Dordt College News

Shim makes an internship happen

August 12, 2009

Watching movies was part of the job for Alvin Shim this summer as he helped author Linda Seger update a scriptwriting book. Seger is open to taking on another intern next year.

What started as a plea to a visiting scriptwriter turned into a great internship for one Dordt junior.

This summer, Alvin Shim spent more than a month interning for Linda Seger, a scriptwriter and consultant who has appeared on more than sixty radio and television shows including National Public Radio and CNN. 

Shim first met Seger when she visited Dordt’s campus and spoke to Dr. James Schaap’s English 307 scriptwriting class last April. 

“I introduced myself after class and asked for her help with editing a film script some friends and I had been working on,” said Shim.

Seger requested that the scriptwriting class e-mail her their top five films, which Shim did soon afterwards.

“I thanked her for her help, and we kept e-mailing back and forth,” he said.  “I realized that all my friends had internships within their major, and I wanted to have that too.”
He asked Seger if he could “please, please hang out with her for the summer and use the abilities I had,” he said.

Seger had never before considered taking on a non-paid intern but quickly decided having Shim around was a good idea.

“I’d been very impressed with the students at Dordt,” said Seger. “I found them very smart and very assertive, which I liked immediately. I thought that if Alvin was anything like the Dordt students I’d gotten to know, what did I have to lose?”

At the end of the spring semester, Shim drove his Explorer from his home in Sioux Center to Seger’s hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. During June and part of July, Shim worked one-on-one with Seger, editing the fourth edition of her book Making a Good Script Great and doing computer-oriented research and analysis.

“When he got here, I realized he had a broad knowledge of films,” said Seger. “So, we would often go out to lunch and think of all the films in the last ten years that would, say, have a specific character so that we could later double-check my film examples in the manuscript.”

Watching two to three movies a night for his internship was commonplace for Shim.  He also served as her social networking guru.

“I made a Facebook group for her, which I still update regularly,” he said.

In addition to editing for Seger, Shim took part in celebrity interviews via phone.

“We had a phone interview with Paul Haggis, who wrote the scripts for Crash and Million Dollar Baby,” said Shim. “I got to help conduct that interview, which was pretty cool.”

Shim helped Seger reach her deadline.

“He was a tremendous help in getting the manuscript done,” she said.  “He was very self-sufficient. I don’t think I would have been able to complete it without his help.”

Shim enjoyed talking to Seger about the filmmaking business and learning from her experiences.

“She would tell me stories about Ron Howard and other producer friends, and every time I thought she was joking,” he said

“I think that someone who comes up with an idea for a job and creates something that hasn’t existed before is great,” said Seger. “I also am glad that I could spend time with someone who shares my faith.”

Hospitality abounds

When Linda Seger said simply "Get to Colorado Springs," I realized I didn't know anybody in Colorado Springs. Dr. James Schaap advised me to look up the CRC churches in the area and talk to Alumni Director Wes Fopma. The congregations in the area responded generously, as did Linda. I felt overwhelmed by the offers to open homes, bedrooms, and basements. I thanked each household for their gracious example and accepted an offer from Jerry and Carol Rienstra. I drove into Colorado Springs a little past midnight upon arriving and stayed up talking with Carol, a freelance writer and editor for FAITH ALIVE magazine, for several hours before collapsing in "my bed." They were marvelous hosts, are great friends, and remain encouraging host-parents. And they tell great stories about Dordt professors as students."


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