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“TV was considered pretty lame at that time,” he says. “It wasn’t what I wanted. I knew there was something better. I liked movies better, but I just couldn’t crack it.”

Reuniting with Chase, Gandolfini says, was natural because of their shorthand together.

“It was good to work together again after `The Sopranos’ because `The Sopranos’ was such a big, huge thing and it was nice to just get back to shooting a film somewhere with nobody around,” says Gandolfini. “It was kind of just going back to work.”

Getting over the sensation of “The Sopranos” was a challenge for Chase, who decompressed for a year in Europe afterward. The pop culture phenomenon, which changed the aspirations of television, rivaled the revolutionary impact of the music chronicled in “Not Fade Away.” One friend dubbed Chase and his gang: “The Guinea Beatles.”

“It was harder to come down from that than I thought it would be,” Chase says. “It became harder and harder. Once I had time and once I had Wi-Fi, I could look up all the things people said about it. So I spent some time doing that. I had never done it before: both the good and the bad. It was a toxic experience.”

Chase quit his searching but found he missed the social life of the show, the everyday problem-solving. More than anything, he missed soundtracking the show _ marrying tracks like John Cooper Clarke’s “Evidently Chickentown” or the Stones’ “Moonlight Mile” to the images. “Not Fade Away” is a direct outgrowth of that.

“It was all about the music, really,” says Chase.

It comes as some irony that Chase is making his way from TV to film while the currents he propelled are flowing the opposite direction. While personal filmmaking has become ever rarer in Hollywood, “The Sopranos” begat a whole new TV world, from “Mad Men” to “Boardwalk Empire” (both shows created by former “Sopranos” writers).

“They say the good writing is on TV and I know what they mean by that,” says Chase, who’s developing a miniseries for HBO about early silent filmmaking. “But at the same time, you think to yourself: That’s nice, but that big screen and those big speakers are an experience in themselves. Why would TV ideas not be on that big screen? Why do they have to be on TV?”

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Follow Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle