Beyond the basics: An Immersive Look at Film Production in Action by Malia Kiang (A’22)

by tuftsigl
Jul 21

When I landed back home in Honolulu, Hawai’i after classes were cancelled in March, I was dismayed to have lost the hands-on opportunities to create and work on my own films at the university. However, through the Institute for Global Leadership (IGL), I was able to find a remote internship with Bummer Lamb Pictures, a boutique video production company, that has allowed me to learn about and gain experience working on all the pre- and post-production aspects of filmmaking. From researching new film ideas, to creating pitch decks, to working on websites for films, I have gained a new appreciation for how much work must be done outside of just creating a film in order to secure funding and market the film to the right audiences.

As a junior majoring in the Film and Media Studies, I have spent a lot of time studying storytelling, camera techniques, and film history. However, I have not spent a lot of time learning about or practicing all of the other skills necessary to make a successful film. At Bummer Lamb, I set my own schedule and work to complete essential pieces of marketing and funding pitches in order to make sure their current documentary film is a success. While I have plenty of practice filming, editing, and even writing my own stories, I must admit I have not had to think about how I would secure large scale funding for a feature length film or how I would construct marketing materials and use online resources to share my film with audiences.

Bummer Lamb has given me the opportunity to create a real slide deck to pitch their latest documentary social justice film, “The Great Divide.” They provided me with resources like promotional photos and a webinar on creating slide decks for films and gave me the freedom to experiment and create multiple drafts until I felt comfortable presenting a slide deck I was proud of. There are so many different factors that go into a slide deck that I was entirely unaware of, from trying to match the design and feel of the deck to accurately represent the feel of the film, to figuring out how to succinctly summarize and visually represent the most important characters and plot point. Working on an actual slide deck meant I had to don several different hats. I learned how to quickly create my own graphics and design a visually appealing slide, and the essential marketing tips and key parts of a pitch that every filmmaker should know about to promote their film. Having to actually take the things I learned and put them into practice made each lesson stick more as it went from theory to something I had to remember and implement in my work.

Being remote, my internship has also taught me to be resourceful and to manage my own tasks. I am encouraged to do my own research and implement or suggest any changes in design or strategy that I think of. My supervisor, film director and Tufts alumnus Casey Beck, values my input and respects my opinions, giving me free reign to redesign Bummer Lamb’s website and research and pitch my own documentary film ideas to her. It has been a really enlightening experience to be involved in the process of producing a small production company’s film. I get to see all the work that has to go into getting a project off the ground and am inspired by their success. Filmmaking is still a predominantly male dominated field, so working directly with a successful female director and being able to do work for a production company headed by women has been especially amazing.
Overall, my internship has been incredibly satisfying as not only has it inspired me to pursue my own creative projects in the future, but more importantly it has given me the experience and skills to make my projects successful.


Alumna Casey Beck provided this remote internship