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Alecia Jo Riehle Self Evaluation ENC4942: Internship December 6, 2013

Red Hills Releasing: A Reflection

When I heard about The Torchlight program through an email from my advisor, I was immediately intrigued. The program combined two of my favorite things: writing for new media texts, and talking about films. After completing a phone interview and filling out a lot of paperwork, I started my semester at The Red Hills Motion Picture Releasing Company. My duty as a social media marketing intern was to promote each clients independent film, using sites like Facebook and Twitter to do so. My supervisor, Mr. Paul Cohen, allowed his interns to have direct contact with both consumers and film executives. His intention was to teach us as much as possible about the motion picture industry and give us real world experience. At Red Hills, we promoted films on social media before, during, and after they were released to the general public. Our social media team was able to screen those movies beforehand so we knew what we were talking about. However, we didnt tell the consumers we interacted with that we worked for the films we promoted, or that we saw them before anyone else could. Our job was to create buzz about each film on social media by talking about how much we loved it as though we were merely excited fans. Every day that I worked, my shift supervisor would assign me a film to work on. I would then browse through my email to check for collateral. Id catch up on any news regarding that film. If there was a new interview with the cast that was released, Id make sure to find the link and save it to use in my posts that day. Id

also check for reviews on sites like the Village Voice and Hollywood Reporter. Whatever articles were positive Id keep handy to reference in my posts. The goal for each four hour shift was to get at least 30 posts out on social media. Depending on the film, this could be relatively easy or quite the challenge. My job was to generate organic conversation about the film I was promoting. In order to do so, Id figure out the target market for my film and search for groups on Facebook, or Id look up key words that were associated with my film on Twitter. Id then interact with the people who were already talking about topics related to the movie. More often than not, these people would be very receptive when I asked them to check out my film, because they were already interested in the content. However, some of the documentaries that we worked on this semester were a little more difficult to market, because there werent many people talking about topics associated with them online. These took more time. Besides posting on social media websites, wed screen at least one film a week and have conference calls with industry executives two or three times a week. During these conference calls, we would be briefed on how each film was doing in sales, what promotional campaigns they were running next, and what we could do to improve our online presence while marketing the movie in the future. This feedback was always very constructive, and I learned a lot just from listening in on an industry conference call. Posting online taught me how to properly interact with a consumer, and being on conference calls taught me how to interact with professionals.

Looking back on my work at Red Hills this semester, I think the qualities that continually seemed to impress my superiors were my writing skills and my professionalism. I was always on time, always focused, and always polite. I received many complements on my strong writing skills. I found that my weakness had to do with my desire for it all to be perfect. I took longer than most to get posts out on social media because I wanted to make sure that each one was written correctly and concisely. I value quality over quantity, and because of that I sometimes found it hard to keep up with everyone else. The work environment was pretty relaxed, which I imagine is the exact opposite of what its really like to work in the entertainment business. This internship was a great opportunity for me because Id love to go into film or theatre PR someday. I can now list a bunch of nationally acclaimed award winning independent films on my resume and say that Ive worked for them. I think thats really going to make a difference when Im applying for other internships or entrylevel positions in the entertainment business. Id suggest an internship with Red Hills Releasing to any student who is truly interested in breaking into the world of film PR, marketing, or even media production itself. Anyone who makes movies for a living is going to have to learn how to market them successfully. Not only does this internship give you that experience, but it also gives you plenty of experience with using social media to promote a product. This is something that more and more companies are doing nowadays. If a student has a title like social media marketing intern on their

resume, an employer is going to know that you have a skill set that is desirable and needed more and more often in this digital age.

Overall word count: 48,793 Secret Lives of Dorks: 1,517 Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde: 19,314 The Lifeguard: 926 Geography Club: 10,779 C.O.G.: 2,410 Shored Up: 451 JFK: A President Betrayed: 3,120 Dislecksia: The Movie: 3,902 Ass Backwards: 2,188 Dead Before Dawn: 3,574 Desert Runners: 612