Tim de la Torre has been working at PUC for 10 years now. He graduated from PUC’s film program in 2006, with the college’s location and the Visual Arts Department holding a special place in his heart. There was a moment of transition in his life when Dean Milbert Mariano (then chair of the visual arts department) called to ask if Tim would be interested in interviewing for an instructor position. He’s so thankful Dean Milbert and his department saw potential in him because “It’s been a fantastic fit”.
Tell us about PUC’s film and television production program.
Our program here at PUC is unique in so many good ways! The diversity of our student body is a real benefit to our writers and artists who are exploring topics that matter to them. It allows them to have the benefit of input from people from different intersecting identities that can help each other avoid stereotypes and cliché’s that are easy to miss when you create in an echo chamber.
I am really proud of the culture we’ve created where students learn hands-on production skills with the equipment and make high-quality films through practice. Our rural location and residential campus housing mean students end up spending a lot of time in Fisher Hall and feel a sense of belonging and shared ownership of the space. We are like a family. It also means we are always making and creating because we live our lives in this space.
What are the class sizes?
Our department has 40-50 students in 3 disciplines: film, graphic design, and fine art. Our small class sizes mean you will know all of your professors and student cohort. It allows faculty to really help mentor and guide you as we get to know you throughout the years of your program.
Is there a class you enjoy teaching the most?
Group Production is my favorite class. It’s where we meet twice a week, and students pitch ideas for film projects they want to create, and we support the students in producing their ideas. There are always incredible projects that come out of that class!
What equipment is available for students?
We have everything you would expect to see on the set of a major motion picture production. We have a fully loaded grip truck for location production, high-end cinema cameras, and smaller cameras with differing unique use cases, such as documentary and low-light environments. We also have a huge range of lenses, including anamorphic, cinema zooms, probe lenses, tilt-shift lenses, and vintage glass.
In the last couple of years, we even taught classes using Unreal Engine for film production and have a senior finishing her thesis project using Unreal Engine. The best way to understand is to reach out to the professors and come and visit us. If there is something specific you want to explore, chances are we have the tools to do that or the ability to obtain them and support you in pursuing your interests.
Do students need internships?
I always say the most important class you’ll take at PUC is your internship, which ideally, does not take place at PUC! It’s where you take your skills, knowledge, and professional and interpersonal skills and go out and get real-world experience that often leads to a job after graduation!
What are the highlights from your department this year?
We worked on multiple projects funded by the Sonscreen Film Festival, which allowed us to cast professional actors and even hire some professional crew to work alongside our student crew. The level of production quality and experience our students gained from this really helped us make up for the time we were teaching online during COVID when those students didn’t have as many opportunities to develop set experiences.
Where do some of your graduates work?
We have many alums in LA working in film as writers, directors, editors, and in the camera department. Others created their own companies and are documentarians, corporate and non-profit production. Some have gone on to work for various church-based organizations such as Hope Channel, Amazing Facts, and 3ABN.
What should future film and television students know and prepare for before college?
Bring your curiosity and hunger to learn. Be prepared to work hard. It’s the only way to close the gap between your taste and skill.
PUC faculty and students and alumni attend the Sonscreen Film Festival in April 2023. Eight PUC student films were selected as official entries and PUC won three categories and was runner-up in two other categories.
The Visual Arts Department grip truck makes transporting all of the equipment necessary for location production possible!
Running a demo shoot for College Days in 2023.
On the set of “Radish Soup” which will be completed in late 2023.
Tim de la Torre and student Josue Hilario prepping the location before production begins of “Inner Space” in May 2023.
Prepping the location before production begins of “Inner Space” in May 2023.
“Inner Space” production in May 2023.
Make sure to check out their YouTube channel www.youtube.com/pucfilm and follow their Instagram @pucart for upcoming projects!