Mike: From LA to the Real World

Hey guys,

Well, after a whirlwind of a semester in Los Angeles, I am now an official BU graduate! I handed in the final paper of my college career last night, what a weird feeling…It hasn’t really hit me yet and I don’t think it will until after the New Year when all of my friends will be heading back to Boston for their final semesters and I will be home looking for work! A part of me is disappointed I won’t be up in Beantown for my final semester, but after two amazing semesters abroad, I feel that I am ready to take on the real world.

Spending the last three months in Los Angeles has been such an incredible experience. Just from being in the entertainment capital of the world, I learned so much about the industry. Interning at a major studio like Paramount and a leader in independent film like The Weinstein Company, I was exposed to such different approaches to filmmaking. I read tons of amazing scripts and even got to work a few film premieres! The program kept me constantly busy– interning five days a week and taking classes at night– but it has prepared me immensely for the working world.

Leaving LA was bittersweet but I know that I will be back in the future. For now, I’m going to enjoy the holidays and take a breather after a hectic semester. After the New Year, I will begin the daunting task of searching for a job in New York. Luckily, I have connections in NYC and LA now from my previous internships that I will definitely stay in touch with and contact if I need help finding work. My main piece of advice to all of you guys is to network and stay in touch with people from your internships!  Introduce yourselves to the speakers at the Cinemateques and other COM events because you never know when you are going to cross paths with these professionals again. It is so important to keep in touch with people you meet in this industry because they are often the ones who will help you find work and put in a good word for you in the future!

I still can’t believe I am finished at Boston University. The two and a half years I spent on campus at BU flew by and I only wish I could go back for more. After a year of traveling (last spring in Europe and this fall in LA), I am ready to settle down and look for my first job. I learned so much during my time at BU and made such lasting friendships. Make sure you guys take it all in and have fun! I wish you all the best of luck in college and hope that you all enjoy your time at BU as much as I did!

Mike

 

Mike: LA Living

Hey guys!

Greetings from Los Angeles! I’ve been here three weeks now and I’m finally settling in and getting adjusted to the whole west coast lifestyle. I must say, I really do miss September time in Boston. Yesterday it was 102 degrees here! I would do anything for a cool fall day on Bay State right about now!

The BU in LA program puts us up in Park La Brea, an apartment complex located in West Hollywood, right in the center of everything. We are walking distance from The Grove, the giant outdoor shopping center, as well as Whole Foods, Trader Joes and an awesome Farmer’s Market. It’s really convenient! Those are about the only places I can really walk to though… Unfortunately, the public transportation system out here is not nearly as efficient as in Boston or New York, so I rented a car and find myself driving everywhere, often stuck in painfully long traffic jams!

But I am certainly keeping busy out here. I am interning five days a week, 3 days at Paramount Pictures and 2 days at The Weinstein Company. Paramount is awesome because I get to be on the lot every day where they are shooting shows like American Horror Story, Glee, and Happy Endings. It’s so awesome to be right next door to the very sound stages where Hollywood classics like Rear Window and Sunset Boulevard were shot so many years ago! Over at Weinstein, I am doing lots of script coverage for their development and production departments. It’s cool to be able to see film from the studio side as well as from the side of an independent company like Weinstein, which has had success with hits like Inglorious Bastards and The King’s Speech. So far it has been an amazing experience just being out here and meeting different people in the entertainment industry.

I think I’m going to graduate after this semester in December so I can start the job hunt early and take advantage of the connections I made out here and the ones I have back home in New York. It’s really weird and hard to grasp the idea that I’m done with BU though!

I hope all of you are enjoying the starts of your semesters as much as I am! For all you film and TV kids, the LA program is definitely something to consider, what an awesome opportunity this is! I can’t stress that enough. If you guys have any questions at all about the program or about Los Angeles in general, please feel free to shoot me an email!

Best of luck this semester,

Mike

Mike: Advice for the Class of 2016

Hey guys!

So I’m currently writing this from the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard. My family and I vacation here every summer and it has become one of my favorite places on earth. If you haven’t been, make a trip! It’s just a quick ferry trip off the coast of Massachusetts.

Can you believe it’s already August 3rd? This summer has really flown by. Anyways, I know all of you incoming freshmen must be getting nervous/anxious to start BU in just a couple of weeks. By now, I’m sure you’ve all been in contact with your respective roommates. Make sure to talk to each other about what to bring for the room—I highly recommend a fan(s) for your room. Despite the freezing winter in Boston, it was brutally hot the first couple of weeks up in my room freshman year, (albeit I was on the top floor in Claflin) but a fan was definitely my savior.

My biggest piece of advice for you guys is to get involved. Don’t worry if you don’t become best friends with your floor mates (in fact, I barely keep in touch with anyone from my floor freshman year), instead, go to SPLASH, and find an activity or group that you are interested in. I met my closest friends at school through the student groups that I was part of on campus. Whether it be Greek life, student government, theater, intramural sports, BUTV, or even a club devoted to people watching, BU has something for everybody! It is your job to put yourself out there and find something that you like. You will find that you have a lot of free time in college. Your schedule is completely different from high school. Fill your time with fun activities and meet people who share your similar interests!

I’m jealous that I won’t be around this semester to experience the brand new Marciano Commons dining facility (click here to check it out!) All of you will get to enjoy this mega dining hall along with Warren and West. Other new additions to Comm Ave? Pinkberry right in the GSU! With Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and now Pinkberry, you guys really do have it made. If you are craving some Thai, I suggest heading down to West campus to grab some Brown Sugar (In my opinion, it trumps Noodle Street and Nud Pob!)

Even though I’ll be across the country in Los Angeles this semester, it doesn’t mean I’m not available to answer any of your questions or concerns. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any doubts or questions about your first semester. Good luck to you all and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my LA adventures!

Mike: A Summer Back in the US

Hey guys!

Wow, it’s been a crazy couple of months since I’ve been back from Madrid. It definitely took a few weeks to adjust back to the American lifestyle. I miss Spain so much! I still keep in touch with my host mom and email her every couple of weeks. She sends me recipes for some of my favorite Spanish dishes. I hope I can go back to visit sometime soon. I’m so mad I wasn’t there to see them win the world cup. I heard there were parades in the streets, must have been crazy!

Anyways, I got back from Spain at the end of May and then headed on a road trip in early June to Bonnaroo, the annual music festival down in Tennessee. It was so awesome! Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, and Bon Iver were a few of some of the amazing headliners. Everyone was so friendly and it was a really cool environment. Probably the closest experience to Woodstock I’ll ever get!

After Bonnaroo, I managed to squeeze in a nice and relaxing weekend trip to the Hamptons, and then I started my internship. I was lucky enough to get a summer internship so late in the game! I’m interning in the acquisitions department of IFC films which has been really cool so far. IFC is a huge name and a major contender in the world of indie film. Acquisitions is in charge of evaluating the thousands of incoming scripts/ films that are submitted to IFC and deciding which should be acquired and distributed by the company. I have seen some really interesting films so far and it has been a really good learning experience being exposed to world of independent filmmaking.

I’m actually heading up to Boston this weekend to visit friends who I haven’t seen since before I went abroad. I can’t wait to get back to Beantown, it’s been too long. I’m looking forward to walking down Comm Ave for the first time in over six months!

I’m also busy applying to internships for LA in the fall. Madrid, New York, and now LA, I can’t seem to stay in one place! But I can’t wait to go out there through BU’s study abroad internship program. It is going to be much different from Spain but it will be a great introduction into the business. I’m heading out there at the end of August and will keep you all updated on my internship hunt and my experiences out there!

I hope you guys are all enjoying your summers. Stay cool!
Mike

 

Mike: My Final Days Abroad

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Hey all,
I can’t believe it’s already nearing the end of the semester and my time abroad here in Madrid. These past few months have been the best of my life and I am so sad to leave Spain. The people I’ve met, the amazing places I’ve traveled to and the delicious food– it has all been such an incredible experience. If I have one piece of advice for underclassman, it is to go abroad. And try to go to a country where they speak another language and you can stay with a family because it really is the best way to master the language and immerse yourself in the culture.

We finally wrapped our documentary last week and have the screening this week. After months of hard work filming, interviewing and editing, we assembled a final product that i am really proud of and can’t wait to show everyone.

I’m currently writing this from my hostel in Portugal. This is my final trip before the program ends. We have a 5 day weekend because of the Spanish holidays next week. I am finally able to relax a bit and enjoy the last few weeks abroad.

It is bittersweet to leave Spain. I know how much I am going to miss Madrid but I am excited to go home to New York City and hopefully get an internship there this summer. I also was accepted into the Los Angeles internship program for this fall so I will heading to LA in August to get some hands on experience in the industry. Its going to be a very different “abroad” experience from Madrid, but I’m excited to meet new people and conquer a new city.

Unfortunately  I will be apart from Boston for yet another semester but I’ll be back in the spring to spend my last semester on campus. See you all soon!

Mike: Abroad in Madrid!

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Hola chicos!

I can’t believe I’ve already been in Madrid for almost three weeks now! I’ve been going nonstop since getting here and I’m still completely exhausted. I feel like I’ve been here for ages, it’s very strange. But so far I am absolutely loving it. It is so different from home– the culture, the food, the people, the nightlife. Every street I walk down I have to stop and take pictures. The architecture is like nothing I’ve ever seen. The people here are all very friendly (so much nicer than New Yorkers), and I am definitely glad I’m being forced to speak Spanish all the time.

My host family is wonderful. My mom, Pilar, is so kind and welcoming. We call her “mapi,” a term of endearment her kids called her when they were young. Her daughter, Maria, is also very sweet. She’s a lawyer and is always starting up conversations with me, even if I have to take long pauses to try to respond. It has been a lot of head nods, smiles, and “si’s” while I’ve been here. Neither of them speak English. They’ll know a few words here and there but I have to speak to them entirely in Spanish, which is certainly frustrating because there is so much I’d like to speak to them about but I’m not nearly knowledgeable enough to carry on full-length conversations. My comprehension is definitely much better than my speaking. My classes are all taught in Spanish so my understanding of the language is rapidly improving.

I’m enrolled in the documentary filmmaking program here (there’s only 3 of us!) so I’m taking four classes: documentary filmmaking, Spanish cinema, colloquial Spanish, and translation for film and theater. So far they are all interesting. In Spanish cinema we are covering a bunch of Almodovar movies, and in the colloquial class I am learning all kinds of Spanish slang ranging from casual greetings to ordering beers at a bar. In the translation class, we are translating scenes from classic movies like Annie Hall into Spanish. Woody Allen is definitely not an easy writer to translate, so it’s pretty challenging. The documentary class will consume most of my time as the three of us begin pre-production for the film we are shooting. We’ve been looking around the city the past few weeks to find a topic to explore. We decided to focus on the cultural significance of “pan” or bread in each meal in Spain. We are traveling to different panerias to film the process of bread making and interviewing different families to see how bread plays a role in their family dinners. I’m sure we will be eating a lot of bread along the way so I definitely don’t mind that. Overall, the food here has been delicious. There is ham and egg in everything! And they also barely refrigerate anything! The eggs, milk, and juices are always left out. So strange.

I’ve already visited Toledo, a small village about an hour outside of Madrid. It was so quaint– cobblestone streets and beautiful churches and synagogues. I felt like I had stepped into a scene from Don Quijote. Next weekend, we are traveling to Granada, which is supposed to be filled with Moorish architecture. I can’t wait. We have already booked other weekend trips to Sevilla, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. In March, I have a two week spring break where we are planning to go to Dublin and the southern coast of France– Nice, St Tropez, and Monaco, and then venture over to Italy to cover Florence and Rome. Yup, I know you’re jealous.

I will be sure to keep you guys posted on my travels! I miss Boston and hope everyone is off to a great semester.

Hasta luego,
Mike