The UNC Hollywood Internship Program is an industry immersion experience offered by the Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences each summer. Working at internships at production companies, agencies, studios and related businesses, students apply lessons learned in the classroom lecture component of UNC Hollywood while gaining practical skills and learning about careers in the entertainment industry.
The work and study opportunity provides students with exposure to renowned producers, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers and agents, as well as hands-on opportunities at state-of-the-art technical facilities.
Our program began with a handful of interns in 1992, and since then, more than 300 Carolina students have come to Los Angeles to discover their place in the entertainment industry. They have attended lectures by many luminaries in the business and learned about all aspects of film and television production–from editing to production design, directing to acting to distribution, and development to music composition to talent management. The opportunity to get the BIG picture from successful Hollywood icons and to understand how various elements of the business come together to make the final product is invaluable.
Since 1994, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has supported the program with more than $200,000 in grants (which go directly to intern scholarships) and in-kind donations. In a city where the internship opportunities may seem most competitive for students from local schools like USC and UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill has been consistently recognized by the academy for the quality of our internship program.
Thanks to the program’s longevity, many of our former interns are now hosts to current interns. Networking through the program has provided career guidance and oftentimes employment. After 27 years, the program continues to thrive, sending around 20 students each year to fulfill lifelong goals. In 2019, Paul Edwards, the internship’s founding director, passed leadership to new program director David Merritt.
To this day, through UNC-Hollywood, lives have been changed and continue to be changed. Art is being created and important stories are being told.
Read more about the Hollywood Internship Program in Carolina Arts & Sciences Magazine.
Special support is provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Gifts from private donors, including generous alumni, friends and family, also help make UNC Hollywood possible—providing support for internships, faculty and educational programming. Make a gift.
Without Paul Edwards and his support during my internship process and into my early career, I don’t know where I would have found a start to my career in Hollywood–or even that I would have a career. I’m a successful producer on two television shows now thanks to Paul, and I am forever grateful for his guidance.
– Brian Ferguson, ’03
Thanks to the UNC-Hollywood program, I was placed as an intern at the company for which I am still working. I love my job. I get to produce films and documentaries that I really care about. I am forever grateful to the program for helping me make the transition from my studies at UNC to the career I now have in the industry.
– Katie McNeil, ’08
Former intern and current mentor/intern preceptor
In a town that’s all about experience and who you know, the UNC Hollywood Internship Program is extremely helpful and important to any Tar Heel who dreams of making it in Hollywood.
– Cole Hammack, ’12