The Massachusetts Film Office (MFO), a division of the Massachusetts Marketing Partnership, is the official state agency charged with assisting movie-making, television and commercial production in Massachusetts. If you want to make a film in Massachusetts they are the office to turn to. This semester, one Emerson College student is interning here and getting a behind the scenes look into what it is like to work at a government agency like this.
Clayton “Clay” Sosis is a Visual Media Arts student in the class of 2020. This semester he is interning at the Massachusetts Film Office. We caught up with Clay to get his insights into this role.
What are some of your responsibilities right now during your internship?
Clay: “So day to day, it varies, but we get different projects in from Amazon Studios, or Disney or other local production companies. They’ll send in scripts and I’ll read them and do script breakdowns for locations. For location scouting, I decide what might make a nice location or they’ll send me out with a camera and say, “Okay, take a photo of this and then we’ll upload those online.” Then, I send the location packages to the production companies.”
What drew you to this internship? And how did you find out about it?
“I was talking to one of my film professors last year, in the Spring, about this upcoming Fall and how I was looking for an internship. I told her how I’m interested in doing more of the business side of film production. While this internship isn’t necessarily business, it’s more of the logistic side. Either way, she recommended the Massachusetts Film Office because they work with the tax credits too and that’s something that interests me more. So I applied and then went for an interview and eventually got an email saying I got the internship.”
Did you apply any of the skills you’ve learned in the classroom or in your org to your internships? And if so, what were they?
“Definitely location breakdowns and doing script breakdowns in general. I mean, I acknowledge it’s very different doing it there, because we don’t usually read feature scripts a lot in our classes. I’m also not in production classes much, maybe those are different. But, I’ll read like two or three full length feature scripts a day. It’s just a lot of reading and it’s different applying those skills to a real full-fledged production where they might have 30-40 locations and we have to use our database to find the different locations that would work for them.
In regards to my time with orgs, he was definitely impressed that I had production experience when I went in the interview. So that’s a good thing to have. It’s important to make yourself stand out.”
What are your next steps like summer and the next fall? What are you looking for in the future?
“So I’m trying to work at BRON Studios in the summer, it’s a film equity company in LA, New York, Toronto and Vancouver. I live in New Jersey so I would work out of the office in New York. And then in the fall, I’d like to internet city National Bank doing entertainment finance. I would like to end up in LA after college just because I have friends moving there with me. So be like a fun friend thing.”
The last question I have for you is do you have any advice for students interested in this internship or interesting internship similar to yours?
“Yeah, so, one thing I did that I think made me stand out was when I emailed him, I said, ‘Can I give you a call, Just to talk about the internship and get to know you a little bit?’ And after the interview, I called again thanking him. So I think that’s one thing I would say, is just making yourself known and being personal because that’s so important. It helps you to really get your foot in the door. So even though I didn’t have a connection, I kind of made one by talking to him.
So doing that, and just really try to network and work your connections.
It’s all about connections. So for City National Bank, yeah, that’s in the Fall. But I’ve been like, networking on LinkedIn and I have a call later today with the guy that is Senior Vice President there and just to talk about the bank and finance. So work your connections, and try to get your foot in the door. You’re one of 1,000 applicants, one of 10 thousand maybe. I applied for Viacom this summer. I don’t care at all because I don’t think I’m going to get it but I put myself out there. At the end of the day, it’s all about connections and making yourself known.”