The Hollywood Experience From My Florida Home

This is part of series of posts by recipients of the 2020 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Tamar Lilienthal, COL ’23

I was lucky to land two part-time internships in Los Angeles this summer. One was with Silent R Management, and the other was with Chatrone, a production and management company. I was ready and excited to fly out to LA and spend three months immersed in the movie-making business.

But then COVID-19 came, and both of my internships transitioned to a remote setting. I felt incredibly relieved to still have work, but I was also disappointed that I would have to work from home. I felt doubtful that I’d gain any relevant skills from a distance. Luckily, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I learned so much from both of my internship experiences. At Chatrone, I read tons of scripts and learned how to write detailed, effective coverage. As my internship coordinator said, good script coverage touches on Theme, Characters, Structure, Dialogue, and Voice of Writer, and I learned what to look for in all five categories. I also got to analyze scripts in unique genres, including children’s content and content for Latin American audiences.

At Silent R Management, I got to read scripts that were sometimes more experimental in style. This allowed me to broaden my horizons beyond traditional screenwriting and recognize when “outside the box” material is good. On my very first day, I was tasked with reading and covering the script of Oscar-winning film Moonlight, whose writer/director is represented by the company. It felt like my intern initiation!

At Silent R, I also learned how to track film festivals and identify potential clients, which gave me a glimpse into the world of talent management. Outside of the workspace, Jewerl Ross, the manager at Silent R, hosted periodic Zoom sessions where the interns could ask him any questions about the entertainment industry. A good chunk of my learning happened in that informal setting.

As many have pointed out to me, securing both of these opportunities right after freshman year was truly a blessing. Most people take multiple summers to try out both the production and management sides of the industry, but I was exposed to both in a single summer! After working at both companies this summer, I’m pretty sure I prefer the creative side of the industry. But luckily, I still have plenty of time to explore and maybe change my mind.

Getting funding from Career Services allowed me to focus on my work while also helping out with household responsibilities. I still don’t understand the concept of quarantine boredom! I, for one, was met with countless new challenges as a result of COVID-19, and I will forever be thankful that Career Services supported me during the summer.

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