A SEMESTER OF REAL LIFE
By Chris Deal
The SU semester in LA was the difference between knowing what an AD is and having one yell “lock-up” in your ear. Each week here seemed to offer new opportunities to try new things and explore an exciting, and complicated industry. I was lucky enough to learn and participate on set as a PA for several commercial productions including a semi-finalist for the Doritos Superbowl contest, a Honda Civic commercial in 360 video, and an anti-smoking campaign for Pfizer. There are a few lessons the SULA semester has taught me I feel are worth sharing and the first is, when on set, always ask people if need help. Each person on set is responsible for their own problems but each one will appreciate you offering to help when you don’t have anything to do. If you ask people what they need/want, they’ll have jokes. The first response you’ll probably hear is “A million dollar check!” and you might hear it a couple of times at your internship. The jokes get more flavorful (but stay just as cheesy) as the production day drags on. Notable replies included “A car, a gun, and a solid alibi” or “2 hookers and a divorce.” Smile or chuckle at these responses and wait for whomever to stop laughing at their own joke. S/He’s being hilarious but also probably needs you for something. Points go to the PA’s who make people’s lives easy. Do everything with a smile on your face and do it as efficiently as you can. If your internship sees that they’ll have you do more things, if your producer or AD see that they might offer you another job.
I highly recommend the TV Nation class and all of the workshop classes. The Line Producing and Music Video Production are time intensive for 1 credit classes but the lessons are worth more than the credits.
If you can go to all of the seatfiller events. They are boring at times but you get to see the production side of things your internship might not expose you too.