Timothy Mendonça is wrapping up a job as production coordinator for what he calls a “small” film: First Reformed. It stars Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried and is written and directed by Paul Schrader, the screenwriter who gave us Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.
It’s small compared to his work on, say, the Amazon original series Sneaky Pete or the M. Night Shyamalan film Split. Mendonça has moved up the ladder quickly since, as a film/media major, he juggled jobs at newportFILM and on any movie set in Rhode Island he could talk his way on to, including Moonrise Kingdom, Irrational Man, The Purge: Election Year, and Bleed for This.
Although he admits he wasn’t always a great student, he enjoyed his time in the Film/Media program, where the small class sizes provided “the perfect collaborative environment.” The Newport native lives in New York City now, where his job means he serves as “nervous system” to each production, aware of every detail on set and off. He handles union, legal, and insurance related issues, manages a production staff, orders cameras, lighting and other necessary equipment, and serves as the main contact for the cast and studio, all while putting out whatever fires may arise.
Where will the next stage of his career take him? Producing his own films—he has several ideas in the works—and producing other films that have meaning to him.
“The dream, of course, is to one day make that big acceptance speech for some award,” Mendonça said. “But the biggest dream is doing what you love, and if in five or ten years I’m still doing what I love and can be a part of projects that I can be proud of, then that’s all I can ask.”