This summer I had the privilege of interning at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, one of the oldest management agencies/production companies in the entertainment business, one with a very, very impressive lineup of stars and shows from Brad Pitt to Natalie Portman, SNL to The Muppets. What’s really special about the Brillstein internship program is that the internship is meant to be educational, meaning that speakers were arranged to speak to us about their experiences in the entertainment industry. These speakers ranged from talent managers to studio & network executives, to top entertainment lawyers, and even actors. While their paths in the industry vary, the advice they’ve given to us all revolve around being kind to everyone you meet, pursuing what you love, and working real hard at it.
Of course we didn’t sit around all summer being educated by really successful people. My main duties at work have been script and book coverage, which in the movie business means reading and writing about new material that’s sent to the office. I admit there’s been some gruesome reads but overall, the experience has been very educational for an aspiring writer like myself in teaching me what’s good and bad. In addition, I have also gotten the chance to read some scripts that are in the process of being made, giving me an inside look at the different types of films in demand.
Besides script coverage I’ve also done some breakdowns for TV shows as well as compile lists of directors and writers for the talent managers, and sort out fan mail for the A-list stars from all over the world. As interns, we also attended live tapings of Conan, Chelsea Lately, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and a Grown Ups 2 screening.
While in LA I lived in Westwood, the Evanston equivalent of UCLA. It’s homey, safe, has a lot of cool eateries, and a few more Boba shops to choose from than Joy Yee’s. It’s also a good hub for celeb sightings and film premieres. Since I’ve been here, I’ve managed to spot Russell Crowe at the local In-N-Out, and saw the premier for The Smurfs 2 and Elysium (though I was too lazy to stick around to see the stars like Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Matt Damon, and of course the lovely Jodie Foster).
Of course Brillstein is famous for its line of talent. While at work, several including James Van der Beak (yes ladies that’s Dawson), to Rob Lowe (one of our guest speakers), David Spade, and even Randy Jackson have all causally strolled in. Evidently Brad Pitt and Eva Longoria were also spotted at some point in the office but I was unfortunately not at the right place at the right time. Even though most of the work I did at Brillstein was on the developmental side of the business, I also learned a lot about what the management of stars entails. I had the opportunity to arrange some of their schedules and helped wrap and deliver some packages as well. Even though I didn’t get the opportunity to take part in the production side, being here and getting the opportunity to meet so many inspiring people has been eye-opening enough for someone with so little knowledge of Hollywood. To see the business side of things from the talent management’s point of view has made me realize what a well-oiled machine Hollywood is. But if you’re still curious, I suggest you go to LA and get an internship yourself — that is, if you’re really interested in learning about the entertainment business. If it’s not what you expected, you can always hit the beach!
Antonia Yang is a rising senior studying RTVF and MMSS. This summer she interned at Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
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Views from the Cube offers an inside look at what it means to be an intern from Northwestern students who are interning across the country and internationally for companies and organizations in all industries. Would you like to share your experience? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.