Skip to main content

Most are unaware of the amount of creative energy, manpower, and technical skill that goes into filmmaking. It’s just movies, right? How hard could it be? It takes a village, and then some, to make the magic audiences see on the screen appear flawless and invisible.

This senior class has had their fair share of navigating this challenge over the course of their college careers, and they have succeeded in creating and maintaining that magic through the production of their final films.

The senior films produced this year include the thrilling sequel Scarecrow in the Woods Pt. II by Derek Ditkowski, fantastical and spine-tingling Human by Albert Pardo, and the dramatic yet hopeful Moon River by Caleb Whitford. All films were produced under the guidance of Professor J. Garrett Vorreuter in DFM 435: Final Film Project.

This particular group of students have historically pushed for longer runtimes which allow more complex storylines. I have always, and definitively, said no to these requests. Limitation breeds creativity after all! However, the students are quite pleased to report their films this year exceed my typical 10 minute runtime requirement. This time, though, it has absolutely worked in their favor (yes seniors, you are reading that right). Each film allows the viewer to be fully immersed in the world the students have created: from an ultra-creepy crime caper, to a sci-fi with artificial intelligence gone wrong, to the technicolor dream world of one very distressed young woman and the people around her.

Some of the hardest work a filmmaker can do is commit; to the script, to the shotlist, to the final edit. These students have impressively stuck to their stories since the first seeds were planted going on two years ago, and they have seen the full filmmaking process all the way through. On a technical level, the skillsets of each director have grown exponentially since arriving in the DFM program, and they have certainly upped the ante for future students.

A HUGE congratulations to Derek, Albert, and Caleb on your successes and accomplishments these past few years. It has not been an easy road, but you have overcome and powered through all the potholes along the way, no matter how many times you’ve detoured. The world awaits you, Hollywood and beyond.

Good luck, and see you at the movies.

Sarah Mann
Assistant Professor, Digital Filmmaking




Derek Ditkowski

Derek Ditkowski has a passion of working in post-production and has been the “go-to video editor” at Villa Maria College since 2018. He loves horror, and hopes to creep out and scare everyone with his films. He strives to make something different with each of his films to keep things fresh and find new ways to disturb his audience.


An odd murder is committed leading two detectives out to the woods in search of a missing scarecrow spotted near the scene of the crime. The woods are sick. Not everything is what it seems.

Additional Work


Albert Pardo

Albert Pardo is an up-and-coming filmmaker from Miami, Florida. Albert has been a film fanatic from a very young age and has been making short films since he was 9 years old. In recent years he has amassed a following of more than 2,000 followers and more than half a million views across all social platforms.


Adrian’s new Bion is meant to streamline his life. He looks like him, sounds like him…but does he think like him? Blade Runner meets The Twilight Zone in this frighteningly surreal sci-fi film.

Additional Work

Look Up

Caleb Whitford

Caleb Whitford is the writer, director, and cinematographer of Moon River. It is his first larger-scale undertaking and he enjoyed and appreciated working with everyone involved in the project.


A young woman reels from the depression of having a miscarriage, only to find more trauma when she goes to the worst party of her life on her birthday.

Additional Work