Experience in the Film Industry

This the next in a series of posts by recipients of the Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Janae Brooks, COL ’17

brooks-1For the past year, I’ve been going back and forth on whether I want to devote my time to the film industry or the video game industry. Last summer I had an internship with a startup that rekindled my love of writing and helped me feel the joy of bringing a creative, digital project to fruition (shout out to ARchimeral Inc!) and this summer I had the opportunity to work with the Motion Picture Corporation of America, a film production company that has produced classics like Dumb and Dumber and Taking Chance.

Louisa and I at the TCL Chinese Theater
Louisa and I at the TCL Chinese Theater

My time in this office has been one of the most informative experiences of my life concerning not only on how the industry works, but whether or not this industry is something that I want to delve into head first. I’ve done everything from covering scripts that ranged from amazing to could use a l o t of work to sitting in on calls between execs to contributing to meetings and providing my opinions on scripts to even being able to put together cast/directors lists; I’ve garnered a wide range of experience that has really helped me set realistic goals for myself and see a potential future with the steps to get there. What really stuck with me however, was the willingness of the permanent staff, including the CEO, to sit down with us and talk to us not only about our interests but about how they can help us get to where we need to be; we’ve had multiple conversations with different staff members throughout the summer and each one has provided invaluable information with a sense of humor and a grace that really helped us feel welcome and important.

My time here wouldn’t have been anything without my fellow interns; there’s nothing quite like being in a room full of people going through the exact same thing that you are and bonding over it. Whether it was about a script, cooking videos on YouTube, DC movies or just bouncing ideas off of each other for potential projects, I’ve laughed so hard and learned so much from people that are just as passionate as me and who care about the things that I care about. Being in an environment that was collaborative instead of competitive really helped solidify for me what this industry, or any industry, could be when you work with the right people.


When I wasn’t having my world rocked by all the stuff I was learning professionally, LA treated me really well. Between seeing movies every week, going to the beach whenever I wanted, eating some of the freshest food I’ve ever had, seeing Hollywood Blvd and just being in a state where it literally never rains, I’ve felt content in ways that I didn’t know were possible having grown up on the East Coast. I went into this summer not knowing for certain if I wanted to dedicate myself to film and in all honesty, I’m still not sure. But I can see a future here where before it was just a murky blur and I think getting some clarity, and some experience, was all I really wanted.

Author: Student Perspective

Views and opinions from current Penn students.