An Interview with Jason Sheedy, the Newest Intern for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Toward the end of the summer, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon ran a contest to find their next intern. The show received thousands of submissions and they whittled everything down to one person. Competition was fierce. Hell, I even entered.
The student that would emerge victorious though is Jason Sheedy. He is currently a senior at SCAD. I decided to track him down and see how things are going so far.
KS: Where do you go? What year are you? What are you studying?
JS: I’m from Morriss, IL (it’s a small town about an hour south of Chicago) and I’m a film and television major and a sound design minor at SCAD. I’m a senior.
KS: How did you hear about the Jimmy Fallon internship?
JS: I’ve always been familiar with late night television, but a friend of mine had turned me onto it. I’ve always enjoyed making these short, funny videos as an aside to the whole filmmaking thing. One day she sent me a message on Facebook and said, “Hey! Check this out!” So I decided on a whim to enter it and have some fun with it. I started watching the show more often and really got into it.
KS: How much time did you spend on each video?
JS: Both of those took about a weekend to shoot, process and edit.
KS: When you were shooting them did you feel like you had an upper hand or was it more just a shot in the dark?
JS: Not really. I checked out the competition online. My first video was really on a whim. If I won, that would be awesome.
My second video–since I knew I was a top 10 finalist–I really went all out. I tried to be really confident and do something that the show was looking for.
KS: Take us through what going on the show was like, from the time where you received the phone call to the time you actually went on the show.
JS: Everyone had sent in their videos on Monday and they called me the next day on a Tuesday around 4 or 5 to tell me I was a winner. It caught me really off-guard because we hanging around the kitchen, making dinner. All of a sudden, the phone rings. I go back and answer it, thinking it’s my mom or somebody. “Hey! This is NBC and we want you to be our new intern.” I said, “Oh! Alright then!”
It was a really awesome moment of disbelief. From that point on it was just shifting into gear. It was really exciting and intense.
That Friday we flew out. We got up at about 5 in the morning after a couple hours of sleep. We got into New York about 9:30. They paid for a car to pick us from the airport, the hotel, the plane tickets… I felt like I was a movie star. It was an awesome, one-of-a-kind experience.
KS: Have there been a lot of people coming out of the wood work congratulating you?
JS: My Facebook friends have definitely increased. It’s just been really crazy. I’ve heard from a lot of people, a lot of them back home. My family and friends are really supportive and there for me. It’s nice to know that they are there for me. It’s definitely a challenge and it’s good to have people behind you. It’s a comforting feeling for someone to say, “Hey, I may or may not have talked to you in a while, but good job.” It’s a humbling experience.
KS: What types of assignments are they having you do?
JS: It’s a weekly blog with a monthly video woven in. It’s the first time the show’s done it so we are playing it by ear. We are experimenting with different ideas and such. The first assignment they gave me is called, “Beer Cup Trade Up.” They asked me to start with a red plastic cup and keeping trading until I get something cool.
I guess my technical identity is that I’m a college correspondent intern. I will receive assignments from them based on whatever creative ideas they have or what they want me to do. I’ll film something and then submit it to the show. It’s a fun deal. My sole purpose is to make fun videos.
KS: Are you hoping this plays into other things? Ideally, what would happen after the internship?
JS: The internship will last until the end of this semester. It’s the kind of thing that, if it’s successful, they might keep me around. It’s sort of in the air. Essentially, it’s just like a normal internship.
Ultimately, my long term goal is to be a writer/director for motion pictures, but I know that’s not the most realistic goal right out of school. I’m hoping to have a job in the industry by then, preferably as an editor. I’d like to work in Chicago or get my feet wet out in LA.