Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The silent treatment

I was riding on the bus yesterday when one of my classmates took up the seat next to me. I don't know him too well personally, but we made small talk about our screenwriting course and then out of the blue he triggered a memory I had almost let slip away.

So you got any film internships goin' on or anything?

It's not a weird thing to be asked by any means, but in that moment I realized my brain had suppressed the only experience I had with that evil word.

Last summer I applied for the whole enchilada. Disney, Warner Bros, Viacom, Paramount, Universal, any production internship that I qualified for. After no word for a few months, I was blown away when my phone read "Burbank, CA" and it turned out to be the internship coordinator for MTV. Salvation! She liked my resume, gave me a quick phone interview, and left me with a promise that the production department I applied to would give me a call with all the details in a week or two. Congrats.

Guess what? No phone call. If there ever were a time in my life where I had really gotten my hopes up, this was it. I gave a nudge phone call here, a nudge email there. ANOTHER nudge phone call. Nothing.

I suppose, in a way, I'm thankful to have learned this lesson quick and dirty, just to get it over with. That's the big fat "NO" stamp in Hollywood and it sucks. I still get lectured about it now in my seminar. Unless someone hands you a check for your script, you've got nothing but a pat on the back. They'll never tell you no, but they will kill you with encouragement.

My classmate on the bus thought it was worth something to get a call in the first place, and I have to agree. Even their acknowledgment felt like an affirmation that I must be doing something right. The experience bummed me out at the time, but I learned to just be cool. Let it go. It's the first and surely not the last time I'll be given the silent treatment.


  1. Hello mate, another young filmmakers here. Just starting as a freshman in college. I will be following your blog closely because your success is the pathway to my success. Good luck to both of us.

    1. Hey Victor, thanks for stopping by! We're all in this together, if you can I'd recommend joining any film club on campus. I met a bunch of people and got a lot of experience working on student features that way. Also start watching a movie everyday if you haven't already :)