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Hollywood internships on rise

Nov. 28, 2006

Courtsey photo
Senior Josh Franer,left , junior Walker Hanson, and senior Jason Seagraves are spending the fall semester as interns in Los Angeles.


Imagine working in the place where all the magic happens. Famous directors know your name and celebrities walk around like normal people.

This is Los Angeles, and this is the life of 10 film and digital media majors interning this semester. Each of these students is interning with a different company in the promotional or entertainment business. They include Puma, X-Play, Sony Pictures and many other companies.

Walker Hanson, a Sherman junior, is interning with the CBS show Without a Trace. He said he was given the chance to follow the show's director through the process of creating an entire episode as part of his internship. He said he was even allowed to give some of his own input in the editing process.

"It was amazing to watch and be involved with this," he said. "Everything comes together right there."

This is a new program the film and digital media department has been developing to accompany the New York internship program, said Brian Elliot, senior lecturer in film and digital media. He said there have been Baylor interns in California since 1993, but never this many at once.

Elliot has traveled to Los Angeles at least once a year for the past 30 years to build relationships and connections to help get the new program started. One of the most helpful factors in developing the program was a strong alumni presence in Los Angeles.

A large portion of the internships this year came from alumni.

"The alumni in Los Angeles are loyal and love associating with one another," Elliot said.

Jason Seagraves, a Georgetown senior, applied for five internships this term and was accepted into all five companies, allowing him the chance to choose the best possible position. He said one of the things that helped him the most was his professional attitude and presentation.

"It just seemed like common sense to conduct myself like a professional," he said. "Apparently a lot of people who applied didn't do that."

Seagraves is now interning with Puma Entertainment and Marketing. As an intern, his main responsibility is to check for Puma products being shown in television and magazines and make sure that promotional products are ready for celebrities. A book is compiled at the end of the year to show what products were used in the media during that year.

In addition, Seagraves has attended several different events, including a movie premier, where he was on the red carpet, and a celebrity after-party.

Seagraves isn't the only intern with strange or dazzling experiences to share. Tiffany Kreck, a Los Angeles, Calif. junior, is an intern with the Tyra Banks Show and America's Top Model. She said she saw P. Diddy arrive in a personal helicopter.

Ryan Metcalf, an Arlington senior, is an intern with X-Play. He said he was asked to run around on screen in a panda suit in one episode and sang karaoke in another.

Some of the interns in the program have received job offers from their companies, Elliot said. Experiencing life in Los Angeles has given them important experiences that couldn't be found anywhere else.

"You have to get out there and introduce yourself to people you normally wouldn't," Seagraves said. "If you take some risks and make yourself vulnerable, that is when you'll get the most return."