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Professor Thomas Rondinella on new film, "Against the Spread"

Professor Thomas Rondinella's busy schedule doesn't revolve around mundane business meetings or crowded commutes, but it’s instead about his role as a film producer at Seton Hall University. The film he's currently working on adds to a growing list he's produced for over the years, such as “Good Day for It” and “Charming Billy.”

Rondinella’s newest film, “Against the Spread,” has been in production since May, and the scenes of the movie were shot from Oct. 6 to Oct. 18. Rondinella described it as a “thriller drama” and a reimagined story of Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.” 

“It’s a big cast for a very small budget film,” Rondinella said, adding that there were “12 speaking parts, which is a lot. And we had 17 or 18 locations so we were moving around a lot. It was ambitious for sure. We pulled it off though.”

The film crew was “green,” meaning new to the film industry, but Rondinella said the director had a clear vision that was executed perfectly. 

“I’m the overseer and the facilitator of the project,” Rondinella said of his role as producer. “In other words, I clear the way for the director to enable their creative vision." He added that his duties include hiring the crew and handling location releases, talent releases, the agents and the expenditures.

As a producer, Rondinella said, he needs to make decisions that could change the course of movie production.

“I replaced two crew members about a week before the show and we replaced the wardrobe woman three days before the show as well,” he said.  

Rondinella mentioned that the film will be marketed to the streaming services. “I already have people that are interested in it because of the genre,” he said.

Rondinella has been teaching at Seton Hall University since 1985. Classes he has taught include Introduction to Visual Theory and Introduction to Film and TV Production. He said he has always held an interest in the film industry as a child.

“I used to make little films with family members,” he explained. “I used to love editing my grandfather’s old home videos. I never took it seriously at all until I was at Seton Hall as a history major and I found the film department my junior year.”

Hunter Lancaster submitted this article from his Writing for the Media course. He can be found at

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