Fox Searchlight must be transparent with film intern policy

Unpaid interns working on 'Black Swan' are reportedly suing Fox Searchlight for employment abuse after they had to complete menial tasks which should have been done by full time paid staff. A big studio like Fox Searchlight should have policies in place to ensure that film interns who work for free get an educational value out of their internship experience.

When I came across this news I was quite angry because film interns have a huge value and they work for free, and should be well compensated for their time. I don't know the nature of the tasks these interns did or can comment on what happened on set, but I do know, having worked on film productions unpaid in the past, that interns are really fundamental to the operation of a set. Without runners and helpers film production grinds to a halt, but it doesn't mean that they should be used as caterers.

I can think of many examples where interns can help a film production from working with the lighting department to organizing rushes, scheduling actor appearances and much more. They can truly bring a huge value to the set whilst learning. It's a win-win situation.

So, for the sake of these interns, because there are many out there, let's give them some respect and if there are problems with studio policies, they should look to amend them as soon as possible.

film industry network members