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How to Find the Number to the Production Office

Brooke writes in:

I am looking for a specific internship on a production set and looking for information on whom to ask. I’m trying to find out through Warner Brothers if they know if there are internships on the production set of Supernatural. I researched for months about whom to contact and only yesterday was able to find a correct number to ask for information.

On the Warner Brothers website in the Frequently Asked Questions section, it says this:

Q: “I am interested in a production internship. How do I obtain an internship on set?”
A: “Production internships are dependent on production schedules and filming locations. We suggest that you try connecting with the productions directly as their internship hiring is frequently handled by those working on set. Many productions hire production assistants as opposed to interns.”

My question to you is, how am I supposed to contact that production directly if there isn’t any information about how to contact them, let alone ask them about possible internships? And I mean none, zero, I’ve searched far and wide and have turned up nothing on how to contact a specific production to ask if they offer internships and Warner Brothers website is not very user friendly; especially the Warner Brothers Career website which only offers careers at Warner Brothers and no information on specific production set positions.

Any advice would be most appreciated, thank you.

Brooke seems like a go-getter, and that’s fantastic. Making it in this business takes a lot of effort, and so she’s much farther along than many people her age.

Unfortunately, that effort is misdirected. She’s made two big mistakes.

First, you can’t get your heart set on a specific film or show. Timing is everything: they need to be looking to hire someone at the exact time you’re looking to be hired. You have to meet their qualifications (both stated and unstated) and you have to have the right personality to fit in with that show.

And, in all honesty, I would recommend not working on a show you like. I’ve done it a few times, and it ended up ruining the show for me every time. But the opposite is true, too- I’ve worked on shows that I never would’ve given a chance, and wound up becoming a fan after working with a great cast and crew.

Brooke’s second mistake is calling the studio. Film studios are big, lumbering beasts with thousands of employees. And more than most businesses, they have wackos trying to sneak onto their property and harass those employees all the time. Studio switchboard operators are trained to not connect you to anyone unless you have a specific name and department.

Instead, you can call the production company, and ask one quick question: “What’s the number for the [show title] production office?” That’s it. Don’t bother trying to get your internship through them.

Because shows are autonomous. The studio/production company gives them money and/or notes, but that’s it. The producers are on their own when it comes to hiring crew, from DPs to PAs.

Once you have that number, call and ask for the APOC or coordinator, whoever is available. Tell them you’re a college student and you’re interested in interning for college credit.

Be prepared for a “No.” That’s right, they might turn down free labor. Crazy, but true. After the Black Swan lawsuit, many studios and networks passed very strict rules about hiring interns.

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6 Responses

  1. So you can really just say “Hello, what’s the number for the _______ production office?” It’s that simple? I’m just curious if that’s all the etiquette required of calling a production company for information. Is there something I can say that will make them more likely to give me that number?

    1. Almost all television series are produced by the big studios. Since the Black Swan thing, they will not hire interns unless they’re getting college credit.

      1. I found this strange but I interviewed at a few significant companies for internship positions and I always casually dropped that I could earn college credit for the reasons listed above but was told that wasn’t necessary. Believe me when I say I was as surprised as anyone. Still, whether they require it or not, always have the ability to earn credit in your back pocket. It’s easy and it shows you’re looking out for all parties involved.

    2. This is a bit of a cheat but you can still earn college credit even if you’re not a college student. LA City College specifically has the Cooperative Education Work Experience program that can be found here:

      http://www.lacitycollege.edu/services/co-op/

      The contact listed there (Juliana Medina) was extremely helpful in answering my questions (which was basically 1) Yes, I can earn college credit for an internship through this program for standard cost of community college units and 2) No, I did not have to be a part or full time student to participate in this program). If the deadline for enrollment is passed you can even enroll in the next session and attribute the work you’re about to do retroactively. Confusing, I know, but the upshot is you have the ability to technically enroll any time of year and earn college credit if that’s required.

      You still have to find your own internship positions but this is a huge leg up for people who aren’t current college students.

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