Brooklyn Films - assistant to Jon Avnet

Jon Avnet, an alumnus of Penn, is sponsored this internship at his production studio, Brooklyn Films, in Los Angeles. He has produced, directed and written dozens of films and television series. Among these: Red Corner, Risky Business, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Up Close & Personal, The Three Musketeers, Boomtown (TV), Uprising, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Starter Wife. He directed and co-wrote Uprising, about the Warsaw Ghetto revolt, and has become an expert on Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.

what to expect

Anything! If the studio is shooting a film during the summer, the intern might likely be on location. Back in Los Angeles, there are a hundred things to do to be supportive of Mr. Avnet's activities. Candidates for this internship will need to be flexible and prepared for anything. Applicants should have a long look at his IMDb entry and a DP article describing one of his visits to the Kelly Writers House.

Kevin McMullin's experience

Here is an article from SAS Frontiers on Kevin McMullin's RealArts internship at Brooklyn Films.

Establishing Shot: Undergraduate Kevin McMullin pursues a career in filmmaking

By B. Davin Stengel

Selected for a RealArts@PENN internship with acclaimed filmmaker and SAS overseer Jon Avnet, C'71, Kevin McMullin found himself on a five-person pre-production team for additional photography on the feature film Righteous Kill. "For three weeks I assisted the line producer and production coordinator in securing a crew for a two-day shoot," says McMullin. "Then I got to be a production assistant on set. I remember stopping every once in a while and realizing where I was and what I was helping to do. I stood five feet away from Jon Avnet as he directed Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. It was incredible."

Kevin McMullin communications major and student filmmaker, McMullin is one of six undergraduates composing the inaugural class of the RealArts@PENN summer internship program, which offers competitive paid internships to students looking for hands-on experience in the world where art and business intersect. "I've always understood that film is as much an industry as it is an art," explains McMullin, "and though my interests are rooted more on the aesthetic side of the spectrum, I knew that I needed an education in the business of film."

From June through August, McMullin spent eight weeks working with Jon Avnet at his Los Angeles production studio, Brooklyn Films. Describing the experience as a sort of film boot camp, McMullin was pleasantly surprised by the level of responsibility he was given. "I was forced to learn a lot quickly," he says, "which was the whole goal of the internship. I'm very grateful that my job was so interactive." McMullin's responsibilities included securing locations and crew members, reserving equipment for acclaimed cinematographer Denis Lenoir, and analyzing scripts for potential development. A screenwriter himself, McMullin was especially interested to see firsthand how scripts for future projects are evaluated by a leading production company. "I think I read about 45 scripts," he says. "There were three I liked."

McMullin will spend his senior year at Penn honing his writing skills and preparing to shoot his own feature film in late 2009, provisionally titled Less Than Graceful. "It's like an older version of Stand By Me," he says. "It's about best friends coming home after their first semester of college." McMullin has modest expectations for the film's critical or commercial success, emphasizing that he's approaching the project as an educational experience -- an opportunity to learn by doing in multiple roles as screenwriter, director and producer.

"My internship experience has taken away much of the fear I had about the entertainment industry," McMullin explains. "Having been a part of pre-production, production and post-production on a major motion picture, a career in filmmaking no longer seems elusive."