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Professor's Film Screens at Multiple Festivals  

New York Shorts International Film Festival 2019 Logo.William Pace, Faculty Associate of Digital Media Production within the College of Communication and the Arts, started working on his short film, Third Party Witness, almost two years ago. The film premiered in the 2018 South Orange Maplewood (SOMA) Film Festival and since then, has been featured in multiple festivals across the country including the Orlando Film Festival (October 2018) and the Short Sweet Film Festival (March 2019). Later this month, Third Party Witness will also debut in the New York City area as part of the 2019 New York Shorts International Film Festival.

The premise for the film, which follows two lawyers with "history" who meet once again to take the deposition of a witness with a secret, comes from Pace's past experience as a videographer taping legal depositions. In that role, he would listen to witness statements where "every once in a while, there'd be a wild card – a witness who would go rogue and off-script." This distinctive characteristic was the perfect framework for a short film, noted Pace.

A group of people talking at a table.

Still from Third Party Witness.

Shot on the Seton Hall University campus, Third Party Witness is also a collaborative, educational project between Pace and his students in the Visual Sound and Media program.

"In Digital Cinema Production III and IV, students learn how to write, produce and cut a film of their own creation. To help prepare them, every fall, I write and direct a film and bring students into the process," said Pace. "Third Party Witness was one of those projects. This way, I can show them how to set up a production, how a set works, and give them a first-hand look at the process in a professional, yet educational setting."

These films, which are typically shot over two or three days, allow students to be a part of the production process in four capacities either as a camera operator, audio technician, lighting technician, or assistant director and producer.

Two people talking in a hallway.

Still from Third Party Witness.

"During the shoot, students rotate through each position. This way they learn about each role and get the experience of being on a production crew. Then, they take those learnings and apply them to their own films."

The same educational filmmaking experience was repeated again on this year's project, Blood & Tears, which will be ready to submit to festivals in the fall to continue showing the work of the College's Digital Cinema Production courses on screens around the country.

For more information about Third Party Witness, please visit the Film Freeway website »

Categories: Arts and Culture

For more information, please contact:

  • Danielle Clements
  • (973) 275-4831
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