Robert DeBoucher is a Marketing major who will graduate in 2020. He was the Summer Intern for Red Baron Films in Los Angeles, California.
How did you get this internship? After being rejected by the internship program of pretty much every major studio in Hollywood, I started looking at the small production companies around town (the ones that actually make the content). I stumbled upon a small studio in Manhattan Beach looking for interns. Rather than apply through their website, I dug through the internet and found the owner’s email address and sent him a message with my resume (attempting to bypass the traditional application approach). In about a week, I heard back from him and he liked what I had to offer enough to let me join the team.
What was a typical day like? Every day brought something completely new. My boss is often quickly moving around LA and is rarely in his own office so a traditional office experience was unlikely. I would often work from my apartment when he was busy, only needing to come into the office when he was there. This frantic energy trickled down to the kind of work I did as well, each day bringing a completely new challenge from the day before.
What was your favorite part of the experience? Easily the best aspect of this experience was the inside look I got at how Hollywood actually operates. It turns out that I (like most of us), had been told a variety of things that were completely false. Seeing how this industry actually worked, first hand, was extremely fascinating.
If you worked on a big project, please describe it below: Since I was working for a small company, I was given many opportunities to grow into larger and larger responsibilities. Culminating in two large projects that ended the summer and are continuing into this fall semester. I was given the role of editing a pilot episode for a prospective TV show and was given a co-producer role on a small feature film that is currently filming. The co-producer responsibility was probably the most work of the entire summer as I was given much of the logistical management of the film’s production. From finding locations, to getting permits, to casting the film, I was responsible for it and if it failed, it’d be on me. Luckily there hasn’t been a catastrophic failure on my end yet, so things have continued to go smoothly.
What did you find most challenging about your internship? The most challenging aspect of this internship was adjusting to an entire new industry and personality type. There are a lot of high energy people in the film industry and it can get pretty intense, so keeping a cool head can be difficult.
What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar internship? I would say not to waste your time going after the big companies we all know about, they’re likely to not get back to you or put you in menial positions (unless you’re a finance person, NBC loves finance people). But I’d say go for the smaller companies that can give you more responsibilities and interesting work to do. Their more approachable and many of them have easy to find contact information online. Also try and build a personal connection with the people who work there so you aren’t just another generic resume online, try and stand out.
How did Eller prepare you for your internship? I would say that it’s hard to pinpoint how Eller helped me get this position since its pretty different from most positions that Eller students are looking for. That being said, the interview and communication skills I’ve gained through my education with Eller definitely helped me lock down this opportunity. Many students undervalue the benefits of solid communication skills but I think they are the most crucial aspect of any workplace setting.
Did your internship employer provide housing or transportation assistance? No, my employer did not provide any housing or transportation assistance.