I am currently in the middle of my second month interning, having just received the scholarship, so my first post is a little late. However, I think it’s important for me to introduce my position and hopes as I would have in my first week. I can even talk about how those hopes have or haven’t started to come into fruition in the first month and a half.
As a Screen Arts and Cultures major, many of my friends were searching for internships in LA and New York, and a few of them succeeded. From the beginning, however, I knew it was unlikely that I would be able to afford such a venture, so I looked a little closer to home. Extremely close actually. My job is on the third floor of the union, so I haven’t even left campus. I’m working as a videographer for the Michigan Student Life Auxiliary Marketing company. Simply put, I am on a team that creates promotional media for the different areas of Michigan Student Life such as dining, rec-sports, and housing. I do just about everything from brainstorming to final editing.
Many internships in my field are usually about getting a foot in the door in a company or in LA. The jobs are often menial labor– students working at the lowest tier. You know, getting coffee, running around. We’ve all seen portrayals of PAs and assistants in show business. It’s a hard but often unavoidable reality of the business. So, since I wouldn’t be getting that “foot in the door” experience out of my internship, I had to focus on something else. I had to find an internship where I could get physical, hands-on experience with equipment and software. As much as I love the classes at the university, it sometimes feels like we spend so much time learning at such a meticulous pace, that we aren’t equipped with the skills to work in a professional environment. The difference between a class and real-life is so vast.
So, while I know I have a pretty firm grip on artistic components such as composition and certain rules, I knew that my fluency with the technology paled in comparison. I hoped that constantly working with the equipment would make handling the technological aspects like second nature, until I could focus all of my attention on growing as an artist.
I was definitely right about needing the technological fluency. Especially because many of my class projects have been on physical rolls of film, there are many aspects of digital film that I simply wasn’t at ease with. In the beginning, I often forgot about important things like white balancing the camera or making sure the ISO was low enough to reduce grain. These were both things that old film cameras had little to no variance on. So, I would have perfectly composed shots that were off-color, or were useless due to grain that wasn’t visible until post. Mistakes like these helped me, because now I set these without hesitation every time. My shots are coming out clearer and more aesthetically pleasing.
Another bonus, I’m getting paid! Which is fantastic. It’s so cool to finally get paid for something I WANT to do. I’m also adding loads of material for my portfolio. Overall, I’m pretty excited about this opportunity.