Student Interns with the Oscars | Tristan Mikesell

Student Interns with the Oscars | Tristan Mikesell

Darcy Force

Tristan Mikesell, a communication major with an emphasis in Radio, TV and Film, recently had the opportunity to experience some real world working experience as a production assistant on a major movie set. Mikesell's time working as an intern took place over an eight-week period, with four of those taking place during pre-production.  

"I did so many things. Being a production assistant may be the least glamorous job on set, but it was a great thing because I could see the film as a whole." Mikesell said, who can’t go into further details yet because of a non-disclosure agreement. To him the abbreviation of PA didn't stand for production assistant, but for "pretty awesome." 

One day during filming the production had to move to a pasture in order to capture a certain sequence. Before the actors could begin their work, Mikesell had to go out and clear the area of cow manure. This wasn't the brightest moment on set, but Mikesell had a positive attitude about it. According to him, "At rock bottom you can only go up." 

With that kind of attitude, Mikesell’s supervisor quickly saw they could entrust him with more responsibilities. By the end of the internship, he was assisting with research and procurement of major purchases. He served in any capacity the film crew needed, and enjoyed every minute of it. With time he also was able to be an extra on the film, an experience that only helped to make the internship much more enjoyable. 

"[This] has affected my career path immensely. Before, I thought working in the film industry was just a dream. Now I know it’s something that’s actually possible," said Mikesell. 


Tristan Mikesell, Communication-Radio, TV, Film, 2016