This past summer I had the opportunity to intern in my hometown of New York City with Dolphin Entertainment founded by Bill O’Dowd, adjunct professor for the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media (CIM). Dolphin is located on Third Avenue and shares the office of 42 West, an entertainment-based public relations firm. Working under the direct supervision of Emerson Davis, director of development and production, I was able to learn the ropes of production development processes through first-hand experiences.
I commuted into Manhattan from Long Island three days a week. Each morning, I was given scripts and literature to read, ideas to brainstorm and build on, and other tasks to complete for the day. CIM courses are not required courses for my Media Management major, and as a varsity student-athlete at The U, my schedule didn’t allow much flexibility to select courses outside of the Department of Journalism and Media Management. Thus, this internship offered me the first direct exposure to the world of film, including the ins and outs of development and the general scope of the industry.
Being given scripts to read that were sent in to Dolphin by writers was one of the most enjoyable elements of my internship. Taking script and line notes to analyze and delve into plotlines and characters forced me to view films and their development in an entirely different light. Creating cast and director lists allowed me to understand how important it is to be careful and diligent in selecting the key project participants because one simple change can truly alter the integrity of the story.
The research projects I completed were also extremely interesting because, again, I was able to contribute and give the team I worked with an “outside” perspective that they may not have considered before.
The most valuable part of working in the office was being able to vet real, potential projects that the company was considering optioning or developing, as opposed to working on exercises or mundane and typical “intern” tasks. I learned many of the skills that I developed during this past summer by practicing them on the job, and, to me, this serious hands-on involvement led to a high return that would be unattainable in a classroom setting.
Demetra Vlahos is a senior majoring in Media Management.