Carlo Acerra, NCC alumni turned adjunct professor, has won two Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards in three years.
Acerra teaches Digital Music Production, Commercial Photography, and Multimedia Video Production. For Acerra, NCC holds a lot of history, it was the reason he decided to become a professor. His parents Donna and Mario Acerra are both professors and they used to bring him to campus in the summer throughout his childhood.
“NCC has such diversity across its student body and faculty, so working as part of that community is really special,” Acerra says.
Acerra was an editor for FireRock Productions for three and a half years. He worked in video production for about six years, taking on various roles. It was because of FireRock Productions that he and his company won two Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards. He received his first award in 2016 for a video about Nazareth, PA.
He received his second award on Sept. 28, 2019 for the documentary, “Sir W. Arthur Lewis: A Lasting Legacy,” a film about the first black full-time professor at Princeton University. Lewis taught at Princeton from 1963-1983 and won a Nobel Prize in 1979 for Economic Sciences. Lewis is remembered for his willingness to give back to the community. The auditorium where he lectured was recently named the Sir Arthur Lewis Auditorium. Acerra’s film commemorates Lewis’ life and scholarship.
The film also demonstrates how editors best share the emotion of the story with the viewer. during the editing process, work is done to create cohesion.
“I think that editing brought emotion into the film. Editors sift through hours of footage to find the exact moments that best tell the story, Acerra says. “I am really fortunate to have worked with the owners of FireRock Productions who are experts at visual storytelling. I worked under their guidance to craft a story that was both informative and moving,” he says.
Acerra was unaware of who Lewis was before the project. He was drawn to the project because of the historical component that required him to research, challenged him out of his comfort zone and provided an opportunity to work with Princeton University.
“I typically edit commercial style videos, so this provided a refreshing intellectual challenge. I’m so glad I was able to work on this project and learn about him [Lewis]. He accomplished so much in his lifetime and I now have a great deal of admiration for him,” Acerra says.
Acerra suggests that students, “never stop trying to learn.” He believes that students should seek out opportunities to gain new skills and expand their knowledge. Which is what happened for Acerra when he took on the documentary.
“I was able to learn so much from the process, both about Sir W. Arthur Lewis and about the technical aspects of editing,” Acerra says.
Acerra said that his own professors at NCC taught him to be a life-long learner. Upon entering his class, students swarmed him with questions. He is passing on the same lessons he learned.