Want to change the world?
If you’re a libertarian or a conservative, you might send a check to your favorite politician, party or think tank. If you’re really riled up, you may volunteer for a phone bank so you can interrupt registered voters while they’re eating dinner. And if you’re truly inspired, you may even run for office.
If you’re a liberal, all of those options are available to you, too. But the savviest among you will grab a camera or screenwriting program and make a movie or video.
Which side do you think will have more impact on society going forward — those who restrict their world-shaking to politics, or those who also tackle and shift the culture?
That leads me to ask: why is it that so many on the right have chosen to ignore the most powerful force for change — the entertainment industry?
Okay, I know what your answer will be. “Hollywood doesn’t like us,” I can hear you whine. “When they choose for teams, I’m always the last one picked.”
We’re here to say, suck it up. We’ve got your ticket to Hollywood. Literally.
Apply to one of our training programs and you could get a free trip to Los Angeles with living expenses thrown in.
Taliesin Nexus is a nonprofit that educates up-and-coming filmmakers who share our passion for a freer society. We’re seeking to increase the diversity of Hollywood — diversity of thought, that is.
Up to now we’ve hosted weekend workshops. This year, we’re upping our game by offering summer-long internships at major production companies.
How major? Well, the host producers have been involved in many hit movies including “Braveheart,” “Elf,” “Wedding Crashers,” and “Passion of the Christ.”
One of the most well-traveled roads to a Hollywood career is an internship at a production company. But to land one, you usually need to have an uncle in show biz, and you usually have to work your rear off for free.
So what if you don’t know anyone in the industry, and you can’t afford to keep yourself in Armani — or even Old Navy — without a pay check of some sort?
Meet your new rich uncle, who goes by the rather unwieldy name of Taliesin Nexus. You don’t have to be related to him. Instead, you just fill out an application.
Internships come with a stipend, and if you’re from out of town, we’ll cover your travel expenses. We’ve only got three to give away this summer. But if it’s a success, we hope to be able to offer more next year.
If you want to improve your odds, or you just can’t spare an entire summer, apply for our Filmmakers Workshop, which will take place over one weekend this coming August.
The Filmmakers Workshop is three days of panel discussions, group work, and networking opportunities all geared toward practical help and advice, with an emphasis on storytelling, rather than theory or politics.
About two dozen up-and-coming filmmakers gather on the UCLA campus from Friday through Sunday one weekend in August. Most receive free tuition, room and board, even travel expenses to and from L.A. The faculty are all experienced professionals who are currently working in the industry.
Can’t choose between the programs? You can apply to both at the same time.
In addition to our new internship program, this year we are celebrating our first graduate to win an Oscar. Rich Middlemas, who attended an earlier incarnation of the Filmmakers Workshop in 2008, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for “Undefeated”, a compelling look at a Memphis-area high school football team.
So if you’ve been telling yourself that the only thing standing between you and a Hollywood career is a lack of connections, we offer our apologies, because that excuse doesn’t hold true anymore. Now all you need is a great work ethic and soaring ambition. Oh, and a little talent helps, too.