With the internship now complete, I can now begin the never stressful task of reflecting on the experience and planning how I’m going to tackle the rest of my life.
The good news is that my ultimate dream goal of being the next great film director has endured the internship and remains what I will continuously strive to achieve. Although most of summer was working on pre-production in preparation for the shoot dates, I always cherished and valued those days on set far more than being in the office. This doesn’t mean I loathed being in the office. On the contrary, I surprisingly enjoyed that time (simply to a lesser extent than on set), and one of my goals for this final year at Michigan is to expand the base of producer skills I’ve established over the course of the summer.
I am an active member of the film clubs on campus: M-agination Films and Filmic Productions, where most of the work I’ve done has been as a writer and/or director, but this year I want to take on more of a producer role. Be the lead producer on projects, organizing locations and actors, managing budgets, and generally ensuring that the production is successfully carried out.
The other main goal of this year is to make more connections (very original, I know). As a senior though I can no longer look at those older than me who are entering the work force or those the same year as I know a majority of them already. Instead my strategy this year involves two channels: professors and underclassmen.
Professors might seems obvious, but I’ve never made much of an effort to connect with many of them (aside from a few). No real reason why I didn’t, but now I feel that this last year is a chance for me to correct the error of my previous ways.
As for the underclassmen, that’s a whole ocean of untapped connections. Over the past summer I’ve met up with a number of previous Michigan alum I’ve met through LinkedIn and/or various school connections, but my two favorite were upperclassmen I knew as a freshman and sophomore because they remembered who I was and didn’t treat me as a “Let’s grab coffee”, they wanted to have fun and instead we went out for drinks and a good time. They gave me a very real and more personal rundown of their move out to LA and how they work in the industry. They talked to me as a friend, not a favor. This is what I want to be a few years down the line to some freshmen and sophomore, that I meet as a senior, who may be just entering the film scene.
And who knows? One thing I learned this summer is that everyone moves at different speeds along their career paths, paths riddled with right-time-right-place luck, so you never know where your next job might come from. Maybe I’ll be the one asking for a job from an underclass connection I make this year.