Intern and aspiring filmmaker, Pierina Hidalgo, talks about her work for the film studies program and her plans for the future. She believes that there are unique lessons in internships that students do not encounter in a traditional classroom. We asked her all about them.
You are currently part of the Fall 2016 team of interns. What are some of your responsibilities?
I’ve written a few articles for the Film Studies website, added events to our calendar, organized the soon-to-be film library, and figured out how some of the equipment in our Digital Writing Studio work. Overall, most of my responsibilities have to do with blogging. Sometimes I’ll take pictures at events and post them on Facebook and Instagram, which has helped me gain experience in the field of social media and promotion.
Have you acquired any other practical skills?
Managing our blog has really improved my writing and editing skills, especially with Professor Strycharski helping me out. It’s really nice to have someone sit beside you and work with you. Things such as writing a strong lede and structuring articles in a “pyramid” order are a few habits I’ve acquired. Technically speaking, I’ve managed to figure out how a lavaliere mic works with a transmitter, how to use a tuner, and how to use a zoom recorder. This helps with conducting interviews and even filming on set.
You are currently applying to film schools. How has the experience helped you in preparing for the future?
Well first off, the experience has helped me build my resume. The practical skills I’ve gained are going to be useful in my next internship with FilmGate, and that opportunity will make my resume even stronger. They are certainly important requirements for the schools I’m applying to. Working as a member of our intern team has also helped me out, because I’m a real introvert. I have a hard time participating in classes, social gatherings, and I even had a difficult time in previous jobs. During this internship, I had to give my input for our newsletters and got asked on how some things should be, and what I thought about some of the others’ ideas. All of us came to value these brainstorming sessions. I think it is also worth mentioning that my internship helped me get to know Professor Strycharski and my first interviewee, Diliana Alexander, who will be writing my letters of recommendation. Working closely with professors is not only a humbling experience, but it allows them to evaluate you on a more personal level.
What kinds of projects interest you?
Filmmaking is mainly what interests me. I love fiction! I’ve been writing for almost my entire life and I’ve always had a cinematic vision, but I didn’t realize it until recently. I thought that I couldn’t really consider film school or anything like that without on-set experience, but I learned from Professor Diliana Alexander that there is real democracy in filmmaking nowadays and anyone can make a film, which I think is wonderful. Writing has always come naturally, but directing is something I’ve only recently considered. I was encouraged by a friend of mine who has already worked on a few Miami films. As I thought about it, I realized that writing a story and then bringing it to life appealed to me tremendously.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
Yes! I’m actually working on a short film which is going to be my final internship project, my final assignment for a film class, and the reel I will be submitting with my film school application. I’ve finished the script, the storyboard, and recently casted the actors. It’s an adaptation of a poem I wrote for an open mic event, but the concept has been with me for about a year now. Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates is the main inspiration for my film. It’s going to have elements of magical realism including an allegorical character. Being in this environment where I am constantly asked about my plans and what my projects are has been a great motivation. It helps me to envision my films and my future and it also disciplines me to actually get on my computer and start writing.
Article by: Dayami Padron
Dayami is interning for the FIU Film Studies during the Fall 2016 semester. She majors in History and English and is also pursuing a Film Studies Certificate.