NJ Film School Teaches the Art of Movie Making
Thursday, February 7, 2013 • 9:07pm
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Since the era of silent pictures, movies have provided people with a brief respite from the outside world. While filmmakers may make it look easy, movie-making is an art form, and much different than shooting a short video on your smartphone.
Fortunately for those who want to learn the art and craft of filmmaking, there’s NJ Film School on Central Avenue in New Providence.
In October, New Providence native Chris Messineo and his wife, Elizabeth, moved the business to their custom-designed studio. For Chris, it’s a dream come true. He fell in love with cinema at a young age and it grew as he got older. He started making films in middle school on a Super 8 camera, recreating scenes from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with a friend.
In college, Messineo majored in English and began writing screenplays after he graduated.
“It wasn’t what paid my living, but I did it for fun,” he said.
Although they frequently won awards, he grew frustrated because they were rarely made into movies.
Then 15 years ago, he formed Off Stage Films, an independent production company, and began shooting short films and corporate videos. The company was a success, garnering awards for screenwriting, acting, cinematography, editing, and directing.
As much as he loves filmmaking, Messineo said he also loves teaching people how to make their own films. “
I think the most exciting thing is we live in a time when anyone can make a movie,” he said. “There are wonderful independent films coming out every single year that aren’t being made in Hollywood.”
That’s where the idea for NJ Film School began. Four years ago, the Messineos opened the business in Bridgewater, but they soon outgrew the space. They started looking for a new home a year ago and were excited to find a location in their hometown. Their students come from all over the state - and even out of state - united by their passion for movies. Many of his current and former students have won awards, which makes him very proud.
“It’s really exciting to see them continuing their filmmaking out in the world,” he said. “I get to do what I love and I get to watch people’s dreams come to life.”
They hold classes for kids, teens, and adults from absolute beginners to experienced shooters. All of the classes are limited to 10 students or less and everyone is encouraged to "get their hands dirty." Screenwriters will write, actors will act, and filmmakers will shoot films using state of the art equipment.
“Filmmaking is fun and we firmly believe that classes about filmmaking should be fun as well,” he said.
The school offers classes year-round, including camps in the summer. Every other month, they screen a film and on Feb.9th, “Black Swan” will be shown at 8 p.m with Script Supervisor Tony Pettine on hand to answer questions.
To see hundreds of student films or to register for classes, you can visit their web site at www.NJFilmSchool.com