Internship Spotlight: John Rolston, Creative Development intern at INE/Trium Entertainment based in Studio City, California.

August 4, 2017
John Ralston, Film Studies student and 2017 intern in California.
When do you plan to graduate and what is your major(s)/minor(s)?
I am set to graduate this fall in December 2017 with a major in Film Studies and a minor in Screenwriting.
Did you start off at OSU with that major/minor in mind or did you change your course of study?
I had been decided on the major since I was younger; I have always had a passion for film, television, and most importantly great storytelling. I did not change my course of study but the Screenwriting minor was finally added into the curriculum in my 2nd or 3rd semester.
What brought you to Film Studies/ got you interested in film?
I have always been fascinated by the way cinema is able to convey vast amounts of information in a limited period of time; specifically utilizing visuals to convey pertinent character traits and plot details rather than just spelling everything out in the dialogue.
Cinematography is another crucial element of film that really pulled me into the world of Film Studies. The way a film is shot, edited, and uses lighting is absolutely crucial to the visual appeal of a film as well as conveying emotions or a theme.
Are there any faculty/staff who mentored you during your time or whose courses you specifically enjoyed?
I don’t want to patronize but every single professor/instructor at OSU has been incredible to learn from and I have yet to have any negative experiences. Specifically, there are a few instructors I must commend for helping me find my own motivation and realize my craft.
In order of when I had them:
Scott Spears – I had my very first screenwriting class in Fall 2016 with Mr. Spears and he is the king of telling you like it is as well as giving you a sense of how your work will be judged and scrutinized in the industry. Not to mention his “rules” for each scene are things I keep in mind when writing each and every scene.
Angus Fletcher – During that same semester, I took a story development class with Mr. Fletcher and it taught me how to properly build a narrative as well as a world that audience can connect with and want to engage in. He was also one of my primary encouragers to pursue an internship in Los Angeles and gave me confidence that I could achieve this goal.
Andrew Rose – In Spring 2017, I actually took two separate classes with Mr. Rose: the business of Film and TV Screenwriting. Supplementing what I had learned from Mr. Spears and Mr. Fletcher, Mr. Rose taught me the business side of the industry and the intricacies of it all. He also helped me to enhance my script development: teaching me how to properly format a script for TV or Film as well as the supplemental materials to help keep your story on track (i.e. step outlines, treatments, TV series bibles, etc.)
Where is your current Internship (City Location and Company)?
I am currently a Creative Development intern at INE/Trium Entertainment based in Studio City, California.
What types experiences are you having as part of this internship and being in a different city.
Fortunately, I have had experience in an office environment before so I was able to assimilate rather quickly at work and excel at my daily, primary assignments. Living in Los Angeles is definitely different than Columbus, obviously, but it is not as tough to get around as I thought. I was fortunate enough to get an apartment about 4 miles from my internship, so worst case scenario I have a thirty minute drive to work. With the traffic, jam or not, it is crucial to just accept the fact that you are going to be stuck in traffic and be perfectly fine with it.
In regards to the cost of living, the food costs are roughly the same (excluding dining out) but the biggest differences in living cost are easily rent and gas. I gassed up today for $3.25 per gallon so it’s certainly not as cheap as Ohio but it’s manageable. Rent is just always going to be ridiculously expensive compared to Ohio but in my case I have great roommates and a rooftop pool that we take advantage of daily which makes our rent very worth it.
What advice would you give to current Film Studies students seeking an internship?
I have a few pieces of advice for any Film Studies students that want to pursue an internship:
1) Get any and all experience. -Prior to my internship, I only had experience working on a music video shoot and shadowing the producer at the 2016 Heisman Trophy Presentation. Find any opportunities to get some experience on your resume; in the TV/Film Industry, experience is more important than grades.
2) Earn good grades.
-I know I just said grades aren’t as important as experience but that does not mean they aren’t important to landing an internship. I made the Dean’s List for both Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 which most importantly shows I am a hard and dedicated worker as well as willing to put in the long hours to get it right.
3) Get an account on
-This website is how I found my current internship and how I applied to 95% of the internships I found online. I believe it was $25 for 3 months but you can upload your resume and cover letter directly to the site. Most companies will allow you to apply through this website and it only takes 2 minutes to apply. I changed the header and first sentence of each cover letter to correspond with the specific company and position I was applying for. -I applied to over 50 different Film/TV Internships and only heard back from 4 or 5. This is the standard for working in the industry according to my instructors so be prepared to get rejected or simply not hear anything back which is what happens most of the time.
4) Have a positive social media presence (Linkedin, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram)
-It might seem obvious, or strange to some like me, but social media is now essential to building your career. Much like the dawn of the internet, the inevitably of social media’s importance in the career space has become fundamental and not utilizing said platforms is limiting the amount of connections you can make. Your social media page(s) will not land you an internship, this is merely supplemental to give your potential employers more to look at should they want to.
5) Apply for the Brian Mehling Endowment Fund Grant.
-Should you get an internship in Film or Television, definitely take the time to apply for this Grant that is available exclusively to OSU Film Studies students that are interning. In addition, I would make sure your financial situation is accounted for and set a budget before you leave. Also, expect to get an unpaid internship versus a paid one because you have to be an absolute freak of nature, in the best possible way, in order to land paid internships (i.e. NBCUniversal, Warner Bros, Pixar, etc.)