For H’wood interns, a prize summer place

Program provides hands-on showbiz experience

In Hollywood, knowing someone is often a key to landing that first job. Another way to get a foot in the door is to get a summer internship in the Television Arts & Sciences summer intern program.

The Academy has been handing out summer internships to college students eager to apprentice in entertainment for over 30 years, and its program is as tough to get into as any Ivy League school.

Named by the Princeton Review as one of the top 10 internships in America nine years in a row, the Academy’s program gets some 800 applications a year for just 31 openings. Each slot is in a different discipline such as directing, casting or cinematography.

Program director Price Hicks says the internships give students without personal contacts in the film and TV community a unique chance to get started: “The judges want to give a break to deserving, highly focused students.”

Interns receive a $4,000 stipend for the eight-week training stint and graduates of the program often move on to Hollywood careers. Alums include “Star Trek” producer Brannon Braga, screenwriter David Goyer and “The Sopranos” producer Martin Bruestle.

Michael Gallant, a producer of made-for-television movies who has hosted interns for 12 years, finds they thrive from being exposed to the professional environment. “They’re right in the middle of the decision making process on a movie,” he says.

Posts in this summer’s program have already been filled, but those interested for next year should contact the Academy’s education office at (818) 754-2833 or go to http://www.emmys.tv/foundation.

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