Woodbury Filmmaking Seniors Reflect on the Value of Internships

Woodbury University’s Filmmaking program provides an intensive experience in practical filmmaking coupled with a strong academic program. A key differentiator at Woodbury is that all students are required to hold an internship related to their area of study prior to graduation. George Larkin, Chair of the Filmmaking program and an industry veteran, often invites his network of entertainment professionals to serve as guest lecturers and connects his students to internship opportunities at surrounding film studios and production houses.

George helped the following three filmmaking students, who will graduate in May 2021, find internships that have been invaluable to their education and launching their careers.

 

Yasmine Torres, Senior, Filmmaking program

Yasmine aspires to be a writer-director, but until she reaches that goal she plans to start her career in creative writing. Her current internship at Secret Hideout, Inc., is a great place to start. Secret Hideout is a television and movie production company founded by Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote and produced the film Star Trek, and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. The company is also notable for the recent incarnations of the Star Trek franchise.

As an intern, one of Yasmine’s main responsibilities is covering scripts, which means she provides analysis of the script content. She also has the opportunity to sit in on meetings and take notes. Yasmine says, “It’s really cool to listen to the executives plan their external meetings, discuss changes to their shows, and give each other feedback in writing rooms. I feel like a fly on the wall getting the inside scoop of what goes on behind the scenes of shows that are currently on air!”

Her favorite experience from Woodbury’s Filmmaking program is getting to work with other students on practical, hands-on projects. “Almost every course gives us the opportunity to put our lectures into practice and get real experience on what we’d be doing when we graduate,” Yasmine explains.

 

Brody Garcia – Senior, Filmmaking Program

Brody aspires to pursue a career as a film editor and writer. He believes his education at Woodbury gave him a strong foundation to learn and grow skills around the fundamentals of filmmaking, including how lighting, editing and screenwriting work. To further these skills, Brody engaged in two internships; one at Di Bonaventure Pictures (DBP), known for producing the Transformers films, the G.I. Joe series, and many other action/ adventure films; and the other at Roddenberry Entertainment, a production and distribution company that co-produces the Star Trek series.

According to Brody, “The best thing about interning at DBP was the exposure to different types of writers and seeing how they went about writing their screenplays, TV pilots or books. This experience helped me better understand different approaches to storytelling and my own storytelling preferences.”

While he did the internship at Roddenberry Entertainment remotely over the summer of 2020, due to COVID, it was still incredibly rewarding. He was excited to participate in developing new projects that the company was trying to make. He even had the opportunity to edit a sizzle reel to support the pitch of a project.

Brody says, “This internship was such a great experience because they really valued my opinion and trusted me to work independently, which set it apart from the other internship I had. The sizzle reel I worked on was a prime example of this. I was given the framework of another intern’s work and told to build on it. My work was guided by my supervisor, but because I was free to shape the project, it ended up becoming more of a trailer for what the project could be.”

He found his internship at Roddenberry extremely rewarding. “It’s normal to think you’re doing work that isn’t making a difference, but when you feel like this, it’s important to look for opportunities to learn. I found this in writing script coverage. I was able to practice how to properly communicate my analysis of a script and refine my skills in what to look for in storytelling. These kinds of lessons are in every internship, but sometimes it takes doing the work to find them.”

 

Randee Palon, Senior, Filmmaking Program

With aspirations to become a television writer, Randee was able to get a glimpse of what this might look like during two different internships.

The first was with Di Bonaventura Pictures (DBP), a film and television production company on the Paramount Studio lot, founded by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who is known for producing the Transformers films, the G.I. Joe series, and many other action/ adventure films.

During this semester-long internship, Randee read prospective scripts, wrote reports on them, and discussed them with executives. She also was responsible for researching subject matter and reporting back to the team.

Her other internship was with Roddenberry Entertainment, a production and distribution company that co-produces the Star Trek series. (The same company where her classmate Brody Garcia was an intern.)

At Roddenberry she was given even more responsibilities, especially since it is a smaller company. When asked about this experience, Randee says, “I was lucky enough to sit in regular team meetings with various writers for different projects and was able to see the professional process unfold first hand.”

Most memorably, Randee was given an original script by Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, and asked to create a pitch deck, which is essentially a presentation of ideas for a potential film project that details story/plot points, characters, possible actors, and the world it takes place in.

Randee reflects on this internship saying, “My time at Roddenberry was such a special experience, and I still keep in contact with those I worked with. They gave me the opportunity to experience so much of the professional process and entrusted me with many projects. I will take all that I’ve learned to further my future endeavors.”

Last Updated on March 22, 2021.