Weekly Round-up (8/24-8/28)

InternshipJobRoundup

 

 

 

 

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internships and full-time opportunities!

Internships:

Chicago/Evanston

Los Angeles

Full-Time:

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Atypical Day at Funny or Die, Choose Your Own Adventure Edition!

When you go into the Funny or Die offices in Los Angeles, it has the vibe of a tech startup rather than a production company.

FOD Horse[1]Then you see the giant horse wearing a top hat. Then you see people riding around on handless Segways called “Aisle Hawks”. Then you see some celebrity having a meeting about filming a sketch where they weep over the One Direction break up.

These three things are not exclusive to a “Fun Friday” or some holiday party. No, these things happened every day this summer while I interned at Funny or Die. It’s an unconventional workplace , but it’s unconventional nature showed me how creativity can still exist (even in the depths of Hollywood).

I thought for the sake of this blog I would walk you through my average day at Funny or Die. A place where I worked 9 am-7:30 pm and loved every minute of it. So without further ado, here’s what a typical (or an atypical) day looks like…

9:00 am: Arrive at FoD’s building, which is located on a lot in West Hollywood.

9:05 am: You’ve made coffee, stocked the refrigerator and made the grocery list.

9:10 am: Don’t forget the bathrooms! The men’s room needs the scented candle lit, an iPad playing Frank Sinatra, headlines posted above the urinals. MOST IMPORTANTLY: urinals need blue ice cubes put in every 2 hours to preserve “freshness and esteem”.

9:20 am: You go grocery shopping and see one of the guys from Reno 911!  Buying lettuce. He likes Romaine. Hmm.

10:10 am: Back at FoD. You stock everything you just bought, and then go to the downstairs reception desk. That’s your assignment for the day.

Wes Humphrey- Funny or Die10:30 am: You do the duties of the Front Desk Greeter! You greet everyone who comes in, and help him or her get to the right place. BE ON YOUR TOES THOUGH: If the phone rings more than three times, you have to answer it because the people upstairs couldn’t get it in time.

11:00 am: You are doing script coverage, feedback and notes, for a bad script when your boss tells you that you have a high profile job: A big celeb is coming in and she needs her lunch.

11:30 am: You return with her Curried Chicken Sandwich (YUM). You killed it. Celeb #1 thanks you for the lunch. You try to keep it together because she is Celeb #1 and she is talking to you.

NOON: One of the Execs had a baby! Hooray for him! And he is an NU Alum! Double hooray. You need to drive to his house and drop off a basket of goodies from FoD.

12:30 pm:  You drive to the exec’s house. He answers the door and is so happy for the basket! Also, he looks extremely put together for just having a kid. Maybe that’s what the NU prep is good for?

1:00 pm: You return to FoD, and are immediately sent on another run. Runs are a typical thing in the life of an FoD intern. From lunch, to props for a shoot, you are vital in getting these things all together for the employees.

1:35 pm: You arrive at your destination! It’s a giant VHS tape warehouse. You get a box of tapes and head back to the office.

2:15 pm: You eat an avocado! It’s California, baby! They are EVERYWHERE.

3:00 pm: You have been running the phones. Taking calls, connecting them with employees. All in a day’s work.

4:00 pm: Celeb #2 and Celeb #3 come in for a meeting. They are very nice. They want to go get candy before their meeting.

4:05 pm: The Celebs are back. No Candy.

4:30 pm: Time for your last run of the day. It’s a two parter! You drop a broken phone off at the Apple Store. Then head over to a home goods store to pick up some stuff for a premiere happening.

5:00 pm: You picked up the “Burlap Floor Runner” and head back to the office. Now you are back at the front desk.

6:00 pm: You’ve finished the script coverage and advise them in your write up to not make the movie.

6:10 pm: YOU FORGOT TO FILL THE BATHROOM ICE UP ALL DAY.

6:20 pm: You filled the bathroom ice. Crisis averted.

7:00 pm: You get to go upstairs and sit with the other interns because the front doors lock at 7. No more greeting for the day!

7:15 pm: You restock the fridge, the cabinets and make sure the bathroom is okay.

7:31 pm: You say goodbye to the office horse and head home for the day.

I hope this gives some sort of insight as to what it’s like to be an intern at a “Big Time Hollywood Moving Pictures Company”. It was a blast all summer, and I learned so much about not only the company, but also myself.

Menial tasks are not menial. And no job is too small. And at Funny or Die, they actually give interns a full, fun experience. And the chance to ride on a really cool handle less Segway.

Wes Humphrey is a rising senior studying Theatre. Wes interned with Funny or Die this summer.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Getting to Eat on the Job

When I first started interning for Whitehouse Post, I was expecting it to be a lot of introverts that stayed inside their dark editing suites. This was my schema for “Editors.” But what I quickly learned is that the people who work in post-production are refreshingly social creatures, and they spent a lot of time in the same area that I did: the kitchen.

DiMaso 1
I have tried every beverage in this fridge… today alone.

Every morning I take the purple line express from Davis to Merchandise Mart on an empty stomach. This isn’t the smartest thing to do in the mornings – I know that – but I do it because I get to eat breakfast and lunch at my internship. Now, I think having “free” food at the office was a thing that I had maybe heard about before in movies, but I had never witnessed it firsthand. And let me tell you, it freaking rocks. They’ve always got options for meals and snacks, and it’s an area I (ashamedly) spend more time in than I probably should.

This is just one perk of working at the premier editing company (or “Posthouse,” as they say in “the biz”) in Chicago.

I immediately started to get a sense of the company culture when I met the other two runners – in passing. The workers move fast, literally and figuratively, and things have got to get done. My orientation training was walking out of the building to go on a run, only to come back and sit in on a project for a national fashion company. I learned people’s names not through introductions, but by other people saying “please go drop this off to [NAME] in suite 8.”

And while the above makes the internship seem like a fast-forwarded cartoon, there were many times throughout the day where I got to hang out with people. And as it turns out, everyone is very friendly, interested in your work, and also all friends outside of work. When I first mentioned that I was involved in Northwestern Sketch Television (NSTV) to one of the assistant editors, he asked me right then and there if I could show him some of our stuff. I showed him two sketches, and he was blown away!

Moreover, we recently had two employees leave the company to pursue other interests. And besides throwing a celebratory party in their honor, the coworkers took it upon themselves to edit together (obviously using their own strengths) sentimental send-off videos. They did this on their own time – and having your “own time” is precious in this industry, as runners, assistant editors, and editors can sometimes spend up to 60ish hours in a week working – and then surprised their friends/coworkers with these videos.

DiMaso 2
“My tastes are very… singular.” – Christian Grey

As an intern, I also got to work (in this super-friendly, hyper-productive work environment) on my own projects. I re-learned Avid through shadowing and Lynda.com videos (provided by Whitehouse), and I started to teach myself Adobe After Effects. So in addition to interning at a fantastic company, I was also taking away hard-skills that will benefit me in the future. (My current project is a re-cutting of the 50 Shades of Grey movie trailer, wherein Christian is a guy who really wants to fly planes and is trying to negotiate a contract deal with Anastasia, the plane mogul who owns his dream plane… if you’ve seen the movie, maybe you can imagine it in your head?)

This is mainly a project that allows you to emulate a professional advertisement (usually commercials, but I chose a movie trailer instead); but it’s also a “show and tell” project, as at the end of your internship, the company invites all of the employees to a “screening” where they can view your project and give feedback. So, it’s not just a little side project to make you feel occupied; it’s something that the company wants to see because they care about you.

When I get home from interning at Whitehouse Post, I either have to (a) make my own dinner or (b) pick it up. This is so much harder to do once you’ve been spoiled with having a fully stocked kitchen at your disposal, so in one way Whitehouse has made me a lazier person. But I think that is totally overshadowed by the work ethic that I learned at the company, the commitment to the craft each employee dedicates, the artistry that goes into commercial editing, and the friendships that you can make at a high-level company.

Nick DiMaso is a senior studying Radio/Television/Film. Nick interned with The Whitehouse Post this summer.

Weekly Round-up (8/3-8/21)

InternshipJobRoundup

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internships and full-time opportunities!

Internships

Chicago/Evanston

Los Angeles

Full-Time/Freelance

Chicago/Evanston

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Diving Into Real Estate

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This past summer, I accepted a full-time internship position at Mohr Partners in their downtown Chicago office. Mohr Partners is a commercial real estate agency headquartered out of Dallas, Texas, but they have offices in major cities throughout the United States. Mohr Partners focuses on representing tenants and only tenants when it comes to representation, and Mohr uses their expertise to drive costs down while getting the most ‘bang for your buck’ when it comes to acquiring commercial space.

I decided that this internship was the best possible fit for me this summer because I have a passion for real estate, and after talking to numerous professionals in the field, I found out that commercial real estate is most lucrative when it comes to making money and being able to ‘climb the ladder.’

When I first applied to the opening, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I’d never heard of a tenant rep real estate broker. As I arrived on the first day of work, I was greeted by a broker named Steve Paramski (a former NU alum). From day one, Steve took me under his wing and showed me everything he does on a typical workday, as well as the little things he does to stay loose and relaxed in the office.

A typical workday at Mohr consists of arriving to the office around 9:00 am and instantly cold calling prospective companies to source business. According to Steve and the rest of the employees at Mohr, cold calling is the single most valuable skill that a broker can have because the art of communication and persuasion is vital to staying alive in this industry. Other brokers are always competing for the same prospects, and since being a broker in the real estate industry is based on only commissions and sales, it is cutthroat. I also learned the importance of time management because in the mornings it only cold calls, but in the afternoon is when the brokers respond to current clients and their needs.

My experience at Mohr Partners has been phenomenal. From the first day I arrived, I have learned new things everyday that will hopefully help me be more successful in the future if I decide to pursue a career in the real estate field.

For anyone out there interested in real estate, I would highly recommend interning at a brokerage firm because I have been able to learn how leases work, how they are properly written out, how to negotiate, and most importantly how to utilize the current market in order to find the best possible deal.

Joe Schindler is a rising junior studying Communication Studies.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: A World of Comedy

Maryssa2
Fancy Avalon paper.

 

My first day at Avalon Entertainment and Management started with me getting locked in the stairwell, going up and down five flights of stairs before realizing none of the doors would open and then walking back down to the ground floor and finding an elevator. This (retroactively) comedic experience was fitting to kick off my internship with the production and management company in Beverly Hills that works everyday with brilliant comedians.

Avalon is a production and management company. This means that the company both manages clients (mostly comedian/actors) and produces its own shows. This also means that the company is not an agency, as I learned in my interview for the internship during which I said “I’m interested in working for an agency.” Luckily my extreme ignorance must have been taken as endearing because I was corrected, then hired and I have been learning new things at Avalon ever since!

Maryssa1
Ping pong table where I sometimes win games.

In fact, my first task at Avalon was to learn about every single one of the clients they manage. I spent my first day looking up each of their clients, reading about and watching the work the clients have done (mostly hilarious stand-up videos on Vimeo, surprisingly not too painful a task), and taking light notes in my notebook on each. This is what I gathered: Avalon manages about 100 clients, roughly 80 men and 20 women, mostly Caucasian, 20-40 years old and funny.

After I finished going through the clients I proudly went back to the manager who assigned me this task and declared I was “finished!” Task one: CHECK. Bring on task two. Oh, what’s task two you ask? I was then asked to use the deep knowledge on the clients that I’d gathered to look through a website of casting notices with different character descriptions for roles and come up with a list of potential clients that could be submitted to each role.

Let me give you an example of one of the character descriptions for a health insurance commercial:

“[BIRTHDAY WOMAN] 25-30, CAUCASIAN -5’ 6”ish. Very pretty girl next door look. Good actress. Needs to have great facial expressions (squeamish, eye rolls, etc.)”

So looks late-20s, Caucasian, AND a good actress? Ah yes, according to my research that would be… Every single woman that we represent.

I quickly found that despite my research, I had no way of differentiating the clients and had no idea if I was actually appropriately matching clients with jobs. I was then asked to send out the list of potential actors/actresses for each role to all of the managers. There are seven managers at Avalon, five in the Los Angeles office where I work and two in the New York office. Of those seven, I had so far met one. I was therefore slightly hesitant to send out an email to the managers with my opinions on which roles were right for their clients, whose careers I knew intimately from my one day of research.

Maryssa3
Kitchen where one time we had Hot Cheetos and where I occasionally every day hope that I’ll find bagels.

 

Despite my hesitance, I did it and left the office after day one feeling as though I might have just hugely failed.

Day two I returned to Avalon and received an email from one of the mangers in New York thanking me for the list and saying it was really helpful! I had not failed! However, I knew that my vague notes on each client would not do, and in my free time compiled a spreadsheet with pictures and more detailed notes.

Submitting clients to roles is now a job I do regularly and confidently, along with research for new TV shows, editing of clients video reels, interacting (smoothly) with clients, and many more random tasks everyday. Often I’m not sure I’m doing everything correctly, but everyday I learn more about Avalon (see below) and the entertainment industry at large!

More things I’ve learned:

  • Never touch the sponge in the kitchen because it will make your fingers smell like moldy sponge forever.
  • If you break the shredder wait a day to tell anyone because it might just be mad at you for using it for 30 minutes straight and need a day to cool off before you can kiss and make up and use it again.
  • People underestimate my ping pong abilities.
  • Volunteer to unpack the Amazon groceries because then you get to see what the new snacks are first.
  • When clients come to visit the office say “Nice to meet you” and think “I have watched every stand-up you’ve ever done and know all about your six cats and your recent ear hair problems.”
  • Fill up a water bottle of cold, filtered water at the end of the day because it’s infinitely better than the warm water from your moldy sink at home.

Maryssa Sklaroff is a rising junior studying Radio/Television/Film.