JACKSON – Township resident Rebecca Chiafullo has been working hard this summer in Hollywood California experiencing what others in her field would call a dream job.
The young Hofstra University – Lawrence Herbert School of Communications student graduated from Jackson Liberty High School and will be a senior this fall majoring in film and television.
She was chosen for the prestigious Television Academy Foundation Internship program and is one of just 40 students selected from across the country for the 2022 summer program.
The Foundation’s annual Internship Program provided eight-week paid internships at top Hollywood studios and production companies to college students nationwide. She has been an editing intern at Geiger Post, a post-production facility in Hollywood.
“It feels surreal to be chosen for this internship by Television Academy members where I can experience a professional internship,” Chiafullo said. “I am so thankful and honored to be selected for this opportunity where I hope to network with equally as enthusiastic students as well as learn skills from professionals at my host company Geiger Post.
“It has empowered me to not underestimate my skills and take as much away from this internship program as I can so I can continue my editing career after college,” she added. “This internship means a lot to me because it is the biggest step into the industry I have had so far.
“I’ve been watching a lot of the editors and each of them works on different things and so I can learn from each of them. One of the things I helped on minimally was the BET awards which is something that already happened. I’ve been learning from them and they have let me practice edit some of the cool projects they are working on,” she told The Jackson Times during her sixth week of the internship.
“I was part of the Jackson Television program for four years throughout high school – The Digital Media Academy. My high school Digital Media Academy teachers Mr. (Harry) Ferone and Mr. (Ethan) Noble were absolutely incredible and I used to call them my second dads. They and the whole school truly set me up for success,” she added.
Chiafullo noted that she was more than well prepared when she went to college thanks to her preparation during her high school years, “I had a lot under my belt which was awesome. I was at school during the normal hours and then would also stay as long as I possibly could to work on stuff and do Jackson Television and there were film competitions all over the country.”
“We won for a music video and I was student of the year. They had such a cool program and you got what you put into it. I’ve called and texted them (Ferone and Noble) while I’ve been here in LA as a reminder that they are the best,” she added.
“My parents have ultimately inspired me to chase my dreams in this industry. Since the start, they always believed in my creativity, drive and excitement in this field. Their continued support through all the unknowns of developing a career in television is what continuously inspires me to put my best foot forward and continue to strive to do more,” Chiafullo said.
“In high school I did a lot of highlight reels for event videography for my own business and other people’s businesses so that is what really got me into film editing in a creative highlight style and when I went to college I got involved with the TV network and did different things offering myself as a behind the scenes video board where I was able to show off my skills.”
The intern said, “I wouldn’t normally have been able to get into those programs just yet as a freshman or sophomore but they were very good at being able to get us involved. I did a lot of editing and I noticed most of the time, no matter what class I was in I became the class editor whether it was post production or a narrative film.”
“I started to work for our TV and film program at the University and I started to get to know a lot of the faculty and got involved with it as much as I possibly could,” she added.
“The Television Academy picks the students, the 40 of us and there is an editing category, a producer category, a writing category and others and all 40 interns meet every Wednesday. We became friends and we all work at different companies. There is only me and one other editing intern,” she noted.
The Internship Program also provides professional development sessions with leaders in the television industry and customized seminars covering personal brand building and navigating the job market ahead for participating students.
Interns also become lifelong members of the Foundation’s alumni giving them access to events and networking opportunities as they build their careers in the industry.