movie which was his biggest budget movie to date ($700) it even drew interest from Americas Funniest Home Videos however because of copyright issues (the music and the concept were used without permission) Indiana Joe remains a silent success.
The next project that would dawn itself is Lying Beside You. This script was completed in August of 1998 and shooting began that same month. Joes first feature film would include his own script and his own music. Now this movie has not been without its problems, not to mention some of the most interesting and bizarre stories to occur on a film set. This website is not big enough for all that information. Youll just have to wait for the book. The producer, writer, director, cinematographer, editor and composer finally got a real opportunity to join his two passions into one his movies and his music.