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May 09, 2008

Another Day at the Internship

I'm starting to think that one of the most valuable parts of my schooling here will be taking advantages of the internships. It's just such a great education to be in a production office, hearing how they view the business, getting comfortable with the scene.

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to share notes with the assistant there. It was a great conversation, and I think he enjoyed it as much as I did. Many of my suggestions were very well received. One of the head execs there overheard much of our discussion and stepped in to tell us he thought what we were talking about was great.

Anyway, the most intriguing part of the day came when I was asked to read a magazine article that they have optioned. Yes, that's right, a magazine article. This company paid a large sum of money to the author of a two page magazine article for the right to use her article (which has no story and no characters, but just a general opinion... and yes that opinion is interesting and thought-provoking) as the basis for a feature length film. I love this town. I really do.

Anyway, it's very short, and there is no story, just a general point of view. He wanted to know if I had any thoughts on it, and I shared some. Then I asked about the script development process when it comes to an article without any story or characters or visuals or anything. He said they have been listening to pitches for some time now but they've all been wrong.

Now I happened to get a pretty good idea when I was reading the article for a comedy that could demonstrate what the article was saying while being entertaining and funny and heart-warming.

One thing I've learned out here is that no one ever offers you anything. They wait for you to ask for it. And once you ask for it, quite often they are happy to honor your audacity. So I thought "What the heck" and said, "Well I had a story idea, mind if I pitch it to you so you can see if it has potential?" He said... sure, that would be awesome.

I shared my story idea and he was really taken with it, saw the potential, and said that could really work. So now I'm writing a more fleshed out treatment of the story for him to review next week. Not sure exactly where that will head, but you never know. And I have to say, the story could really work.

One last bit to share. I'm learning and developing the skill to really think strategically. To not let everything "just happen" but to use the things that do happen to my further advantage. In that way, I learned in a class about the power of "triangulation." Meaning, when you've got one thing going for you, use that one thing in another arena so now you have two things going for you.

I made sure to tell Trevor about my exciting situation over at the movie studio that shall remain nameless, and how agents and execs are reading my stuff right now. He was suitably excited for me, and then... "You know, any scripts you'd like to bring in, I'd love to read. Especially stuff that might work for Tobey." Because in life, but especially in Hollywood, when people know that other people like you, they think, "Oh well maybe there is something here to really like."

So now I'm bringing in a treatment for an optioned article and some scripts for him to read. This really has been a very good week, professionally speaking. And again, it's not like any of these opportunities will automatically translate into a sale or work, but it's great to just be learning the ropes and experiencing these things already, in just my first year in school.

Posted by jason on May 9, 2008 04:16 AM


That sounds like a lot of fun. I found internships are were you really make all the connections that you need, so I hope everything works out that way for you too.

Posted by: Jason J on May 10, 2008 12:26 PM

awesome jase.

Posted by: jonathan on May 10, 2008 10:40 PM

How exciting! I agree with you: I think most thing you just can't wait for them to happen but you must have vision and go for them. I like how scripture talks about it: our gifts make room for us and bring us in front of important people. What a week, Jason!

Posted by: Lynn on May 12, 2008 11:05 PM

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