Next Gen Talent celebrates exciting new talent within the Argonon Group. From interns to production secretaries, we’re highlighting some of the newest, up and coming members of the team, or those responsible for finding the industry’s next gen talent.
This month we spoke to Art Thomas, who started with Leopard USA in March 2021 as an intern on House Hunters International. Art has now been hired full-time as a Production Coordinator on the show. We discussed what her new role is like and how cookies helped her get the internship!
When did your internship start with Leopard USA?
I started at the very end of March  and the internship was thirteen weeks in total.
And were you offered a full-time role as soon as your internship ended?
Yeah, it was a shock to me! It was one of my last few days and I got a call from some of the coordinating department. They asked what my plans were after my internship – I said I was going to take a quick break and look for work after that. Then they said, “Well if you want a job now, we have a position for you.” I was so excited and of course, I said yes!
How did you find out about the internship initially?
I was actually in a program called the Made in New York Production Assistant Training Program (MINY for short) which I found out about when I was on the train delivering cookies to my friends. I looked up at the advertisement and it said, “have you ever wanted to work in the film industry?” and I thought, yes, I have! So I applied for that program, which luckily had a quick turnaround. Eventually one of the instructors asked if they could submit my resume for a position which ended up being the internship for Leopard USA!
Have you studied or gone to school for film or TV in the past?
Yes, at university I majored in Media Communications with film, theatre and Spanish as a triple minor. My concentration was production, and I actually got to help create more production courses for the school and build the production sector in the media department, which was really great.
What were your day-to-day responsibilities during your internship?
My internship was mostly going through the different departments and learning how House Hunters International works, understanding what everybody’s roles were and their responsibilities, and learning more about actually creating media. I went through all the different stages of the production, from casting to coordinating, to the creative production, to post. I loved seeing how the show was created as a whole. I was interested in the coordinating side of things, so I’m really glad that I was hired in that department.
What’s your favourite part of the role?
This is going to sound cliche, but I do really like the people. It’s great to know who to go to when I need something, and everyone works well together. Everyone’s friendly, nobody is competitive, and everyone’s always ready to help.
Where do you see this role taking you in the future?
The more I learn about production, the more I know that I want to follow the coordinating route. I think I’d really enjoy being a line producer one day.
Is the TV industry something you’ve always wanted to work in?
No, I actually always flip-flopped around with what I wanted as a career. Growing up, I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, but then I realised you have to be good at science, or reading, respectfully.
Then in high school, I thought maybe I wanted to be an actress. I got a theatre scholarship, which is why I minored in theatre. When I got to university, I did a range of different courses and realised that my favourites were in the Media Communications department. So I thought if I enjoy it that much, I should probably change my major!
I just love the fact that one day I made too many cookies, so I went to deliver them to my friends and it eventually got me this position. That’s crazy, that quarantine baking got me a job at Leopard USA working for House Hunters International!
“Art was our first New York intern from the Made in New York programme and from the get-go she was engaged and inquisitive. Never afraid to ask questions, she was enthusiastic and showed a willingness to listen and learn. I was delighted that an opportunity arose as she was coming to the end of her internship and that she could utilise all that she had learned on our programme and deepen her understanding of production.”
– Shirley Escott, COO at Leopard USA