My favorite internship experience this summer turned out to be the last experience I had working with Full Spectrum Features. After working all summer long on preproduction for the independent feature film Signature Move, I finally had the chance to see the physical production of the film in action. From scheduling, recruiting extras, and soliciting donations — the day-to-day office work seemed endless compared to the excitement and fast paced energy of working on set.
Working on set as a production assistant for my first feature film was a unique experience. In contrast to the student productions I’ve worked on and the preproduction process, working on set is a tightly orchestrated operation that required a whole new set of skills for me to learn. I learned the language used on set and spoken via walkie talkies as well as the essential rules and procedures the production team must follow to make shooting go as smoothly as possible. This included yelling “rolling!” whenever the assistant director informed us via walkie talkie that they were about to roll cameras and sound and begin shooting a scene on set to let everyone else know to be quiet. I learned to always have a back up charged walkie battery (also called a “hot brick”) on hand for crew members. And I learned that lunch is always served six hours after the call time and needs to be set up promptly 30 minutes before.
I received a crash course in these rules and many more in just four short days, during which I learned the ins and outs of being a PA on a feature film. While I enjoyed my experience working in the office and learned a lot about preproduction, working on set was by far my favorite experience and was afforded to me through the internship program. Seeing all the hard work the production office put into preparing the shoot come to life as well as seeing how much it changes when we actually began shooting was extremely rewarding and nicely summed up an entire summer’s worth of work by giving me a broader perspective on the production process as a whole.
In addition to all that, it was a lot of fun and I met a ton of different, interesting people who had come from all walks of life just to experience working on set towards a project they truly believed in.