(Almost) Organized Chaos: Career in the Film Industry
Anna Prehler '15 (Communication) launched her career in the film industry by working as a production assistant (PA) on the upcoming Wim Wenders international cinematic co-production, Submergence.
After graduating from SLU-Madrid, she completed an intensive one-year master degree at Universidad Carlos III in Film and TV, specializing in Film Production and Marketing. She found the master's very practical, and her thesis involved drawing up a budget, schedule and marketing plan for a hypothetical movie.
Returning to campus to talk about her experiences and advise current students on how to find work in the industry, Anna explained that the job of PA is to do whatever it takes to facilitate filming efficiently, be it constantly refreshing the ice water, assisting the crew, shushing people on the sound stage and waving away paparazzi snapping photos.
"As a production assistant, you have no life! You'll work over 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week," laughs Anna. "There is no sitting down while you are working. On the plus side, you get to travel for free, see beautiful places and people, and watch the movie as it is being shot."
Anna insisted that networking is key to getting a job in the film industry, and that hiring is done almost exclusively by word of mouth. She also found that there is quite a bit of work in Spain - for interns - especially if one speaks English, Spanish, and an additional language, like French or German. Anna showed that you need not have a doorman to usher you onward to the future as a graduate with a communication degree.