It has now been just over a week since I completed my first summer of film internships, and now that I am settled back at school I have naturally been reflecting on my summer as I enter this exciting transition time. Being able to move to Los Angeles for the summer was the result of a lot of work and effort by my family and I, as well as a small dose of chance. But the immense toil in getting to where I ended up paid off, and the result of things falling into place so well have created a litany of favorite experiences that will go on to define my life in pursuing film.
Being in an actual LA production office was the closest contact I had ever had to a “look behind the curtain,” and even just reading and reviewing scripts as the baseline of my position allowed me creative insight I had only been taught of in class. I got to see plenty of materials that were being shopped around beyond scripts, including various forms of pitches, books, short films, and even got to review two cuts of two not-yet-released films in the “picture lock” stage.
This access into the film industry continued even with just my coworkers, who had worked on countless films in the past that I admire. I truly enjoyed how FilmNation wanted interns to feel that they were an active component to the office’s process and were being provided a strong learning experience. This resulted in our having Skype sessions weekly with the New York office interns, and together we would have a lecture with an executive who would detail their own life and career and then take questions.
But this conglomeration of access and experiences absolutely boils down to one key, favorite experience during my summer internship. I have mentioned one of the executives in another posting of mine, one who had been the most key player in creating some of my all-time favorite films and director. Having the opportunity to work with him, and even ask some questions over lunch, really helped me ground a lot of my aspirations -and new considerations that changed over the summer- into a realistic path that is both reassuring and exciting. Coming out of this summer, I absolutely feel that I have a more concrete idea of where I am going, and much of why that is comes down to the office and executives I was able to work for.
Outside of work, I took time to explore the coasts and mountains of Los Angeles, as well as some cool hidden spots in the city to spend with friends and family, or finesse my next deal. This summer has shown me that I can have a good life out west, and can be the person to do so.