Digital Recording Arts Grad Hits the Big Screen

TommyDeNucciTommy DeNucci, a 2005 graduate of NEIT’s Bachelor of Science Degree program in Digital Recording Arts Technology (currently named Digital Media Production), is now an internationally recognized writer, actor, director and producer. A native of Cranston, Rhode Island, Tommy, at the age of 30, has a wide genre of films to his credit. In May, 2014, Tommy and his crew shot the film, “Almost Mercy”, in just 18 days at 20 different locations in the Ocean State. This film is one of a five-picture deal Tommy has secured with Universal Studios. In September, 2014, Tommy was featured on the cover of “Imagine” magazine, the premier information source for film, television and media production in the Northeast.

Tommy’s mentor and creative partner in film production, Chad Verdi, says, “Tommy’s single most interesting character trait that I genuinely admire is his willingness to always test others and make them better.” Tommy now shares his insights with Tech News readers.

What made you decide to attend NEIT?

I always heard that New England Tech was known for its hands-on approach to learning. I didn’t really respond too well to conventional teaching methods in high school. I knew at NEIT I’d get a chance to learn by doing and concentrate my focus on what I was interested in.

How did you choose your program?

I used my father’s video camera when I was a teenager and knew from that moment on I wanted to have some kind of career in the film industry. I was happy to hear that NEIT offered a program in Video Production and later was even more excited to find out I could focus on filmmaking. I had taken a video production class in high school and loved it, so the idea of doing that all day was really exciting to me.

What did you do to get started with your career?

The first thing I concentrated on was writing. I worked really hard to hone in my screenwriting skills. I cranked out draft after draft of different stories I had cooking in my head. I finally found one that really stuck, “Self Storage” which would go on to be my first feature film. I had just started interning for filmmaker Chad Verdi. He got a chance to read “Self Storage” and really gravitated towards it. Chad green-lit the project and we’ve continued to make films together ever since.

Tell us about your current position.

I’m currently working on finishing the last feature film I shot, called “Almost Mercy”, which I wrote, produced and directed. It’s been my goal to take projects from the early stages of development all the way through principal photography and finally shepherd them through the post production process. I’m basically married to each movie I make. It’s a long haul but I love it.

What do you feel ultimately prepared you for your position?

Hearing a lot of “no’s”, dealing with lots of disappointment, closed doors, things like that prepared me for what lied ahead.   It’s all about never getting too high or staying too low. In this industry, things can swing pretty quick and there’s always going to be plenty of rejection. Understanding that early on helps prepare you for the road ahead.

Do you have any advice for graduates who are just beginning their job search?

Be tenacious. Go after every opportunity. Even those that appear to be dead ends may lead to great contacts. Invest in yourself by taking the time to intern and learn from people who are already on the job. There’s a lot more to getting coffee, than just getting coffee. Swallow your pride.  I’ve learned some of the most interesting things about people and the business by doing some of the “low man on the totem pole” type jobs.

What can current students do to better prepare themselves for jobs in this field?

Interning on a film set is by far the best way to learn. New England has been buzzing with production as of late, and these filmmakers are always looking for eager people to come on and intern. This is definitely a learn-by-doing type of field. It’s also an industry where hard work can get you very far. People notice the gamers, and those are the people who eventually come back and land themselves a paid position.

NEIT will always mean a lot to me. It’s where I fell head over heels for what I do every day. The flexibility within the structure of the program gave me the freedom to optimize my creative potential. It’s a place I’ll never forget.

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and online degree programs, including Digital Media Production (previously called Video Audio Production and Digital Recording Arts) contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu

More Information | Apply Now

NEIT graduate, DeNucci is magazine cover story

New England Tech is proud to see Video Audio Production and Digital Recording Arts graduate, Tom DeNucci get the cover story of the September’s issue of IMAGINE magazine.  Everyone here at New England Tech would like to congratulate Tommy on his continued success in the film industry.

TommyDeNucci

From IMAGINE Magazine:

Tommy DeNucci was born in Cranston, RI in 1984 and at thirty he is a writer, actor, director and producer. He also has a five picture deal with Universal. He happens to be charismatic and lights up a screen. The camera likes him and so does the boom operator – a voice with resonance. He also expresses himself well. His mentor and creative partner in film production Chad Verdi says of Tommy, “his single most interesting character trait that I genuinely admire about Tommy is his willingness to always test others and make them better.” Before he was thirty he directed three films that received worldwide distribution. At present DeNucci and his team are editing ALMOST MERCY, the film he shot in eighteen days in May at twenty different locations in the Ocean State.  According to Tommy the film has a bigger feel than it should have considering its budget as he pushed the look he says as far as humanly possible.  Tommy recommends this to fledgling filmmakers, “Show up early and be the last to leave. Do the dirty work in the beginning. Learn the process from the very bottom, try to get in every circle you can and don’t think your ‘less than’ when you work from the bottom up…just go for it.”

Click here to read the entire Imagine story.

You may subscribe to IMAGINE Magazine by Clicking Here

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and online degree programs, including Video Audio Production and Digital Recording Arts contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu

More Information | Apply Now

VAP/DRA Students Learn Etiquette

VAPFilm Set Etiquette, that is! Local filmmaker/actor and NEIT Digital Recording Arts (DRA) Technology graduate, Tom DeNucci, presented students and alumni with tips on what to do and what not to do as a production assistant on set. On Saturday, April 19th, Tom was at the East Greenwich campus along with a film crew that included assistant director, Jon Schermerhorn, also a New England Tech Video & Audio Production (VAP) Technology grad. Those who attended got real world advice from the pros and practiced making a good impression on set. Here’s what some NEIT students had to say. “It’s the little things that make a big impact on set,” stated Sebastian Cruz, a Quarter 3 VAP student. “What a great way to get your foot in the door,” according to Eric Rudman, a DRA Quarter 7 student.

Having worked as an actor/producer/director on films such as Self Storage and Inkubus, Tom will soon begin production on a new movie, Almost Mercy, a psychological thriller. He is shooting this film in Rhode Island and hopes that some of the students from the workshop will become production assistants on the film. “We may be PAs but we will be the best PAs on set. I learned so much,” stated Haley Dutra, a Quarter 7 DRA student.

Another key player, Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the RI Film & Television Office, opened the event and offered some sound advice on looking for work in the state. VAP and DRA students may contact him at the RI Film and Television Office to learn about job opportunities at steven.feinberg@arts.ri.gov, 401-222-3456, or www.film.ri.gov.

Special thanks to Tom Strolla, Professor/Department Chair, Video and Audio Production/Digital Recording Arts; Sally Kingsbury, Professor, Video and Audio Production/Digital Recording Arts; and Joan Segerson, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, for putting this workshop together to benefit our VAP and DRA students and grads.

Rhody has had more and more movie filming

Tom DeNucci – a New England Tech Alum turned Actor, Writer and Director talks about his next movie project and movie making in Rhode Island.  DeNucci is a graduate of Associate in Science in Video Audio Production and the Bachelor in Science in Digital Recording Arts programs.

 

From WPRI.com and The Rhode Show

In recent years, more and more filming has been taking place in Rhode Island, as cast and crew members flock to the Ocean State.

The Rhode Show was lucky enough to be on the scene with Rhode Island’s own Tom Denucci to get the scoop on his new movie.

“Almost Mercy is your classic revenge story. It’s about a couple of outcasts and deals with a lot of current issues that re going on right now in the news every day,” said Denucci, “So I think people are gonna be interested by kind of how ‘now’ the story is.”

These days when it comes to big time film making, its no longer all about Hollywood, but Rhode Island is a major player.

“People don’t realize what a great infrastructure Rhode Island has for making films – there’s tons of artists in Rhode Island, tons of filmmakers, and a lot of great, great talented actors,” said Denucci.

Almost Mercy has been sold to Universal, and they are aiming for a mid 2015 release.

Alumni Event: Production Assistant Workshop

INTERESTED IN HOW A FILM SET REALLY WORKS? 

TOM DeNUCCI

NEIT GRADUATE, ACTOR/WRITER/DIRECTOR

 will conduct a FREE

Production Assistant Workshop

for current NEIT VAP/DRA students and alumni ONLY 

SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 2014

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

NEW ENGLAND INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

East Greenwich, RI

Room S 216/218

SPACE IS LIMITED

Register at cti@neit.edu or with Cheryl Booker at (401)780-4345


Program:

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  Sign-in/refreshments

 

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.  Introductions by Steven Feinberg
Executive Director RI Film & TV Commission

 

10:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Production Assistant Workshop

                    • Set Etiquette
                    • Tools of the Trade
                    • Working with Talent
                    • Production Drill Exercise
                    • Q & A

 

TOM DeNUCCI – NEIT Graduate, Actor/Writer/Director

2010 was a big year for Tom, who played “Pax”, a wise cracking rookie cop in the Robert Englund horror thriller “Inkubus”.  Later that year, he played alongside Peter Ficinelli in the film “Loosies”, before capping 2010 off with a leading role in “Infected”, playing Michael Madsen’s son.  In the summer of 2012, DeNucci teamed up with producer Chad A. Verdi and the Woodhaven Production Company to bring “Self Storage” to life. Tom found himself on both sides of the camera.  Aside from writing and directing the picture, he also starred alongside Eric Roberts, Jonathan Silverman, and Michael Berryman.  This spring, Tom will be shooting another story he has written, “Almost Mercy”.