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Tripti Rai (BA Practical Filmmaking) on MetFilm Production Internship

By Elise Czyzowska

29 August 2023

Each year, up to four MetFilm School graduates are selected for our MetFilm Production Internship. During this work experience placement, they join the teams at our three sister companies, MetFilm Production, MetFilm Distribution, and MetFilm Sales, working in a variety of capacities on the production, distribution, and sale of films and television shows.

One of this year’s interns is Tripti Rai, who studied our two-year BA Practical Filmmaking degree at MetFilm School London. In today’s blog, we spoke to Tripti about her time on this internship, including the difference between producing fiction and factual content, and her favourite MetFilm film to date…

What drew you to this internship?

After studying BA Practical Filmmaking, I was eager to dive into the industry, and to apply my skills while gaining experience. When the opportunity came about, I was already gravitating towards producing – delving into development, financing, distribution, and exhibition.

The internship presented an invaluable chance to learn all of this from industry experts. It was a chance to master script reports, track industry trends, spot emerging talent, and uncover the inner workings of a production office.

What are your responsibilities within the team?

Within the team, I deal with a mix of administrative and ad-hoc assignments. This includes organising documents, logging new submissions, undertaking industry related research, and communicating with external individuals.

I also get the chance to sit in meetings and discussions surrounding the scripts we produce and the films we distribute. Most importantly, the office environment is quite inclusive, so I’m encouraged to expand my film knowledge, contribute ideas, and suggest trends or news that could benefit the team.

Every day is really a new day of learning. Just being present gives me valuable insights – and the expansive professional network of the office within the industry is awe-inspiring.

Tripti Rai as 1st AC on ‘Memorial Picture House’

Getting an inside look at how films are produced and distributed, what’s something you wish more filmmakers knew about this side of the industry?

The business side of films. Filmmakers often struggle to secure funds, which can be intimidating. Understanding film sales was eye-opening, as it’s crucial for a film’s success.

Think of it this way: if you, as a filmmaker, can get your film to the top of a tree, a skilled sales rep can act as the crucial link, propelling your project to the moon by connecting it with a powerful business network.

How did BA Practical Filmmaking help to prepare you for this side of the industry?

The degree offers a unique advantage, as an encompassing grasp of filmmaking. My standout takeaway from the programme was this well-rounded education. I learned about every aspect of a film, understanding what each team does – and why.

This has been incredibly useful in teamwork, as I now trust my fellow team members and their expertise. It changed how I see filmmaking; now, I value the collaboration that brings a film together, rather than just focusing on my own role.

Behind the scenes of ‘Mashook’, which Tripti worked on as 1st AD

MetFilm Sales specialises in factual content, and MetFilm Production is renowned for its documentary films. How do you think the production and sales world differs here, compared to fiction projects?

For me, the difference lies in the ever-changing nature of documentaries. They’re unscripted, and the full story emerges during filming. Often, they rely on access to contributors and archival material, influenced by external factors beyond the filmmakers’ control.

Fictional projects, in contrast, create the entire story in the writers’ room, allowing for a more controlled production.

Documentaries offer unique challenges, but that’s also what makes them exciting. That unpredictability, and the array of incredible true stories in the world, all provides a distinct, intriguing experience.

What would you like to do next? Are there any formats or roles you’d like to explore more?

Right now, I’m fully immersed in absorbing everything at MetFilm through this internship. My focus is understanding what makes a script work, especially since I’m leaning towards producing. I’m also eager to dive into distribution, to learn what strategies are effective.

Looking forward, I’m curious about both fiction and non-fiction features. These formats intrigue me, so I want to learn more about them. Securing a role where I can directly support a producer in these formats would be a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on experience, and to enhance my understanding.

The cast and crew of ‘No Crying in the Car’. Tripti Rai was a Producer on the project.

And finally, do you have a favourite MetFilm Production film – and why?

Absolutely, I do – The Reason I Jump. It stands out as the most immersive documentary I’ve experienced. It’s pioneering approach in portraying the stories of individuals on the autism spectrum left a profound impact.

The film’s ability to weave these stories through captivating visuals, offering a glimpse into these families’ lives, deeply resonated with me. This experience of engaging with their narratives through such a powerful medium is something I’ll carry with me for a long time.