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Pinto ’23 Joins Emerson’s Lineage of Academy Awards Interns

Mikayla Pinto works in a television broadcast control room with three other people
Mikayla Pinot ’23, black mask, wants to work in a control room for live broadcasts.

Every year there is only one intern on the production of the Academy Awards, and that intern is always from Emerson College. The latest Lion to be selected for this great opportunity is Mikayla Pinto ’23.

Pinto will finish her Emerson degree on the Los Angeles campus next semester while she interns under the tutelage of Rob Paine ’92, supervising producer of the Academy Awards. Paine’s House of Pain Productions has produced Academy Awards shows, Kennedy Center Honors shows, Emmy Awards shows, and most recently the live broadcast of The Beauty and the Beast.

“It’s a production-based internship and that’s exactly what I want to do for my career,” said Pinto.

As a production intern for House of Paine Productions, Pinto will sit in meetings, take notes, attend the show and dress rehearsals, and many other tasks asked of her.

Pinto said two recent interns, Joe Davidi ’21 and Jess Niazian ’22, told her that it was a fun internship that taught them a lot, and helped them get a footing in the entertainment industry.

Former intern Michael Kiaunis ’18 can attest to the internship opening a door into the entertainment industry. He now works for House of Paine Productions.

“Being an intern on the Academy Awards was the most door-opening and exciting experience I received as a college student,” said Kiaunis. “I had the privilege to see the entire production from so many invaluable perspectives, and really got a chance to see what exactly it took to make a big show like the Oscars happen.”

Mikayla Pinto holding a clipboard

Pinto’s Emerson Channel experience has prepared her to work on the Academy Awards. She started out as a general crew member and worked her way up to be the current distribution coordinator. She’s produced shows, and co-created and directed some episodes of Critical Damage, a discussion-based show about esports.

After graduating, Pinto wants to work in live broadcasting.

“I really see myself ending up in a control room. I really like that atmosphere,” said Pinto. “Honestly, there’s nothing else like it. You get one chance to make it, and make it good, and then you have to wrap it up and start on the new thing. It’s exciting! People say it’s stressful, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Along with Paine, Diana Barton, manager of The Emerson Channel and Emerson Channel Sports, and advisor to the EVVY Awards, selects the lone intern.

“This is significant, as there is only one intern on the Oscars each year, and that intern only comes from Emerson College,” said Barton. “Mikayla has been a huge part of the Emerson Channel for many semesters and so we want to wish her the best of luck!”

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