By Kim Eden Neugarten
When I was really young I always knew two things: I love movies and music. But I never thought I could make a living in those industries. For many years I thought to myself that one day the industry would find me, but it turned out to be the other way around.
My freshman year, I applied for an internship at Warner Music Group, but unfortunately, they didn’t hire me. So that summer I tried as hard as I could to work on films and music videos where ever I could find them. I worked on a television show called “How To Look Good Naked,” the movie Transformers 2, and an Ice-T music video, as well as small indie films. I had learned so much about the movie industry that I decided that I wanted to apply for a production company internship as well. As soon as the summer was over and I started my sophomore year, I applied to Warner Bros. Records, Mandate Pictures, and Paramount Pictures. From August till November, I kept sending my resume, kept calling them every week to make sure they got it, until finally all three of them asked me to come in for an interview.
During December break, I went to L.A. and took all the advice and lessons that I was given by my business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and kept my fingers crossed. Luckily all three of them offered me an internship in exactly the departments that I wanted, but I had to make a choice. Luckily I was able to choose two, Warner Bros. Records and Mandate Pictures.
My first day at Warner Bros. Records I was asked to go to the Jimmy Kimmel Live show to check out one of Warner Bros. bands and give them support. It was a perfect first day. At Warner Bros., I helped perform administrative work such as expense reports, scheduling meetings, travel arrangements, and general correspondence to the A&R coordinator, plus steady interaction with signed bands and management, and I also went to a ton of shows to scout new talent. I found many bands that I showed my supervisor and helped out with other things around the office. I was asked to model t-shirts for a band called The Used and help out with their new music video called “Blood On My Hands.”
Since working at Mandate Pictures, I realized exactly what I want to do for a career: be a producer. I am also learning how important it is to be a business major, especially in finance, to become a producer. I have learned how to budget a movie, write expense reports, and submit films to festivals. Every Friday, I get a new script to read. I then have to write coverage and pitch how I felt about the script to the president of Mandate. I am able to sit in the general and creative meetings to give my input on movies that are in development. My daily tasks are reading scripts, press breaks, writing headlines for magazines and newspapers, rolling phone calls, and coming up with new ideas for movies. I have also networked a lot, and got to meet Seth Rogan and Lindsay Lohan, plus I worked on a movie called Whip It, Drew Barrymore’s first directing project.
Every Monday we meet with an executive and they tell us exactly what they do and how they got into the business, and then we are able to ask questions. They have created a wonderful learning environment and I hope one day, when I begin my career, I will work with them.