Access Theater, New York, NY
Going into college, I had my heart set on majoring in economics followed by a career in finance. The wonderful folks at Access Theater have certainly thrown a wrench into my plans!
My film journey began over the first Covid-19 quarantine, during which I began to teach myself film editing. Over Winter Study, I took a short-film class that opened my eyes to a career in film. I decided to continue exploring this path and applied for an internship with Access Theater. I was ecstatic when I was accepted as a film and social media intern. I can confidently say that working with Jackie Christy and Laura Lee ’17 of Access Theater has easily been the most delightful and educational summer of my life.
Jackie, Access Theater’s founder and director of 30 years, recently expanded beyond theater to explore the world of filmmaking. Most of my work this summer was related to aiding the post-production process for Christy’s first film. Some of my summer projects included assessing whether scenes in the movie needed visual effects (VFX) work, finding and researching nearby VFX studios, combing through the dailies (raw footage) for acceptable headshots for actors, and identifying viable film festivals for the movie’s debut.
My favorite project, though, was dabbling in a new field of editing. I spent many hours editing a series of Access Theater’s quarantine Zooms featuring actors, directors and writers. With this project, my skills as an editor were tested as I experimented with a new format of video. Initially, I struggled with three problems: I did not have multiple camera angles to cut; I had no idea how to edit a recap video; and I had no idea what I wanted the end product to look like. As a result, my first hours working on this project were wasted due to a bad workflow. For ideas, I watched many hours of podcast and Zoom meeting recaps, eventually finding a way to incorporate my own style into the recap format.
Working under Jackie and Laura was a wonderful growth experience. Both were incredibly helpful when it came to difficult projects and were a fountain of valuable constructive feedback pertaining to organization and professionalism. They often brought in their friends to talk about their own acting, directing and writing careers. The speakers gave advice for transitioning from school into their respective fields and for starting out at the bottom rung of their industries. Although I did not relish my early morning commute to lower Manhattan, I thoroughly enjoyed working in the city. I loved wandering around New York during my lunch break, sampling new restaurants and picking up random tchotchkes.
After this internship, I can confidently say that a career in film has never felt more possible. I’d like to thank the Class of 1972, the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and Access Theater for the opportunity to explore this amazing field and for a fantastic summer experience.