Adventures of an EPICS Intern: To The Future…

This summer, I came to Los Angeles with an internship at Red Hour Films. It was a great internship with great people. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and most of all had a great time. Shortly after I got to LA, I secured a second internship at David Zucker Entertainment as support to a writer’s room, equally rewarding in ways that differed from Red Hour. A few weeks ago, I came to a fork in the road: continue with how I was going or make a slight change.

I learned something really valuable from this decision. I had to choose between working both of my internships for the rest of the summer or go five days a week at one and leave the other. It was a tough decision, because I was benefiting from both of them. And I wasn’t sure what to do. The other option was to work five days in the writer’s room, which sounds like a dream for a writer like me. But I was still conflicted. On one hand, I made a commitment to work at both internships for the entirety of the summer. On the other hand, I had learned something from that internship: it’s important to know when it’s time to move on.

AdamHughesimage001I’m not saying leaving an internship is for everyone. But in that moment, I knew I had to figure out what was going to be best for me. Five days as support to a writer’s room, to see how things start, how they grow, and how they end up. To work with a team of writers, editors, and producers. It seemed like a no brainer. But still, I felt an obligation to my first internship. That’s the funny thing about feelings. Sometimes they keep you from seeing clearly.

I’ve learned that this industry is full of these moments. Sure, right now, it’s just an internship. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. I came out here to start a solid foundation for a future after graduation. But you can’t move forward if you’re not willing to be honest with yourself. In that moment, I had to put myself on a path. So I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and made my choice.

Though I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had at my first internship, I know it’s not often that good opportunities throw themselves at you. The lesson I learned this summer is not to let things pass you by. Sometimes, you just have to step off the cliff and see where the fall takes you. Especially if you know, deep down, that you’re doing what’s best for you and your future. It’s about your attitude and how you get along with everyone else. Moving forward is the only way to move, so I hope that when others find themselves with decisions like this, they spend time working on the clarity of the situation. You don’t want life to pass you up.

Adam Tyler Hughes is a MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage student who is interning at Red Hour Films and David Zucker Entertainment over the summer.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Summer of Building and Learning

This summer, I have two internships in Los Angeles. They’re at Red Hour Films and David Zucker Entertainment. Though they’re both in LA, they couldn’t be more different. And both have solidified my desire to move to LA once I graduate and pursue a career in this industry.

At Red Hour, I read scripts, answer phones, and run errands as assigned. The greatest part about it is the reading, because it’s keeping me reading the medium regularly. As someone who wants to be a screenwriter out of school, it’s nice to see what writing is represented. More than that, the opportunity to read things others won’t get to is also beneficial. And sometimes, I even get to run errands with other interns, which is always a fun bonding experience.

Adam Hughes at David Zucker Entertainment
In the Writers’ Room with a fellow intern

At David Zucker, I sit in a writers’ room for a new comedic website and help find and create content for shorts. My fellow interns and I are an active part of the conversation, give opinions on ideas, and get to pitch our own ideas as we go. It’s a little intimidating to know these writers actually look to me for help, because I’m still in grad school and I’m still working to be in a writer’s room. But it’s fulfilling to know that I am contributing and that my contributions are wanted.

What I’ve learned from both my internships is that it’s really easy to get in your own head. When I came to LA at the beginning of this summer, I wanted to prove that I was cut out for this type of work. But in that, I find myself worrying that I’m not measuring up. Often, I feel that way for no reason. And I think a lot of people go through it. I, for one, know how hard it can be to overcome that, even outside of this summer. But then I remember I got these two internships because they saw something they wanted. So even during those times where I am stuck in my own head about my performance, I’m still there. It’s an opportunity that can’t be wasted on worrying. Sometimes you have to go with it.

Once I got myself to that point, I realized some key things. Building relationships is important. Most of my fellow interns want to move out here after school, too. Between my two internships, I’ve built a network that I can hopefully use after graduation. Another thing I’ve noticed is how easy it is to ask the people I work for about the industry. I’ve learned what kind of jobs people with my aspirations usually go for when they move to LA, and I’ve learned some of the ways I can prepare for that time over the next year.

I don’t believe that anything will ever go perfectly. But I do believe you get what you’re willing to work for. Sometimes, I am my own worst enemy, and it’s so easy to doubt myself when things feel less than exactly how I want them to go. The bottom line is, most of the people I’m working with or for started as an intern and worked their way to where they are. So between them and my many co-interns, it’s safe to say it’s okay to be a little optimistic as long as you believe in your future.

Adam Tyler Hughes is a MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage student who is interning at Red Hour Films and David Zucker Entertainment over the summer.