Film-related mentorships help seniors gain experience working as professionals in the industry



The DV Club Council poses for their yearbook photo. Some members of council completed film-related mentorships.

Kaitlyn Delaney

Though CHS’ various elective courses provide students with hands-on experience, some courses are limited in opportunities for real-world experience. Mentorship, a required course for seniors at CHS, fills this gap, providing students with the opportunity to work for a local company and gain experience in a career path of their choice. The class creates opportunities for students to improve their skills on and observe professionals in fields like journalism, radio production, design and film.

Senior Vaughn Battista of Tinton Falls pursues his interest in filmmaking through his mentorship at the Lakehouse Music Academy in Asbury Park, a music school that combines musical instruction and live performances for learning musicians. Battista films their lessons and performances and edits the various clips into promotional videos.

Though Battista’s aspirations in film are more artistic than what his mentorship allows him to do, he explained that his work with the academy provided him with skills and experiences that are essential for the film industry, regardless of where his interests lie. 

“A lot of it comes down to being able to work with clients and doing commercial work,” Battista said. “A lot of my filmmaking is probably going to have to be done with working with various companies, and knowing how to make videos in a corporate style and how to adjust your filmmaking abilities to fit the needs of a brand identity or something is a very important skill.”

Senior Nicolas Chunn of Tinton Falls had a similar experience with his mentorship at Custom Video Productions in Red Bank. Chunn explained that, though he spent most of his time with Custom Video Productions editing podcasts, he gained valuable experience in the business aspect of the industry. Similar to Battista’s mentorship, the Custom Video Palace lies in a different area of the industry than what Chunn plans on pursuing.

The DV Club Council poses for their yearbook photo. Some members of council completed film-related mentorships.“Custom Video Productions is a corporate film place, which isn’t the path I want to go down, but chances are I’ll have to do something like that at some point to make money, and many of the lessons regarding the financial side of things can be applied all over the industry,” Chun explained.