Anyone who has ever met Janet Reinschmidt ’18 knows she’s crazy about film archiving and film history. So when Tegan Zimmerman, assistant professor of English and creative writing at Stephens College, told her student about a summer internship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences film archive in Los Angeles, Reinschmidt wasted no time applying.

After a three-part interview process, the English major from Austin, Texas, landed the Academy Film Archive internship plus a spot with Academy Gold, a new entertainment industry-wide summer internship and mentoring program designed to expand opportunities for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.

The eight-week experience from mid-June to mid-August affirmed for Reinschmidt, who is minoring in film, that a career as a film historian, archivist and preservationist is exactly what she wants.

“It was an incredible experience,” she said. “I had never been to L.A. before, but I knew I would have to go sometime because everything I want to do is there. It’s the place to be.”

For her internship with the Academy Film archive, Reinschmidt worked 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday under the tutelage of professional archivists, learning the intricacies of inspecting film the “Academy way.”

As an Academy Gold intern, she joined 69 other film-school students, mostly women and minorities, for panel discussions, screenings and intimate conversations with filmmakers such as Kathryn Bigelow, director of “Detroit,” Sofia Coppola and Jada Pinkett Smith. The interns also had opportunities to network with Academy members and industry professionals, and attend studio tours and educational workshops.

Partners in the inaugural internship program included The Walt Disney Company, HBO, IMAX Corporation, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox Film, University Pictures and Warner Bros., to name a few.

Interns were also offered free tickets to a number of theaters in L.A. where they could watch new releases and talk with filmmakers and actors afterward.

“I saw every new release for the entire summer because I’m a movie fanatic, and I absolutely love the theater experience,” said Reinschmidt, who roomed with a number of interns during her stay in L.A. “We all grew so close over the summer. We formed a group chat and still talk every day.”

Keri Yost, associate professor of digital filmmaking at Stephens, said Reinshcmidt’s summer experience will benefit her career for years to come.

“Janet is an exceptional film scholar and understands film history in a way I rarely see at the undergrad level,” Yost said. “She is the voice we truly need in our industry, particularly when there are too few female film critics and archivists working today. She understands the movies are not just entertainment but say so much about our history and culture. Her passion has been inspiring.”

Reinschmidt is continuing her connection with the Academy through her mentor Grover Crisp, executive vice president of asset management, film restoration and digital mastering at Sony Pictures in L.A. They talk on the phone and email often. He’s given her advice on graduate school.

“He’s very nice and been very helpful,” Reinschmidt said.

One of the biggest lessons Reinschmidt learned from her experience is that she works better under pressure than she thought, and that reaching out to others isn’t so hard after all.

“Even though I’ve been shy my whole life, I can be myself, and I’m actually really good at networking and talking to people; who knew?” she said. “Basically, it gave me a confidence that I never had and didn’t even know I needed.”


Read “What I Learned from Katharine Hepburn," a piece written by Reinschmidt about her internship experience. 

Tags : Student Success, School of Creative & Performing Arts, English/Creative Writing

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