As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a filmmaker [cue Goodfellas opening music].
At Michigan I dedicate most of my time to work on producing professional video content and personal short films. In my spare time I watch films, ranging from obscure foreign classics to modern blockbusters (all in the name of ‘research’), and fantasize about being one of the big names on the silver screen. Being a rising senior and graduation on the horizon, all of the stresses and challenges of realistically reaching this dream have quickly begun to cave-in on me in a manner that could only be humorous to some demented, maniacal god. But I take comfort in knowing that everyone had to start somewhere.
This summer I will be working at Studio71 in Los Angeles, a company dedicated to managing some of the biggest channels on YouTube (including Rhett and Link, Flula, and Tina Young). I will be working more specifically for Seven Bucks Productions, which focus on producing content for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s YouTube channel.
Although there are many number of goals that I would like to achieve during my ten weeks in Los Angeles (which definitely includes taking a picture with the biggest actor in Hollywood: Mr. Rock), but there are two in particular at the top of my list:
1. Create at least 3 pieces of video content for my personal portfolio.
There is no better way of understanding a person’s film abilities than through the final product. I’ve applied to a number of jobs and internships, sometimes they ask for a cover letter, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they want references, sometimes they don’t. But what they always want? To see your personal portfolio of works. Without fail they will ask. While in LA I want my portfolio to expand. I will be in a new setting, working with higher quality cameras, and professional crews, so this seems like a perfect opportunity to create some truly eye-popping, entertaining videos. Videos that can immediately display cinematography and editing skills to a future employer.
2. Establish a network of connections.
At this point it seems practically a cliche to say that “It’s all about connections”, but until I’m either proven otherwise or some other words of wisdom are smashed over my head for twenty years, I’m going to follow those words. Considering LA is where filmmakers live and die, as a hopeful filmmaker, there won’t be a better chance before the end of my college career to meet as many professionals in the entertainment industry. And who knows? If I’m as cool and suave in real life as I am in my fantasies, maybe these connections could help me have a job lined up for after graduation.
So as I sit in front of this computer screen–T-minus six days from the start of my internship–I think not on difficulties lying ahead, but on the chance to make my dream a reality.