By Steve Sears
21-year-old Livingston resident Ralph Gamba has made great strides this year with his personal filmmaking, and the best thing yet is on the doorstep. “View,” his first professional short film, is entering post-production.
Gamba, a Pace University junior and Digital Cinema and Filmmaking major in the Media Communications and Visual Arts Department, explains his project, which was assigned by Pace University professor, Lou Guarneri. “I was lucky enough to take a class called Story Idea Development this past spring,” he says. “In that class, we were told to put together a screenplay, and so that screenplay is the basis of the film.” Pace University was offering students who decided to do a research project over the summer $1,000, and Gamba grabbed the opportunity and used the money to fund his film.
Here’s the teaser. In the 15-minute film, the profile is on an everyday, general office worker immersed in a 9 to 5 routine. “It basically started from a basis of my own emotions – kind of feeling along with everything, sort of coming back from my winter break – so I kind of put all of those emotions into the everyday character,” Gamba says. “He simply goes through this whole routine, and something causes his routine to break, and there’s this whole big change: ‘Why am I doing this routine? Who am I doing this routine for?’ All these sort of life questions that we always ask ourselves.” Olivia Velta, a friend of Gamba’s, plays the role of a nurse in the film.
Gamba is looking to submit the film somewhere, and he credits the help of his professor, Melanie LaRosa, who is Project Mentor and Editing Professor and has been in the business for over 20 years. Gamba has discussed distribution with her, but he is also going to shop it at various film festivals and Pace University school events.
In addition to Sarah Morge and Emily Alfieri, who are also friends of Gamba’s and editors on the project, Alan Torres, who met Gamba when both were students at Seton Hall Prep, is his Executive Producer. “I do help him (Gamba) with certain shots, and I do post-production music choices, buy I’m mostly an auxiliary, trying to aid him as much as I can.” He also adds, “He (Gamba) is a good writer. We actually had senior Honors English together, and all year long, Ralph would always get better grades on every single paper. And when he first showed me this script, when it was just an assignment, I was really amazed by it.”
For Gamba, who grew up loving films, the biggest touchstone was when he was a toddler, which coincided with the initial Pirates of the Caribbean releases. “I was very obsessed with pirates and all things piracy and that sort of fantasy world, but I also found myself watching the behind-the-scenes DVD of the actual movie. And so, from that early age, I kind of built up this love of seeing how it works. At around age 12, I knew this was where I was going to head, because I had this interest in the process.” For Gamba, it was cemented when, at a college fair, a recruiter asked him what his major was, and Gamba blanked and just blurted out, “Film.” For the remainder of the fair, he discussed the choice with others and realized it was the way to go.
Gamba, who has experience using both Analog and Digital camera systems such as the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, Canon XF405, DJI Phantom 3 Drone, as well as Super 8 and 35mm film, reaches back to his Seton Hall Prep days to recognize a few other special folks who have improved his skills. “Antonio DiFiore, my junior year English teacher, was hard but had a fun and educational teaching style, and my senior year English Teacher, Peter Ford, was a well-meaning professor who furthered my writing skills and helped me refine them.”
Gamba’s main goal now is to complete his four years of college and gain as much experience as possible, being willing to continue to learn and forge his path onward and upward.
Ralph Gamba can be reached at email@example.com, or by visiting his Instagram page, @regproductions.