Rebecca Chiafullo grew up making and editing music videos together on her iPad. Now she’s spending her summer working at a post-production film company in Los Angeles after being accepted to the Television Academy Foundation Internship program.
Chiafullo is a Jackson native and a rising senior at Hofstra University, studying film and television. She decided to apply to the internship program after a faculty member at her university sent her the application.
She was one of 40 students chosen for the 2022 summer program, and is spending eight weeks working at her host company Geiger Post editing footage for film and television.
“This internship means a lot to me because it’s the biggest step into the industry I have had so far,” Chiafullo said. “It feels surreal to be chosen for this opportunity where I can experience a professional internship.”
Chiafullo helped edit footage and select voiceovers for this year’s BET Awards, and has worked on pilot pitches for network TV shows. She also has spent time working in coloring and finishing.
“It’s been really cool because I get to see different parts of the process within the editing house,” she said. “The great thing about this is that it’s helping me figure out exactly what I want. I know that I want to go into editing, but this internship has given me the experience to refine the idea of what I want after college.”
Networking is a big part of the industry, and Chiafullo is doing that, too. The other 39 interns are working in various categories at different host companies, but meet up with each other every Wednesday.
“I’m one of two editing interns, so it’s cool to get to meet people who are scriptwriters, who are in set design and sound,” Chiafullo said. “I don’t think I ever would have come out to LA for eight weeks mid-college if it wasn’t for this, so it’s been really good opportunity and now I finally get to know people out here and know that I could move out here after college and it wouldn’t be that huge jump anymore.”
Chiafullo started in filming and editing when she attended the digital media academy at Jackson Liberty High School.
“When I got to high school my teachers, Mr. Ferone and Mr. Noble, really pushed me and inspired me to chase my dreams in this industry, so I was filming and editing a lot in high school,” she said. “I also started my own wedding and event company, and was filming and editing highlight reels .
“I think that filming and editing highlight reels is what has given me the most opportunities in my life in general so far. When I went to college, I started doing highlight reels for the TV shows on campus … It was just a way for me to get involved quickly and show my skills, and that I can do that from anywhere as long as I have my computer.”
As for the future, Chiafullo is taking it one step at a time.
“The next step for me is working on my senior film project and my role as a producer for a show at school,” she said. “I just want to finish out my college career, and after that start fully putting myself out there to get a job in Los Angeles or New York City. Los Angeles has presented the most opportunities for me so far. Even though I’m from the East Coast, there’s a good chance I’ll end up out here, especially now with this internship under my belt.”
Chiafullo hopes to pursue a career as an editor who creates packages for television and music videos, or as an editor for television shows like Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”
“I am studying both film and television,” she said, “so I like having the film narrative aspect of things even when working in TV – the type of long-form narrative filmmaking that you’re able to edit and show both sides, TV and movie.
“I’m just grateful for this opportunity and the support I’m getting from the Television Academy, and the network of people I’m meeting,” she added. “All of the other students are so passionate, and I’m so glad I have the support of my friends, family and school. It’s a big jump from New Jersey to LA living by yourself for eight weeks, but I’m so glad I’m here.”
Intern Pari Walter is a rising junior at the University of Miami.