Being in a new city, thousands of miles from home, you begin to crave some sort of consistency or “place of your own,” especially if you’re sharing an apartment. I have chosen Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf as my place of solace. The little getaway is right around the corner and offers free wireless internet, not to mention delectable treats. So here I am, in the perfect refuge for a soul-searching, caffeine-loving intern.
An update of events leading up to this moment of complete satisfaction:
Wednesday July 8th: Marvel-Visual Effects Department
- My first official day at Marvel was spent with the Visual Effects (VFX) Department, notably: Visual Effects Producer Diana Giorgiutti (she handles the VFX budget) and Visual Effects Supervisor Wesley Sewell (he takes care of creative aspect of VFX), two of the coolest people ever.
- I gained insight into the history of filmmaking and the future of visual effects (as well as some basics that were crutial to understand for someone like me who knows very little about how computers actually work :p).
- Some of the most useful tools for filmmakers of the 21st century are Cynesync (conference call with super powers) and Previsualization/Animatics (seeing into the future).
Thursday July 9th: Marvel – Art Department
- After a tour of various rooms, sprinkled with illustrations, models, plans, and hard-working animation gurus, I gained an immense amount of respect for artists. I also realized this was not a field I could ever work in because I don’t think my brain could function so creatively!
- This day was mostly spent getting to know all of the art department crew and helping with research for visual “references” that would later transform into sets/scene environments.
- During lunch, I finally met another intern! It turns out “Corporate” (Marvel’s corporate office, located down the street from the production building/studio) has a slew of interns themselves. I have managed to uncover top secret information about intern gatherings from my new Corporate intern friend Louis, and will be tagging along next week for a group outing to a comedy club =) Joking aside, as far as “Connecting w/Other Interns” goes, you should just try to be outgoing and friendly and get to know your fellow interns. Their past experiences could open doors for you in the future, or at the very least, be enlightening and a good topic of conversation for an ice breaker.
Friday July 10th and Saturday July 11th: NYFA
- My first days working Job #2 as a Promotional Associate for the New York Film Academy (NYFA). Nothing too glamorous here folks, but actually a lot more fun than I imagined. I am so excited to have this position because I get to interact with a ton of different people each day. Furthermore, as I thoroughly enjoy acting, it’s good practice in the sense that you have to maintain energy and positivity every time you walk into a business and request to display your flyers in their store. This simple task also leaves room for creativity, a challenge I’ve embraced. Instead of just handing over a stack of flyers to the manager, I take pictures of the employees with our posters and t-shirts, thereby buying me more time to discuss the school I’m working for and the programs we offer. The picture below is one of my favorites; it’s a hair salon in Westwood and the staff was so friendly and exciting that the simple task practically turned into a photoshoot.
Monday July 12th: Marvel-Production Office
- Rotated to Production with Production Coordinator, Page Rosenberg-Marvin and Assistant Production Coordinator Paul LaZebnik. Later, got the chance to hang out with a Production Assistant (also named Ali). She had started out working for an agency, which she says, prepared her very well so that’s another type of internship that I’m now looking into for the future.
- After lunch at Chipotle (yummy), Page took us on a tour of the Iron Man 2 set, which is rapping up production next door. The sets are simply awe-striking in their magnitude and intricacy. I mean, there are massive wooden structures that create the effect of walls, precisely placed lighting, set design, and about 30394304738 million different wires. On a big budget “show,” as they call it, such as Iron Man 2 (and eventually, Thor, when it begins shooting) the movie set functions much like city: everyone knows their trade contributes to the assembly-like process.
- On a fun sidenote, this was the day I feasted my eyes upon the dreamy Australian hunk Chris Hemsworth, who will play the lead in Thor, and the ageless Gwenyth Paltrow. For more on this and my VERY EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT, look for my latest video blog within the next couple of days on my YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/user/itsfun2singalong
Tuesday July 14th: NYFA
Wednesday July 15th: Marvel
- Spent the day with Producer’s and Director’s Assistants: Dan and Ben, and Production Researcher Eric. Today I shredded a ton of paper, transcribed a script read-through, arranged posters in frames, and made a couple of deliveries. Starting form the bottom in the film industry, my point of view is: the intern is to do what’s asked of them, no matter what it is, and do it without complaint, in a speedy, focused manner. Your goal as an intern or a P.A.(production assistant) is to impress your superiors and make strong enough connections that they will take you with them as they climb the latter or if they’re already near the top, they would be willing to invite you to get closer.
- Later in the day, things got interesting. Outside of our office they were filming a scene of Iron Man 2 so, with Producer Arne Schmidt’s permission, I snuck out and observed. It was an incredible sight: 50 people standing around, a blue screen in the background, a [very expensive] car as the focus of the shot, and a large piece of machinery holding some sort of silk material in place overhead all for what will probably end up being two seconds of the film. Once they got the shot (the car pulling up 10 feet and my good friend Gwenyth exiting the vehicle), they began to disassemble the entire setup.
- The last part of my day was special because Arne sat down to speak to me about his life and how his path led him to his current position in the industry. I love hearing people’s “stories” in general, but it was especially great to get to hear the life story of an accomplished producer (especially one that hails from Cleveland, Ohio!).
Thursday July 16th: NYFA
- NYFA work in Santa Monica again.
Today, Friday July 17th: Marvel
Well, that’s all for now friends! I look forward to your comments/questions. Don’t forget to check out my YouTube Channel for more of the exciting stuff that my life here in LA is made of.