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MSLCE Student Chip Potter Learns the Value of His Artistic Opinion During Film Production Company Internship

By Chip Potter

During my first days working in Los Angeles, I was understandably a bit timid. I was in a new city and wanted to make a good first impression on by bosses at Ghost House Pictures and Cold Iron Pictures, so I kept my head down and focused on the work in front of me.

A great deal of my day was centered around reading scripts writing coverage – that is, giving my boss a summary of the screenplay and my brief thoughts of it. Then, one day, one of my supervisors came over to my desk and asked me what I thought of a script I had just sent him coverage for. I began to respond with roughly the same wording as my coverage: a bit indecisive and ineffectual, not wanting to upset any previously established opinions surrounding the script. He stopped me and said, “Sure, but what do you actually think of it?”

It was at this moment I realized the power of being able to articulate and defend your artistic opinion. It’s a lesson that I am sure extends itself across most careers in the arts, but is possibly the most applicable within the film industry. Without a clear voice or viewpoint, it becomes impossible to properly judge the daily mountain of unique stories available to production companies. With this lesson in mind, my coverage began to more accurately reflect my opinions, and I was able to more substantially defend scripts I liked and critique scripts I didn’t.

It has been an absolute thrill working and living in Los Angeles for the summer. As someone who has long desired to simply be a part of the film industry, this feels like a realization of a dream. I’ve been reading scripts, working with a variety of different people and companies, and learning exactly what one needs to do in order to be successful. As an intern, I certainly do my fair share of “intern work,” which often involves ordering and picking up lunches, answering phones, and running errands. Throughout everything, my mantra has been that no job is too big or too small, and everything I work on should of course be given the highest attention to detail. That means double checking lunch orders when I pick them up, reading scripts and novels at home so as to help more with coverage, and to maintain a bright and positive attitude throughout it all.

It hasn’t all been easy. Learning the ropes of an industry you haven’t worked in previously is always difficult, and trying to build relationships in a new city is just as hard. Being an intern certainly isn’t always glamorous. However, every morning I have to pinch myself because I am following through on a lifelong dream, and I couldn’t imagine better companies or people to learn from. Everyone has been helpful, understanding, and welcoming. Hopefully, upon these internships conclusion and my eventual graduation from the MSLCE program, I will be able to make this dream a reality.