Months of shouting into the void that is the film industry with hundreds (well probably more like 50 but still) of cold emails and general applications, where hundreds of applicants hope to one day get coffee for an executive at a network, eventually landed me an internship in New York City. With a focus on digital content, the production company I will be interning for has a small-indie feel while partnering with big networks like Food Network, Bravo, etc. The content they produce ranges from Snapchat stories to documentaries and operates mostly within the unscripted space.
The opportunity to intern for this company came as a direct result of my shouting. I originally applied to work for one of their subsidiary, daily productions as a PA. I got an email about the opportunity in the stressful month of March and I promptly penned my cover letter during an economics lecture that probably covered all of the things I didn’t know on my final. Within a week, I received a response that I would be getting a call from the executive producers for a phone interview later that week. The email came from a Michigan alum and had the warm salutations of someone rooting for me to succeed in an industry that will swallow you up and spit you out faster than you can say “Action,” or so the professionals say.
After the interview, I knew this would be the company I would be working for over the summer. They didn’t give me the job on the spot, but it seemed to be the perfect internship for me. Instead of being a PA on one set for the entire summer I would be a hybrid intern working closely with the development team, writing and pitching ideas, and still have similar opportunities to PA on all other New York productions that didn’t involve the subsidiary. In this internship I would be able to write and work on set. A perfect marriage of the two things I care about in filmmaking, all while living in the highly romanticized Big Apple and having the pocketbook of an unpaid intern. Needless to say, I ended up getting the internship and I have took this opportunity of a summer to work with the very friendly and kind voices that I spoke with over the phone.
Although this internship seems to fit the six-million-dollar-man mold of a job that I couldn’t imagine having while still in school, it does seem it will pose several challenges for a “green” intern with only experience in student productions. For one, I think it will be difficult to adjust to the creative expectations of working with a development team. Rather than writing when I “feel” creative it will be writing when I get an assignment. For two, it’s going to require me to navigate runs in the city without having lived in the city before which may test my geography skills. How do you channel your inner-Marco Polo(minus all the controversy of him stealing other people’s work, his need to exoticize different cultures, and his legacy of inspiring really oppressive and terrible explorers in the age of imperialism)? Finally, I think it will be difficult to adjust to the city itself and keep afloat financially without the constant flow of an income. Guess that’s what family is for?
Here’s to being in New York and hoping for the best!