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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