With Red, my internship entails mainly one thing…well, two things actually: reading and writing. As the film development intern, I work directly with Red Executive Creative, Derek Brown, who’s based in L.A., located smack dab in the Avenue of the Stars in Hollywood. Derek fishes for new and exciting feature-length scripts circulating L.A., mostly indie film projects, and forwards the scripts over to moi. I rate the script, note my comments, and write a page-or-two-long synopsis about the project. This is known as a “coverage” (for all those who desire to know the film terminology). The main purpose for coverage is help colleagues and clients become familiar with a project without reading the entire script. As of now, I am on my fifth script!
Here are some questions commonly asked about my position: a) Isn’t it boring to sit down, read and write all day long? Only if you make it boring. Reading scripts is nothing new for me. Before Red, I have read (no pun intended) countless scripts during my summer internship at the Texas Film Commission in downtown Austin. When I first started covering scripts, I thought it was excruciating it is to sit in front of a computer for 8 hours of the day, reading mostly jargon about a would-be film project. But then I started comprehending stories faster and understanding new ways of formatting those stories. It occurred to me that not many aspiring filmmakers have a chance to be exposed to all of these ideas and works. It has helped me separate a good story from an okay story and an okay story from a not-so-okay story and a not-so-okay story from a… you get it. Plus, it is very exciting to read a script that may have a marveled movie star attached to it!
b) If you want to be in film, isn’t it better to be on set than sit behind a computer? To be honest, this demonstrates a misunderstanding of the industry. No matter what position in the industry, one is technically working in film — directly or indirectly. Yes, many filmmakers have worked their way up the ladder on set and have arrived where they are today because of that experience, but the number of other filmmakers who got their break off set is surprising. The fact is that it’s not about being the best filmmaker the world has ever seen. It is about telling meaningful stories that touch the hearts of others. It is about making a film that sends a message through the landscape of our crazy world. At the core, film is an art, and it is expressed solely as a narrative. That’s why I am here and honored to be doing what I do here at Red – reading stories and talking about them!