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15 years of Taillight Interns: Where They Landed Since Leaving the Nest

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

For the last 15 years, Taillight has interned nearly 80 film and entertainment students from all over the Southeast, giving next-generation filmmakers the chance to experience all aspects of production within the growing entertainment industry in Nashville. From on-set production assistance to developmental research, editing and more, our interns wear all the hats! So it comes as no surprise that many of them have experienced great success in the industry following their time with us at Taillight.

In honor of our internship program reaching a 15-year milestone, we reached out to a few past interns to see just where they landed since leaving the nest.

Hodges Usry - Summer Intern, 2010

“While interning, we worked on a wide variety of projects from a massive live Jimmy Buffet show on the beach to Eric Church & Reba music videos - it was a stacked experience and is full circle as I am currently working with the band, Lady A, shooting most of their photography and video work.

Current Position: Photographer & Videographer for Lady A

Matt Follett - Summer Intern, 2013

An internship with Taillight opened up many freelancing opportunities in the Nashville production world. Matt Houser and Retta Hatfield hired me for Production Assistant roles on music videos and later Associate Producer roles for Taillight’s documentary projects. It was great to see how Tom Forrest and Jamison Rotch produced and wrote prominent network projects.”

-Matt Follett

Current Position: Producer for the series “American Built” on Fox

Ryan Parrish - Spring/Summer Intern, 2009

“Taillight gave me a chance. I had always been interested in video production, but I didn’t have any practical hands-on experience and thought exploring the internship would be a great exercise. A few of the relationships that I made while interning at Taillight directly impacted or opened doors to other roles and opportunities that came afterward, and I’m very grateful to the entire team for that.”

-Ryan Parrish

Current Position: Senior Media Producer at Massive Mission

Matt Houser - Summer Intern, 2007

“Taillight is my career. I’ve been very fortunate to work on hundreds of projects ranging from small branded and music videos to large concerts, comedy specials, live broadcasts, documentaries and so much more. The growth of myself, not only professionally, but personally from the time I was hired on as a Staff Coordinator in 2009 to where I am now is monumental.”

-Matt Houser

Current Position: Head of Production at Taillight & Porchlight, Partner

Nick Lantz - Summer Intern, 2016

“One of my favorite memories as an intern was the week of CMA Fest. It was absolute insanity running around downtown Nashville with a camera crew. Taillight was the stepping stone that launched me forward. It was my first exposure to real-life set experience. The knowledge and confidence I gained on set led me to further opportunities in my early career before making the return back to Taillight in 2008 as a Coordinator.”

-Nick Lantz

Current Position: Producer at Taillight

Mary Kenley Tugman - Summer Intern, 2022

“This internship has been a huge help for networking at the very least. I didn’t have a ton of contacts outside of school so I’m excited to see where they might lead me. I also really appreciated everyone’s willingness to answer my questions and let me follow them around observing. Getting to see the ins and outs of production is going to be a huge help this coming school year and for my future career.”

- MK Tugman

Current Position: Senior at Belmont University

Naturally, it’s always bittersweet when our interns leave the nest, but wherever they land, we know they’ll be a positive change in the world.

Taillight is looking forward to continuing our credited Internship Program and supporting future leaders entering the film and entertainment industry for years to come. After all, interns of today are truly the leaders of tomorrow — and Taillight is proud to be a part of shaping their future.

Interested in interning with Taillight? Apply here!


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