George Mason University

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For junior film student, a Hollywood career would be more than a job

August 29, 2019   /   by Hannah Harmison

Autumn Boxley at Atlas Entertainment, where she had a summer internship. Photo provided.

George Mason University junior Autumn Boxley drove down Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles every morning to get to work this summer. Amid the traffic and palm trees were myriad billboards, but only a few featured people of color, she said.

The realization strengthened Boxley’s ambition to succeed as a writer in Hollywood and, as a self-identified queer woman of color, to focus on improving the portrayal of underrepresented groups.

“I’m more driven than ever to make sure that whatever I decide to do with my career, it revolves around minority and queer representation,” she said.

Boxley, a film and video studies major, spent the summer as a development intern for Atlas Entertainment, a production company behind such films as “Suicide Squad,” “Wonder Woman” and “American Hustle.”

She managed a reception desk, kept casting materials organized and, most importantly, wrote script coverage. A critical part of film development, script coverage tells producers everything they need to know about a script in order to consider producing it. 

“The other day I was on set as a production assistant for a King Princess music video,” Boxley said. “You can dip your toe in any pond you want. It’s a world of opportunity.”

Mason has one of the best film programs among Virginia’s public universities, according to film-colleges.com.

“My favorite part about the program is the unique voices our professors allow us to project,” said Boxley, who is from Saratoga Spring, New York, and a freestyler on the Mason swimming team. “As a whole, our film school is incredibly diverse. My web series class produced three series with queer storylines. I’m proud that’s the content our program produces.”

As part of her internship, Boxley attended weekly lunches with Atlas executives at which she asked questions, networked and learned from people high up in the industry.

“Being a part of that, even a minor part as an intern, reading the scripts, offering your input, interacting with these people every day,” Boxley said. “Having that exposure to the huge side of the film industry is the coolest.”

“I think Autumn has a really positive attitude and a really good work ethic,” said Mason film professor Lisa Thrasher, who has been a mentor to Boxley. “She’s disciplined and responsible.  She’ll end up being really successful in her career, and this internship will definitely help with her education and career advancement.”