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5 in 5! with Funny or Die

December 16, 2010

5 Questions. 5 Minutes. 1 Employer.  This week, we have Allison from Funny or Die..

1. Where do you work and what is your job?  What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I’m a Producer at Funny or Die. On any given day I’m either on set making (hopefully) internet magic, taking meetings with potential talent, working with writers on brainstorming new concepts, or making sure the post production process is going smoothly. The beauty of this job is they really trust you to own your own project from its inception in the writer’s room, to managing script rewrites, to pre-production through post. It is by far the most rewarding job I’ve ever had in my life. It’s a great feeling when people forward me links to funny videos they love – that I produced!

2. Did you have internships while in college?  Do you feel your internship experience ultimately led you to where you’re at today?

I had so many internships in college, I took as many as I could. I worked in NYC two different summers at different production companies and another summer I worked at a production company in Chicago. I jumped at any opportunity to try new aspects of the TV/Film worlds – from casting to development, to production and post. These ultimately led to my first job because when one of the companies I interned for sold a show, they hired me on full-time as a PA. I would definitely say that all that intern experience made hiring me as a PA an obvious, easy choice since I pretty much knew all the ropes of how things worked around an office and on set.

3. What can an intern do to really standout and impress his/her manager?

Be proactive and go around the office checking what everybody needs. Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions you need to so you can execute a task well. Never assume or guess, always better to ask more questions that not. Notice something unorganized? Come up with a system to keep it in check. People will not have even thought to do it and will love you for taking the initiative and streamlining their work flow. Have a great idea? Speak up so people can see your ambition and passion. Most of all,be positive and excited to be there!

4. What is the worst thing an intern can do on the job?

In my experience,the worst interns have been the ones that are on Facebook all day and act really put out if you ask them to do anything. I have actually seen their updates on Facebook how “bored” they were at the internship or how they cannot wait to leave. Um, don’t friend your co-workers on Facebook if you are going to complain about your internship! There are hundreds of other kids who would love to take your position at any time. This goes for Twitter too! When people Google you, a lot comes up. Fair warning.

5. What is the future of your industry and what do you think a student can do to position him/herself to start a career in your industry?

The “industry” of online comedy doesn’t have a hard and fast path to success. Striking viral gold is elusive and can be totally random – unless you’re dealing with a talented cat that can churn out great content. If you can’t get an internship with your preferred companies, still intern with another production company to start getting on set, or shadow writers or producers. Your best bet may be just to start making your own videos, writing your owns scripts, and creating a channel on video hosting sites. If you can promote yourself well, your videos will gain traction. If you can demonstrate that you produce great content to a wide audience, you can get in some doors and maybe even get paid to do what you love! In many cases, these are also people who get the attention of managers and agents. They go on to pursue their preferred niche of production – whether it’s writing, directing, or acting. The best thing you can do is to go out there and just start creating and meeting other creatives to collaborate.

Add “Funny or Die” to the list of places we’d love to intern with. Thanks Allison for the great advice, it’s a tough business!