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Television and Film Arts Students Earn Hands-on Experience, Internships

Television and Film Arts Students Earn Hands-on Experience, Internships

Posted: May 26, 2015

For students in the television and film arts (TFA) program, on-set experiences and hands-on opportunities are coming into deep focus.

Seven current TFA students can now add work on a major motion picture to their resumes. The students were hired as production assistants for the upcoming Paramount Pictures movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, which recently filmed several key scenes in the city of Buffalo near the Buffalo State campus.

Farther from home, TFA students have landed spring and summer internships in entertainment hubs like New York City and Los Angeles with such companies as Focus Features, NBC, and the Oxygen Network.

“I just completed an internship at Viacom Media Networks in the Media Planning Department at Nickelodeon,” said Cassandra Crimmen, ’15, a TFA alumna who grew up in Buffalo and just landed a full-time job with Hulu, an online video content provider. “The best part of being in New York City is the ability to gain insight into the environment where we aspire to work. This was my third internship. With my teachers’ encouragement, I previously found and completed internships with NBC Universal and CBS Broadcasting Inc. at Showtime Networks.”

Some recent TFA graduates have parlayed their just-completed internship experiences into full-time jobs, too. Michael Esposito, ’14, and Joseph Kostiw, ’15, and Kaylee Peters, ’13, have been retained by Nickelodeon; Tony Campanella, ’09, works at Disney TV Animation; and Scott Jarrett, ’09, works as a scriptwriter on the hit CBS show NCIS.

“In the highly-competitive landscape of television and film, I am proud to say that our students and graduates are effectively competing with students from the most prominent film programs in the country,” said TFA director Jeff Hirschberg.

Since 2009, more than 50 TFA students have enjoyed internships and full-time positions at leading film production companies including 20th Century Fox, Bravo, Comedy Central, Disney, MTV, Showtime, Warner Bros., and many others.

This spring and summer semester alone, TFA students worked in 26 high-profile entertainment industry internships and jobs, making this the program’s most active year ever.

Buffalo State’s TFA program is the only one of its kind in the State University of New York (SUNY) system and combines coursework from the Communication, English, and Theater departments, with TFA courses designed specifically for the major. The highly selective program enrolls just 15 students each year.

Want to see what TFA students are working on? Check out the TFA program’s YouTube channel.

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