Written and posted by Corey Howell
One of the biggest annual summer opportunities Ohio University Film offers its MFA students is an internship to work with High Noon Entertainment - an incredibly successful production company based in Denver, Los Angeles and New York City. Even if you’ve not heard of High Noon Entertainment by name, it is extremely likely that you’ve heard of one of the many shows they produce. From Cake Boss to House Hunters to Trip Flip, High Noon’s plethora of programs populate the likes of major networks like TLC, Travel Channel, Food Network, GSN, HGTV and VH1 among countless others.
One of High Noon’s biggest players, Duke Hartman, who previously served on the board for the Colorado Film Commission, serves as the company’s Chief Operating Officer and has directed many episodes for various programs that High Noon produces. He is also an OU Film alumnus who received his M.A. in Documentary Film in 1976. Because of Hartman’s fruitful and ongoing relationship with Ohio University, every year he and High Noon Entertainment offer one OU Film student the chance to come to Denver to get hands-on experience working in each aspect of production, from development to post-production.
This past summer, the lucky student that was chosen was MFA Thesis student Kyle Kruse. “I didn't start college until I was 25 and have been attending year round since then,” Kruse told me during an interview. “So when I had the chance to take a summer off and actually work in the industry, I got really excited.” Though never having had much interest in the reality TV industry, Kruse told me he didn’t want to rule anything out before actually giving it a shot.
At High Noon Entertainment, Kruse worked as a PA and Office Intern doing research and fact checking for the production company. When asked about the experience, Kyle told me, “I learned that I don’t like sitting in a cubicle doing research,” but quickly added that his other position while at High Noon was the exact opposite: “When I got to go out in the field I acted as a set PA/AC. On one day we set up 4 or 5 GoPro's and 3 HD cameras for a demo where we had guys come in and rig up a giant boulder with one thousand pounds of explosives. That was cool.”
Working with some amazing and talented people isn’t the only perk of the internship. Curious, I asked Kyle if there were any unique experiences while out in Denver. “In my off time I went hiking, camping and whitewater rafting,” he told me. “You can't spend 10 weeks in beautiful Colorado and not partake in the scenery.” But taking full advantage of his position, Kruse didn’t simply use his leisure time for pure entertainment. “Through those experiences,” he continued, “I actually pitched a TV show about whitewater rafting to the development team.” Not only did the producers think it was a promising idea, they decided to shoot a sizzle reel based on Kruse’s idea for REDBULL's network.
“It lit a metaphorical fire in my belly again,” Kruse elaborated when asked about how the internship had influenced his thesis year and future career explorations. “It made me hungry and made me focus on graduating so that I can get out to L.A. and start making stuff,” he continued. “It also allowed me firsthand knowledge of how important networking is. I met some really great people out there and I will 100-percent be staying in contact with them."
It seems as though the High Noon Entertainment Internship is one that all OU Film students, present and future, should look into taking advantage of. When asked to sum up his experience, Kyle’s sentiment proved similar: “All in all, I could not recommend this internship enough. All future students should apply for it. It was fantastic.”