Film FSP mixes internships and study
When she began her internship this winter, Michelle Khare ’14 never expected to see Steve Carell casually biking around the office of his production company, Carousel Productions. Through the internship component of the new film and media studies foreign study program, Khare and the 14 other students on the Los Angeles-based program have gained hands-on experience with the film industry while also learning about it in the classroom.

Internship hosts include Nickelodeon, Walden Media, entertainment law firms and various production companies, program director and film and media studies professor Mark Williams said. In addition to their internships, FSP participants take two classes — including one course on media industries and another on the role of race in the Los Angeles film and the entertainment industry — and receive a third academic credit for completing an independent study. Several weeks into the program, students have begun conducting preliminary research for their independent study projects. One day per week, students travel around the city and meet alumni. They have visited the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the University of Southern California Cinema-Television Library and several museums. “It combines a very rigorous curriculum with learning from alums in the industry and networking and creating possibilities for their own careers,” Williams said. Khare, who interned at DreamWorks in California during her junior year, said that the blend of academic work with an internship makes the program a unique hybrid. “Living with Dartmouth people and having that sense of home is so different from just interning alone in the city,” she said. “The group of people I’m with is absolutely incredible, and they are what make it awesome.” Khare, a digital media and technologies major, said the program is providing her with valuable work experience. She said she wants to pursue a career writing and producing comedy and is honing applicable skills in her internship. Students began seeking internships last summer, independently and through the Center for Professional Development, Williams said. Program participants also received assistance and information about potential internships from members of the Dartmouth Alumni in Entertainment and Media networking group, which Williams said was instrumental to the program’s development. Several meetings and dinners with notable alumni are scheduled during the program, including a dinner with Shonda Rhimes ’91, the executive producer and creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” and brunch with screen actor and director Buck Henry ’52. The FSP participants will also have the opportunity to attend a press screening of “The Lego Movie” (2014), which was directed by Phil Lord ’97 and Chris Miller ’97. Katie Kilkenny ’14 is interning at the Gersh Agency, a talent agency, and said the program has helped her understand the context of how films are made. This, she said, aligns with her interests in film journalism and criticism. She said that being around a group of students who all have interests in film and media is the best part of the program, as film studies is a relatively small department at Dartmouth. Just two members of the Class of 2013 graduated with a degree in film, though the department typically graduates between eight and 10 majors each year, according the Dartmouth College Fact Book. The film and media studies FSP is currently scheduled to run every two years, but depending on the program’s popularity, it may operate each year. An introductory and higher level course in film and media studies are prerequisites for the program.
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