By Kayla J. Marsh
EATONTOWN – Eric Massimino is a borough native who is on track to make a name for himself in the filmmaker industry.
His career has recently received a major boost as his film “CHANCE,” which follows the journey of a man dealing with the loneliness of the unknown, screened at the 2016 Garden State Film Festival in Atlantic City March 31 to April 3.
Massimino said the development and production of “CHANCE” has an interesting history and goes back to his time at Monmouth University.
“Really, I made the movie in a total of 10 hours with a crew of [a few] people and it was my last project as a college student,” he said in a recent interview.
“The project was basically you picked out of a hat what genre you got and I got Sci-Fi and that was the challenge and that is really how that whole concept came together.”
Massimino, a borough resident who grew up and went through the local school system, said making the film in less than a day was quick compared to other pieces that might show at the festival.
“Really, it was a quick turnaround rather than most of the films that would be in the festival, which might take months if not a lot longer to make,” he said.
“So it is unique in that it is the total opposite of what usually happens in productions for films and while it was a challenge, I thought it came out really well for what was put into it.”
Massimino said “CHANCE” follows the story of regular everyday individual whose day gets thrown for a twist.
“Basically it begins with this guy who’s just sitting in his truck and basically something comes over the radio that some kind of [alien-type] invasion has happened and it becomes almost an annual thing where random people are chosen … and it is just the point of view of a normal human being in that situation and what you would do and just the loneliness of the whole situation of when something happens that is not the normal routine,” he said.
“I feel like my film … as I look back, can be taken in so many ways, especially with the world we live in right now and all the tragedies you see in the news and people feeling lonely and scared … it definitely can relate to my main character.
“Even though it is a Sci-Fi film it is relatable to all the crazy things that happen nowadays, the unknown and how the normal routine you really can’t say there is one anymore because everyday something different happens and the world changes in an instant and I think that is what the film is going to be the most relatable to whoever watches it.”
Since 2003, thousands of films have made public premiers at the Garden State Film Festival, which has attracted hundreds of thousands to this annual event.
“The first time I was ever in the film festival was back when it took place in Asbury Park and it was my freshman year of college and I actually won Best Home-Grown Trailer at the Garden State Film Festival,” Massimino said.
“Ever since then I have just been submitting films as I can and now this year again I am back in the Home-Grown trailer category but this time in Atlantic City so I have always been a part of the festival and I think it is one of the best events in New Jersey.
“A lot of people come out to it every year and I really think it gives an opportunity for all ages, all filmmakers to really have a part in something bigger.”
Massimino said he is excited to see where his career goes.
“When I was 16 or 17 … I decided that what I wanted to do was some type of TV or film production so instead of getting a car I took the money I had been saving up and bought my first professional camera … and that is where really it all started,” he said.
“I have done multiple things in filmmaking, television to right now working for NBC and as a freelancer for multiple companies on all different types of projects around the world, so I would say filmmaking is my hobby and television is my career.”