23/09/2013, by CLAS

Pulling Back the Screen: Creative Student Internships

In 2009 the Creative Student Network sent its first interns to work at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Thanks to the assistance of Nottingham alumnus Peter Rice (now Chairman of Fox Broadcasting) we had the unique chance to give three of our students real world experience of working in Hollywood and see some of the hidden parts of the industry. It’s common for students to start our degrees thinking that ‘working in film or TV’ means being a director, producer, writer or editor. The way the industry is presented to us as audiences highlights certain roles whilst making others invisible. The CSN internship programme aims to pull back the screen on the wide range of jobs that make up the film and TV industries. From production planning to distribution, strategic research to marketing, the aim of CSN internships is to show that there’s far more to working in film and TV than you might think.

Since that first year, the CSN internship programme has grown to include London-based digital media company Red Bee Media, who are responsible for branding many of the UK’s broadcasters including the BBC and Dave. Each year one student spends six weeks working in their strategic planning team, helping them guide and focus marketing and branding campaigns. This year, CSN started a new internship relationship with the Art Directors Guild. The ADG is one of several labour organizations that work throughout the film and television industries not only supporting workers’ rights but also running educational and archival activities. CSN has two intern places each summer at the ADG’s Los Angeles offices.

The ADG offers an excellent case study of how an academic film and television degree can align with professional concerns and practice. This year one of the ADG interns was Tulip Tappenden, who graduated over the summer with a degree in Film and Television Studies and Art History. The ADG offered the perfect space for her to combine both her personal interest in art and her academic background:

“This internship at the Art Directors Guild has not only given me a more unique and educated understanding of the production art and design side of filmmaking, but has allowed me to further acknowledge the importance of this creative craft.

Working in the Archive has been a fascinating experience. The project of identifying set stills from the mid-20th century has been a great chance to develop research and organizational skills. I greatly enjoyed visiting the studios and sets, such as Dexter at Sunset Gower studio, and the Western Costume and History for Hire prop house.

It’s not only been an amazing opportunity to improve upon skills, meet creative professionals and learn about the industry, but it’s been great fun.”

New internships are currently being planned for the summer of 2014, hopefully offering CSN members an even wider range of opportunities to see behind the screen and experience the real film and television industries.

Elizabeth Evans, Department of Culture, Film and Media

Posted in Culture, Film and Media