Thursday, 14 April 2011

Employment Opportunities

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have discovered a new vein of employment: “The Assistant Internship”

I have seen such positions crop up for a while now, most recently in the latest Arts Hub* newsletter, which advertised:

Research Assistant Internship
We are looking for a bright and enthusiastic individual to work at an exciting innovative media company for a 10 week 'research assistant' internship.

Project and Administrative Assistant - Internship
*** are recruiting for a Project and Administrative Assistant to join our small and busy team in South West London.

Now, surely, surely someone must realise the stonking great oxymoron staring them in the face?

Assistant, n:
1. someone who receives Actual Money
2. someone with privileges such as a desk, a working computer, holiday time, a name (other than “you”)
3. someone who is not kicked out of a company at the end of a set period

Intern, n:
None of the above.

I’m sorry, I have tried to write an intelligent and informed response to this, but I simply can’t - it's got to be a joke, right?

Note the patronising use of quotations in the research position, which suggests that the ickle intern will be pwaying at having a weal job just like the grown ups do. Only without being paid.

“Assistant Internship”? What the hell does that even mean?

Well, I know what it means.

In employer jargon, it means “the opportunity to spend 10 weeks working on an exciting project, assisting the research/project and administration departments and learning about that side of the industry”

Which roughly translates to “the department can’t cope, but we’re too cheap to hire an assistant. We’ll just stick the word “internship” on the end of it and pay ‘em expenses. They won’t know the difference.”

What’s next? “Doctor – Internship”? “Prime Minister – Internship”? Is “Internship” just going to become a byword for “p.s. we pay you jack shit”?

I shudder to think on it.

*Disclaimer: I am not saying in any way that Arts Hub are writing these applications or are in any way involved with the misrepresentation of applications. So there.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

It Sucker Punch-ed

As an intern in any sort of film related industry, you become privy to a number of films which aren’t set to come out for a very long time. You also spend vast amounts of time on Apple Trailers. For research purposes, of course.

Thus, I had been hotly anticipating Zach Snyder’s Sucker Punch for more than a year, so much so that I dragged The Boy to see it as soon as it came out last Friday, even though it meant going to the Leicester Square Odeon, which vastly overcharges its patrons to sit in a room full of tourists, watching a screen which is slightly bigger than your average Vue.

I haven’t yet been forgiven for this. Sucker Punch, quite frankly, Sucked.

Luckily, I have unearthed a transcript from the movie, so you can spare yourselves the inordinate sums I paid, and read for yourselves whether the movie’s for you:

FADE IN: A slightly murky looking American landscape with vaguely 1930’s overtones.

Cue really loud and dramatic rock music over the title sequence, which features Synder’s key technique of giving random object such as a tear a major close up. This is supposed to be powerful.
Throughout the title sequence, the premise is set up: EMILY BROWNING’s mother dies, leaving all her money to EMILY and her LITTLE SIS. This enrages Browning’s EVIL STEPFATHER, who throws a lot of paper around his study to convey said rage.

Enraged evil stepfather attempts to kill/maim/rape little sis. Browning grabs a gun from somewhere to stop him, but inadvertently shoots little sis by mistake.
EVIL STEP FATHER (to Browning): And now, I will shove you into this mental hospital which has been ripped off of a Tim Burton movie for all eternity, in an attempt to justify Synder’s claim that the film is about the oppression of women, rather than just a chance to show a lot of leg
EVIL HEAD DOCTOR greets Step Father and demands money from him in exchange for Browning’s eternal incarceration.

EVIL HEAD DOCTOR: Ah-ha, I like to beat girls in a way which totally justifies Synder’s claim that that the film is about the oppression of women, rather than just a chance to show a lot of leg.
EMILY BROWNING (to camera): As you will see, I haven’t yet said anything. Nor do I say anything for quite a while yet. But look at my lips, aren’t they pouty?
Teenage boy in the audience has a furtive wank in the back row, which totally justifies Synder’s claim that…oh, never mind…

HEAD EVIL DOCTOR: And now, I will give you a lobotomy, so that you are as mindless as the rest of this movie.
Cue close-up of a sharp pointy object going into Browning’s eye, although because the movie is only rated 12A, we swiftly cut away before we see anything remotely violent and instead enter “Ancient Japanese Land.”

ANCIENT JAPANESE MAN: hello, you have to find these fairly mundane maguffins in order to create some semblance of a plot. They include a map, a lighter and anything else the Famous Five went searching for. Whilst you’re out there, see if you can also find the plot. It appears to have gone missing.

Emily Browning, now dressed like an X-Rated Anime character, does lots of moves which involve her spinning upside and showing us all her pants. In a non-gratuitous way.

Kung Fu Panda has a furtive wank in the corner.

Browning is suddenly transported to a completely inexplicable middle level, where she and all the other mental hospital inmates are dancers/prostitutes in a burlesque house overseen by EVIL HEAD DOCTOR. They do some sexy dancing, taught to them by FOREIGN MATERNAL DOCTOR, who wants to look after them. There she meets SWEETPEA, ROCKET, AMBER and BLONDIE.
Teenage Boy swiftly leafs through his back issues of NUTS, to see if they've done any topless press.

SWEETPEA: Hey there, Emily Browning, Zach’s given us all names suggestive of female genitalia, so for the rest of the movie you shall be christened Baby Doll. Oh, and you’re allowed to speak now.

EMILY BROWING/BABY DOLL: But I don’t want to speak, I want to do a sexy dance. And every time I do my sexy dance, we will be transported into a futuristic Nazi Germany, were we will fight people in very prolonged and yet dull action sequences, wearing skimpy outfits which are in no way gratuitous.

Baby Doll and her band of burlesque rebels go back and forth between Video Game Land and Burlesque Land, neither of which have anything to do with the original setting of the mental institution, apart from a very tenuous metaphor about “escaping.” Along the way, they all get hyper emotional which has absolutely zero effect on the audience, because they have been too blinded by the amount of leg on show to form any sort of emotional attachment to the characters.
AMBER (flicking through her script): Wait a minute: I was the lead in High School Musical and I dated Zac Efron - why do I only have two lines?

ZACH SNYDER: Shut up and show some more leg, slut. In a totally empowered way.
He whips them all. Charlie Sheen wanders on set and mistakes Emily Browning for one of his Goddesses. He wanks furtively in a corner.

Snyder realizes that he’s forgotten all about the mental hospital, so hastily returns the action there before he runs out of ideas. Emily Browning has been lobotomised, allowing her to act slightly more emotional than she has done for the rest of the film.

FOREIGN MATERNAL DOCTOR realizes that EVIL HEAD DOCTOR is evil, and tatles on him to the police, who come to arrest him. He gets upset because he can no longer rape the inmates.

Teenage boys, Kung Fu Panda and Charlie Sheen suddenly feel guilty.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

A Tory-d Affair

I say: let 'em.

Yes, it is slightly cringe-worthy that rich Tory parents are digging their hands in their pockets so that little Susanna and young Hugo can spend a week doing photocopying at Tatler, but really, what do we care?

If I have proved nothing else over the last year and a half, it's that doing an internship does not lead to a job.
Neither does doing ten internships.

Yes, it is unfair and elitist that these teenagers have the privilege of gaining access to these locations just because Daddy went to school with Dave and thinks he's a Jolly Nice Chap, but at the end of that week, it's extremely unlikely that they will get anything out of it.

Do you really think that Susanna and Hugo are going to be making power point presentations in board meetings or taking the floor in conference calls, leading their employers to see their potential and offer them a job on the spot? No. Like everyone else, they are going to spend a week making tea for people who won't know their name, and will then be booted out on Friday evening with the rest of the garbage. Ok, someone may argue that they are taking places away from those who really deserve these places, but actually all they're doing is saving those assumedly intelligent and hard-working people from the degradation of being treating like a hostess trolley, and hopefully instead they will make a crack at getting an actual job.

The hilarious thing is that these people are forking out up to £3,000 for their children to work for free: surely this proves that we should be spending more time thinking about the intern culture and what it means for our society, and less about how feckless people are spending their money.

Hate the game, not the players, people.

Always an Intern. Out.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


I feel that I have been working in "Media" for a relatively long time now.

Apologies, that should have read "Working" in Media.

Being considerably familiar with the industry (and spending rather a lot of time listlessly staring at the television), I have discovered a rather lucrative niche in the market: The TV Mash-Up.

The way I see it, TV is already scraping the bottom of the barrel (see My Monkey Baby), so why not cash in on these money-spinners by combining some, thereby ensuring that the Powers-Can-Be can spend less time having to think up new shows, and more time wondering what they’re going to have for lunch. So that the intern can go out and buy it for them.

If there are any TV producers out there reading this, here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:

Strictly Come Dine With Me On Ice

A stunt-filled spectacle in which contestants much each prepare a 3-course meal whilst performing a choreographed ice-skating routine. Arlene Philips, Pamela Anderson and those fat greek men off of Britain’s Got Talent will judge.

The winner gets some money. And potentially an injury.


A thrilling two-part special in which the Glee Club win a trip to England, where they must stage a full-scale performance in the Queen Vic. Rachel and Dot rehearse a stunning rendition of Wicked’s “Defying Gravity,” but when Dot breaks her hip right before opening night, her faithful husband Jim must step in as “Glinda, The Good Witch.” Kurt gets off with the gay Indian one, and they perform a duet of “Ebony and Ivory” to voice their feelings. The special ends with an ensemble rendition of “Perfect Day,” during which Quinn gets a Croydon face-lift and is offered a position as a market trader.

Super Sweet Sixteen and Pregnant
Bitter-sweet documentary series hosted by Bristol Palin, in which Super Rich and Super Pregnant teens set out to plan some extraordinary birthday bashes. Will the teens make it to their big day in time? Or will they end up Super Sweet Sixteen…and in labour…

Mock The Weakest Link

A Robinson-Bashing extravaganza in which the Mock The Week gang hurl abuse and open cartons of milk at the ginger host, interspersed with their discussions on the week’s most topical events.

Come on producers - these ideas don't just think themselves up - you want me on board, right?


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I'm Back, Baby.

It's been a long hiatus. One fraught with worry over whether I would be blacklisted from the film industry for telling some unhappy truths.


You missed me, right?

This silent period has been one of great reflection; one in which I have truly sat down and considered what my internships have taught me and what possible career choices I could have after a year's hard slog. Here is a short list:

Tea's Maid

Like the iconic 60's Teasmade, only more human. My job would be to wait beside the slumbering owner until a designated time in the morning, at which point I would shout "TEA'S MADE" repeatedly in their ear repeatedly until they wake up, whilst simultaneously making them a handy cup of tea. The perfect solution for any early riser.

Vacuum Cleaner

As with the "Roll Easy," I too could be the vacuum cleaner you never have to lift. My professional experience at hoovering the office of key executives would make me the perfect addition to any corporate space. Simply install me into the appropriate area and I will personally ensure that your office is kept spick and span. On my hands and knees, if necessary.

Human File Binder

Men, are you tired of having to physically attach metal binders to scripts? Fear not, with the Human File Binder your worries are over. Simply hand the file you wish to bind over to the Binder, and she will personally ensure that the job is done: no mess, no fuss, no waste. Comes in two easy sizes: Starved (travel fees only) and Impoverished (travel plus lunch)


Always misplacing your pens? Losing your papers? Is your chair never at a comfortable height for your deask?
With the Intern-a-desk, your problems are over. For a nominal fee and the occasional glass of water, this friendly intern will crouch at the perfect height to solve all your desk needs. With a handy mouth for storing pens and TWO WHOLE HANDS for holding everything from papers to plates to cups of tea (see Tea's Maid for added extras), the Intern-A-Desk is the latest in office technology.

Know anyone requiring any of these pictures? Send them my direction - I'm back, baby.

Will work for money.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Last week I was on LBC talking to Jeni Barnett about growing awareness over the unfairness (and possible illegality) of unpaid internships.

Thank you to Jeni for bringing light to the situation, and for dedicating a whole show to the topic; the general consensus was there need to be more regulations in place to stop interns being taken advantage of, a sentiment which has been echoed frequently by intern rights campaigners over the past year.

Anyone wishing to hear the show can download it here:
(although you have to pay to sign up, and I'm sure no-one is that eager to hear me wittering on...)

And yes, the podcast is entitled
This audio requires a subscription"Charlotte Church talks about her new single 15th Sept"
Me and Charlotte. On the same show. Best buds.

Looks like I'm moving up in the world. 

Monday, 13 September 2010

Things That Ruin My Day 2: Phone Numbers

I have spent a very large part of my day - and indeed a larger part of last week - inputting business card details into my boss's email contacts.

I know - I live a riveting life.

But it has come to my conclusion that there seems to be some kind of general disagreement here about the correct way to write down a simple phone number.

Let's take the humble London office number as a starting point:
Eleven digits. I.e. 02071234567
n.b. I don't know if this is an actual phone number. If you're feeling particularly frisky, give it a ring and report back.

Come on, it's eleven digits - we're not talking Pi here - so why is it that there is such a vast disagreement on how the digits should be separated?

is it 020 7123 4567?
is it 0207 123 4567?
0207 1234567?

and don't get me started on the +44, 0044 or +44 (0).

No one is consistent and it makes me very, very upset.

Especially as I suspect I have discalculia.

All I desire is a bit of peace and harmony in the world. That we all band together and agree on one united form of telephone notation, so that humble, numerically challenged interns like myself aren't endlessly plagued with this problem, alongside other tough challenges like how to get jammed paper out of the photocopier, and what to do when you've hole-punched something on the wrong side.

Is that asking so much?
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