A Padawan in the Making

Since September of 2011, I have had an internship at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI), a non-profit art house movie theater located on Bryn Mawr Avenue.

“But Mike, how did you procure such an awesome internship?”

Well, person-entirely-created-by-my-own-imagnination-to-ask-that-question, I’ll tell you!

For a few years running, I had been taking classes at BMFI; the courses ranged from studies on Superhero and Clint Eastwood’s films, to the Language of Cinema. Having a long-standing interest in film, this was a perfect outlet to delve deeper into the medium and look past what is directly shown on screen.

Then, there comes the time in life when the sentence, “I should get a job” becomes less fantasy-based and takes a much firmer step into concrete reality.

However, I felt interning at a film institute would be both more enjoyable and beneficial than a “regular” job.

So I emailed the director of education, Andrew Douglas, who had taught many of the courses I had taken, and told him I was interested in an internship.

He responded asking if I could send in a resume and a sample of my writing. This is when the beauty of previous activities at OC comes in handy; last year, we had worked over the course of a few weeks to craft resumes for mock-job interviews.

Slightly revising the resume and attaching an essay I had written on the themes of the short story, “The Most Dangerous Game”, I punched the “send” button like I was initiating the very first mission to the moon. Andrew responded a few days later asking that I come in for an interview. Bingo.

Cut (if I may use movie terminology) to now. I have been interning every Monday and Wednesday, from 9:30 to 3:30, with a generous lunch break. I plan on cutting down to just Wednesday due to the lack of time I already have to cram school and college work into the rest of my week.

My work ranges from writing blurbs for upcoming films and press releases, to finding pictures for the website, to mailing letters and photocopying, to cataloging DVD’s and books, to uploading future events to other websites, to scanning newspaper after newspaper searching for mention of the institute.

The work can be tedious at times, but thankfully, not only can I listen to my iPod while working, but the staff is both hilarious and extremely kind and helpful.

I take all my assignments from the public relations manager, Devin Wachs. To extremely briefly sum her up, she often refers to me as, “Padawan”; walking into my workspace, she’ll often start the conversation with a sentence such as “How’s my Padawan learner doing?” or “How’s my favorite intern?” (I am, in fact, the only intern at BMFI currently).

Interning at BMFI has been a great opportunity to get both a feel for more independent work, along with a glance at the inner workings of an institution and movie theater . . . not to mention free movies!


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