What makes a college student successful? For some, the answer could be having a high GPA or joining a lot of clubs. However, for Peter Di Prospero, success is found through taking initiative and starting something completely new.
Di Prospero is a sophomore filmmaking BFA student who spent the majority of his freshman year getting involved in student filmmaking, over 40 film sets to be exact.
The Bridgewater Township, New Jersey native heard advice from a friend, fellow sophomore filmmaking major Andy Cook, who told him to work a little every single day. Di Prospero has clearly followed his advice as he has a plethora of film credits and job experience under his belt.
“Coming to Montclair [State], the one thing I knew that I needed to do was to hop on as many sets as I could,” Di Prospero said. “The first big set that I was on was a night shoot with a crew of 35 people in Hillsborough that was 15 hours long.”
With being this involved in the university’s filmmaking program, Di Prospero has gained many connections, experience and even a job opportunity. He works as a video editor for Montclair State’s Feliciano School of Business.
Di Prospero learned many things in just a short time being employed outside of his classes and spending more time with the professionals.
“You shouldn’t just look at your films as artistic expressions of yourself,” Di Prospero said. “They should be marketing materials to get you a job and get you employed.
One of Di Prospero’s greatest feats yet is his latest, the Montclair State student-run Silver Slate Film Festival. The festival took place on the first day of classes, Friday, Sept. 2.
The festival had a great turnout, a witty host and a plethora of great films handpicked to showcase thanks to the hard work of Di Prospero. Student filmmakers were able to watch and present their films to one another in a safe and fun environment.
Di Prospero is also credited as the founder of the Instagram account @msu.filmmakers and the MSU [Montclair State] Filmmakers Discord server. He utilizes Discord’s tools to create a space for all types of students to be a part of student films and uses the Instagram account to promote and give appreciation to those films.
Di Prospero found a problem in the past system of connecting film students to each other and decided to fix it himself.
“Montclair State used to have a really good system of connecting students through Canvas,” Di Prospero said. “There’ll be a Canvas announcement board. So when film students had productions [they] wanted to do, they could announce it on the board, and everyone would see it. The problem with that Canvas board was it was just restricted to BFA students.”
One of Di Prospero’s greatest qualities is his commitment to creating an environment where everyone can thrive, not just himself. Not only do people have nice things to say about Di Prospero, but he has many nice things to say about others. His selflessness and passion for creating a community are rare in such a competitive industry.
One of his fellow classmates and close friends, sophomore film and television major Boone Briegs, commented on Di Prospero’s impact on Montclair State filmmaking students.
“Di Prospero is one of the most talented, dedicated and hard-working people I’ve had the pleasure to meet,” Briegs said. “His work ethic and fearless nature to learn and grow as a filmmaker is sincerely inspiring.”
Di Prospero gained more praise from another student, sophomore animation/illustration major Natalya “Artemys” Kozlovski, who has known him since the beginning of their college ventures.
“[Di Prospero] was one of the first friends I made at Montclair [State] during the Summer Bridge Program in 2021,” Kozlovski said. “He’s a genuine, caring person who loves his craft and I’m very happy to have gotten to know him over this past year and a half.”
Many people give thanks to Di Prospero and his innovation and hard work towards giving filmmakers a community at Montclair State as well as an opportunity to showcase their work to one another.