JACKSON, NJ – In one single contest, they scored the most wins that the Truman Media Program has ever scored in a single event in its ten-year history. The program participated in the New Jersey High School Film Challenge, During one week in April, four teams had 108 hours to produce short films around a specific prompt. In the end, the team took home three top prizes: Best Editing, Best Cinematography and second place in the Best Drama category.
“It was tiring. working all day – out late, just to film. We’re perfectionists, so we spent a lot of time for one shot,” according to sophomore Jose Pagan. “We kept reshooting the same thing over-and-over, making sure we got it right.”
This year’s prompt challenged all of the participating teams to create a short film titled “Broken.” Their films had to include a prop that could be anything broken – and a character named Jack or Jackie. There were a total of 145 films submitted in the contest from 45 schools across the state of New Jersey. Truman was the only school to take home three plaques.
Pagan and his teammates, seniors Moses Perez and Angie Torres won for Best Editing and Best Cinematography. Their film depicted one man’s shock as he accidentally discovers who killed his sister.
Abel Alexander Zewde, also a senior, took 2nd place in the Best Drama category. His film illustrated the shocking details that led up to his unexpected and untimely death.
“I was confident in Truman. I knew that we were going to go in there and win, and we did,” according to Pagan.
“This ushers in a new era for the media program,” said instructor Dave Roush. “We’ve quickly gone from the school who couldn’t get our films even screened in the competition, to walking out with the most awards. It sets a new standard of expectations for these kids. They now know the reputation they have to live up to, and I couldn’t be more happy about it”