Carson School junior receives 2014 Cannes International Film Festival Internship

Taylar Morrissey
Taylar Morrissey

Carson School junior receives 2014 Cannes International Film Festival Internship

09 Dec 2013    

Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film Junior Taylar Morrissey, of Aberdeen, S.D., has been selected to be a student intern at the American Pavilion at the 2014 Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France.

Hundreds of students compete for the 150-175 spots in the internship program, which provides experience to students interested in film, culinary arts and hospitality and event management.

“I was really excited to find out I had received an internship,” Morrissey said. “I was scrolling through on my phone when I saw the e-mail on my way to class. As soon as I realized what the e-mail said, I saw a couple of my friends down the sidewalk, so I literally just ran to them and shouted, ‘I’m going to Cannes!’”

The program runs May 11-May 26, 2014. Following two days of orientation to Cannes and the Festival, interns are given service jobs in the American Pavilion, where they work around six hours per day.

The American Pavilion is the hub of the U.S. film industry’s presence at the Cannes International Film Festival. It’s a membership-based communications and hospitality center for journalists, publicists, celebrities, filmmakers and motion picture executives working at the festival.

“The rest of the time, we’re given full accreditation for the Cannes Film Festival,” Morrissey said. “So we can see the films that are playing, we can network with people and we can explore Cannes.”

Student interns also participate in The Roundtable Series, which allows students to have small group discussions with noted individuals from both the creative and business side of the film industry. Past participants in the Roundtable Series have included Tim Roth, Jude Law and Michael Moore.

Associate Professor of Film Rick Endacott said participation in this internship program will give Morrissey a tremendous opportunity to network with industry professionals and fellow film students.

“It is always gratifying to see our student’s talent recognized. Of course, participation in the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival provides a unique opportunity to not only watch great films and see famous celebrities and directors up close,” Endacott said. “But perhaps most importantly, it is an opportunity to network and meet filmmaking peers from across the U.S. and around the world. Those young people are the folks who will be walking the red carpet in the future. I’m proud that Taylar’s talent and hard work has earned her the chance to be one of them and represent the Johnny Carson School and UNL.”

It is a rare chance for Morrissey to learn first-hand about the business side of the film industry.

“The Cannes Film Festival is a working film festival. It’s not something you can buy a ticket to and just go as a civilian,” Morrissey said. “You have to be invited to it as a member of the industry, so this is one of the very few opportunities students could have of actually getting to go without magically becoming a part of a great, big production team.”

Morrissey said her interest in film began when she was growing up.

“I’ve always like movies growing up. I grew up on Disney and all that stuff,” she said.

She participated in theatre in high school, and she and her friends made AMV’s (anime music videos), where they took clips from anime cartoons and edited them together and set them to music.

“I got started doing that and realized that I liked putting films together and seeing how they go,” she said.

Morrissey wasn’t sure she wanted film as a career path, so when she started at UNL she was an undeclared major.

“I was looking for a school that had a lot to offer and a lot of opportunities and majors I could explore,” Morrissey said. “When I came to UNL, I was blown away by the campus and said I could see myself being here.”

Though she began with an undeclared major, she found her way to the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film during her freshman year.

“Whenever I started to think about my future, it would come back to doing entertainment work or doing theatre or film or something like that,” she said.

She started getting back into theatre first, doing makeup for Theatrix’s New Artists’ Festival during her freshman year. She applied for the film program at the end of her freshman year, but did not get in.

“I didn’t have a good portfolio at that point,” she said.

So her sophomore year she took digital film and screenwriting classes to build up her portfolio, and was accepted into the film program.

“At the end of last year, I was accepted into the program, and I’ve been having the time of my life,” Morrissey said.

She has broad experience, doing everything from makeup, costumes, carpentry and stage crew for Theatrix and University Theatre productions, in addition to writing and directing in theatre and film projects. Her career goal is to get involved in writing and directing.

“I really believe that someone who is going to be in a powerful position like director needs to have a basic understanding of how all the departments work and how they work together,” Morrissey said.

She also recognizes that film and theatre are linked.

“There’s still a huge amount of dialogue between the theatre world and film world,” she said. “Just look at the musicals on Broadway right now. Half of them were inspired by films that were made several years ago, and they’re making movies out of plays. As long as there is theatre and film existing in the same world, there will always be a dialogue between them because they’re very similar to each other, while being vastly different.”

She is looking forward to her experience at the Cannes Film Festival.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting all the industry professionals there,” she said. “Just getting to meet people that were once in my shoes or something similar to this and just seeing how far they can go and still working and improving their craft. Anything you’re doing, you’re going to be standing in line for a minimum of an hour and a half to two hours, so while you’re sitting there, you talk to the people around you because they’re all there for the same reason. They’re all there as film professionals.”

Read more about Morrissey at her blog: tayngerousadventures.blogspot.com.