Seton Hall University

What Can Great Minds Do?  

Filming the Seton Hall 30-second Commercial

The University's new anthem video captures a slice of the life at Seton Hall.

Students arriving early for their anatomy and physiology class at McNulty Hall recently encountered the unexpected. Instead of seeing a professor standing at the whiteboard, there were lights, cameras, and a man in a baseball cap calling "action!" As the auditorium buzzed with excitement, the young scientists were invited to join the filming of the opening scene of Seton Hall's new television commercial.

Once the room settled, Ferran de Mendoza Soler, director at the Brooklyn-based film production company, Afterimaging, gave the cue. The camera moved in for a close-up of students in the front row, focusing intently. And then: "Cut! That was beautiful everybody. Let's do it again."

Mendoza and producing partner Christian Balmer directed a series of fast-paced scenes illustrating the vitality and broad range of experiences students have at Seton Hall.

Over three days, the filmmakers captured more than a dozen exciting moments at locations on all three campuses, including the Law School's moot courtroom, a Nursing simulation lab, a Diplomacy seminar space, and the basketball court at the Walsh gymnasium. To hone in on the beauty of the South Orange campus, the crew commanded a drone-mounted camera that rose above the seal and glided in front of Presidents Hall.

Filming part of the commercial at the Seton Hall Law School

Scene 1, Take 6! Cameras rolled in the McNulty Auditorium.

Production on the 30-second commercial wrapped in early October, and the piece debuted nationally at the Seton Hall men's basketball opener on November 9. Thousands of viewers will see the ad throughout the 2022-2023 NCAA basketball season. Big East fans attending Seton Hall games at the Prudential Center and the historic Walsh gym can also watch the anthem live on the jumbotron.

Over the last few years, the University has produced several award-winning television ads. In 2019, Seton Hall's anthem video was recognized with an Education Advertising Award and a bronze Telly, repeated in 2021.

This year, the approach was to take the commercial further by developing a dynamic concept to answer Seton Hall's brand question: What Can Great Minds Do? The result is an upbeat piece that captures the contagious energy of the characters viewers encounter. "Seton Hall is truly a University on the move," explains Michael Hyland, assistant vice president of Public Relations, who sponsored the project. "We want to celebrate all the great things that are happening on our campuses by showing the academic breadth, deep commitment to faith, and genuine spirit of optimism that defines who we are."

Katherine Moss on a ladder during the filming of the Seton Hal commerical.

Senior Katherine Matos reached new heights on the set of the #GreatMinds commercial.

A talented group of more than 50 students and faculty members volunteered to join the production. Katherine Matos, a senior who counts theater among her majors, climbed a ladder to reach the observatory telescope for her scene. Drawing on what she learned in her acting and directing class, Matos said, "It was quite fun to be back on set!"

In addition to covering a mix of campus locations, the video includes a scene captured at St. John's Church in Newark, among the oldest parishes in New Jersey. Fr. Nick Sertich, director of Campus Ministry, along with several DOVE students, re-enacted serving at the church's soup kitchen, highlighting the University's Catholic mission.

"I'm proud of our commitment to Christian charity beyond the gates of our University," Fr. Nick commented. "It's important to show that aspect of Seton Hall's story. I was happy to join our terrific students and play a part in the project."

To spotlight Seton Hall's prime location just outside New York City and the opportunities students have for internships and jobs after graduation, the video shows a student looking toward the skyscrapers of Manhattan. His ambition is taking him places.

"I love the energy and the way people engage at Seton Hall," Afterimaging's Balmer said. "It's a special place to be and we were honored to help share a slice of life at the University."

Categories: Campus Life