Carson School junior earns Academy internship
calendar icon24 Jun 2013
Megan Fleming, a film and new media junior in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from Lawrence, Kan., is the recipient of a prestigious internship this summer from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation.
The Academy’s summer student internship program provides more than 40 industry-wide internships to college and graduate students from across the country and is considered one of the top 10 internships in the country. The program gives students in-depth exposure to professional television production during an eight-week period in Los Angeles.
“I was really shocked at first, and I didn’t really process it,” Fleming said. “But then after the initial shock of things, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. It was an awesome experience, being able to tell people, and to call my mom and tell her I got it. I was pretty amazed.”
Focused on producing early on in her career
Fleming was selected in the internship category of episodic series. She has begun working at The Hub Network, a children’s and family network created by Discovery Communications and Hasbro, Inc. Fleming was unsure of exactly who she might shadow, but expects to oversee production of a series during the eight-week internship.
“I’m going to be observing the production process of a series, in a nutshell,” she said. “The Academy is really good about pairing someone with another person in their field to follow throughout their internship. That’s why they are prestigious because they assign you to one person to work with and be your mentor.”
Associate Producer of Film Sharon Teo-Gooding said Fleming came into the film and new media program focused on producing.
“She came into the program knowing that she wanted to produce,” Teo-Gooding said. “She produced early, and people knew she was good. She has had more producing credits than other students.”
Fleming said by the time she finished high school, she was deciding between directing and producing.
“I was always very producing minded because I always wanted to hear about the nuts and bolts of it,” she said. “I think I liked producing the most just because you get to work with so many people. You’re essentially the boss of things with help from other people.”
That collaboration is what interests her in this career.
“Being able to take a story and work with a few other companies or a team of people to make this project grow into what you see on TV today, I think that would be really cool,” Fleming said. “So I started taking producing classes last year in college, and that’s where I decided to end up eventually.”
Internship will develop connections and field experience
Fleming was currently working in Los Angeles with two independent production companies, a documentary company and an independent television and film company, when she got word of her Academy internship.
“Now that I have this Academy internship, I’m unfortunately going to have to quit these,” she said. “But they have been invaluable experiences as well. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world, just being able to come here a month and a half early and be able to learn the high-paced nature of this industry and how to deal with being an intern.”
She has produced a number of short films in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and will be producing her advanced project next year. She also served as a production assistant on the Carson Film Series film “Digs” and has worked as a video production intern at HuskerVision for the UNL Athletic Department.
“I’ve already been collaborating with people, and that’s the most important thing,” Fleming said. “I can collaborate with classmates on these short films, and then be able to go to a job and do the same thing, just on a way-bigger scale. I’ve learned so much just from the production side of it working with other students and talking to them about their experiences.”
Teo-Gooding said Fleming has good skills for a producer.
“She’s very focused, diligent and really good at taking critique and applying it successfully,” Teo-Gooding said. “She’s really mature and responsible. I’m really proud of Megan.”
Fleming knows the Academy internship will be a good experience.
“This is THE Academy of Television,” Fleming said. “Once you’re connected to that, you can really start developing your network. Being able to really foster these relationships with these people I’m going to meet and really make these connections so when I come out here next year, I can get another internship or a job from them. I should have these opportunities lead to new opportunities.”