Meet Giants Intern Jacob Gray

Jacob Gray is one of our newest LeadersUp interns! Through our partnership with James Bland Productions, Jacob will be working on the second season of “Giants the Series” as a production intern. Check out his Q&A below and stay tuned for his upcoming vlog next week!

Tell us a bit about how the experience has been to date? Are there any highlights you would like to share?

Working on “Giants” has been a positive and informative experience so far. The crew is small and familiar with each other, so fitting in isn’t difficult at all. I’ve been able to actually chat with almost every single member of the cast and crew. I’ve already received valuable rule-of-thumb advice in regard to production design, learned more methods of rigging lights in less than perfect scenarios, and have been able to see what a cohesive Director to DP relationship looks like.

How did you find/connect to this opportunity?

A longtime family friend told me that “Giants” put out a call for interns. She linked me to a Twitter post and I followed through immediately because the deadline was approaching quickly.

How hard has it been for you to enter the creative industry?

Locking down an internship has been expectedly gruesome. I applied to several internships in big studios, indie studios, and internet media companies and only got a bite from this one. I got the lead to the Giants/LeadersUp internship from a family friend inside the industry.

Why is important to keep persisting?

It is important to keep persisting because I know I have to work twice as hard for equal status. Also, the fields of film, television, and media are so ruthless that an almost competitive nature is key just to be able to get work and be able to make your own content within those industries.

What advice do you have for those looking to enter the creative field?

Seek out as much info on all of the roles that actually make up the “creative field.” Do research on colleges, guilds, unions, and all of the career paths out there that can ensure you are able to make a living off of being creative. More importantly: be ambitious in your personal endeavors. Make stuff and build a portfolio that shows you are self-determined and active.

What technical/hard skills are you learning?

I’m learning how to organize props and set dressing in relation to the shooting schedule; making sure documents detailing what props we’ve used or haven’t used are up to date. I’ve learned how artist’s release forms work. I’ve learned ways to put up paintings and other wall hanging items without using nails or adhesives that damage walls. I’ve mostly been involved with production design, but I’ve picked up on general lighting and gripping techniques too—such as DIY methods of rigging lights, how to set up a slider, and what kind of lights are useful for different scenarios.

What hard skills do you have now that you didn’t know you had before?

After about four days of being on set, I’ve become more comfortable making decisions on the look of the set and placing props where they need to be.

What roadblocks are you facing?

In terms of working in the industry, I feel that big and small studios’ and media companies’ efforts to make the workplace more inclusive have fallen short. I also feel like my particular school’s culture is not designed to help students find employment or even develop specific skills that would be helpful in the plethora of jobs outside of directing, cinematography, and editing.

What are the opportunities in the entertainment industry that you are looking for?

I’m working towards getting into the Art Director’s Guild so I can get consistent work in the art department for films and shows. Whether this means completing their PA Trainee or acquiring enough credits, I hope I can join this guild. In addition to joining a guild, I want to build relationships with producers with hopes of getting access to more resources for making my own films.

What are your hopes and dreams?

To have a career being creative and to help my friends do the same. I want to work in several mediums writing and directing films and shows that portray my hopes, dreams, and unique world view. I want to take advantage of this new era of self-distribution and avoid the major studios as much as possible. I also hope that I can join a union or guild to help me achieve the financial stability that would allow me to invest in my own projects.

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