Film buff Barry Samaha ’10 has landed the perfect internship this summer. The Media and Society and Art History double-major is interning in Los Angeles at Focus Features, the art house films division of NBC’s Universal Pictures.
The stereotype of interns doing nothing but getting coffee and running errands certainly does not apply to Samaha’s internship at Focus Features. He describes many of his tasks and assignments as being “super cool.” “I am able to read scripts, go to screenings for films, and I am able to witness how films are promoted and publicized firsthand. I am also able to meet all the executives at not only Focus Features, but Universal Studios, as well.”
Samaha’s specific internship is in the publicity department, so many of his tasks involve the press and various publications. He searches through magazines and Internet sources to find references to Focus Features and any of the films that it produces. Though this is a daily task, the rest of his assignments vary greatly. One of his more unique assignments was to create playlists of songs for cocktail parties to promote films.
He has also taken advantage of the many opportunities to get more involved at Focus Features. He joined Focus Green, which is a group of interns and employees that promotes recycling and environmentally-friendly practices at the company. He also was accepted into the Reel Intern Program, in which interns are placed into three groups of five and compete to come up with the best documentary, Website, and grass-roots campaign to attract college students to intern with the company. The team of interns who wins the competition will be taken out to dinner with an executive of the company.
Samaha believes that his interdisciplinary major in media and society has greatly contributed to his success with this internship. The various courses that he has taken at HWS introduced him to terms and concepts that he deals with every day at his internship. “Because of my training in the classroom I can definitely hold a conversation with my supervisor when asked about a certain film.”
On campus, Samaha is one of the founding members of the HWS Media Club for which he has acted as vice president each semester since its inception. He is also involved with the Caribbean Student Association where he has served as the Public Relations Officer. In addition, he has been involved with the Arts Collective.