UNCW film students intern at local, national production outlets
Published: Monday, July 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2012 17:07
By junior year of college, most students are in panic mode.
Flushed skin and sweaty palms are an automatic reaction to the question, “What are you going to do with your degree once you graduate?”
Some students, especially those with degrees in art, writing, or film, don’t know what they’re going to do with their degrees after college.
“The dream” sometimes consists of scrawling profound thoughts in a basement or creating a film that, as Woody Allen puts it, aims to “achieve immortality.”
However, there is a type of role-playing that helps students decide if their wide-eyed, dreamer-perspective of a career actually matches the reality of it: the internship.
Cadence Railsback, a senior in the Film Department at UNCW, interned at “A Bunch of Us Productions” where she worked as a casting director for the feature length film, “Don’t Know Yet.”
Railsback was asked by Terry Linehan, the writer/director/producer of this romantic comedy, to host auditions in person as well as online for the lead and supporting roles.
“I had never casted anything before and I was working with people who had no experience in the casting business either, so the first thing I had to do was figure out what it even meant to be a casting director,” Railsback said.
Although Railsback said that casting may not be her long-time goal, this internship positioned her to sustain a career as such for a few years before deciding what she really wants, all the while making connections and learning the quirks of the film industry.
Internships are about starting from square one. Sometimes that means endless coffee runs. Other times that means taking on responsibility only a mature, pants-suit-wearing professional would take on.
One of Railsback’s favorite days on the job was the grand finale of the film, a street fair scene in which all of her extras showed up—clowns, fire-breathers, and performers—“you name it, we had it.”
But, doing any job for the first time creates anxiety—internships are a reservoir for rooky mistakes.
When filming a black Friday shopper scene, Railsback said that only “about a tenth of my confirmed extras actually showed up…This is when I learned you have to ask several times the amount of people to show up than you actually need.”
Railsback was nine years old when she held her first camera.
She didn’t know twelve years later, she would be equally as fascinated by it.
“To have the chance to work on a SAG film, have your name on a credit, and work on a feature length film as part of the film industry is huge for anyone, much less a student.”
Ryan P. C. Trimble is also a film student at UNCW as well as the co-founder of Pineapple-Shaped Lamps, a comedy troupe located in town. Pineapple-Shaped Lamps has flourished since its creation in 2010.
Trimble worked as a post-production intern at “Saturday Night Live” helping to edit individual episodes for syndication.
Last summer, Trimble landed the same position and was fortunate enough to arrive during the season finale featuring Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga.
“You know, probably one of the greatest season finales in SNL history?” Trimble said of the occasion.
Obviously, working in this type of atmosphere as a college student can commence something of a rags-to-riches setting.
When Trimble was young, he convinced his family to be the stars of his films, and when “they became unwilling,” he practiced his hand at claymation and other stop-motion endeavors.
According to Trimble, he’s “never not been intrigued by film.”
Interning in the film industry lends itself to witnessing the real-life roles that people so often idolize on screen, but so rarely see in person.
“I re-live the moment in my head nearly every day, though I see it as though I were a camera, following me as I dash down the 8H hallway, picking my way through dressers, cast members, and technicians,” Trimble said.
By this point, Trimble’s resume is stocked with experience and recommendations.
“I was able to see the inner workings of a television program--a great one, at that--in a way that very few people will be able to see.”
Will Gehrman, a film student graduating in 2013, interned for “Vertigo Entertainment” in Beverly Hills, a facility that has produced movies such as “The Departed” and “The Ring.”
Although Gehrman was surprised that his position consisted of more secretarial work than on-screen exposure, he learned to “roll with it and try to make the most out of it.”
“Just seeing the dynamics of the day-to-day in the office with the producers and talking to people who are calling in to discuss scripts was a good experience into gaining some knowledge into what goes behind deciding on if a movie gets made.”
Gehrman was first introduced to the film industry when he spent a year living in Brooklyn, experiencing the diverse environment behind the scenes of the NY Film Academy.
“Being able to change jobs and do tons of different things while still remaining in the same field is very important to me because I tend to get bored easily and there is always something new to keep your attention in film,” Gehrman said.