Summer interns are a time-honored tradition here in DC. Bright young college students flock to the District, getting their internships on the Hill, with think tanks, and with the numerous NGOs in Washington. Mark Leisher Productions is no exception. For the past few years we’ve been taking on summer interns who want to get some hands-on experience with production – beyond what they’re taught in their college courses. We bring our interns along on shoots to act as Production Assistants, do one-on-one lessons about pre-production, and let them try their hands at post-production and the Adobe Creative Suite.
We had three interns this summer: Emily & Josh are college students, and Matthew goes to high school in Montgomery County. Matthew is staying on with us through the school year, but this week was Emily and Josh’s last one before they head back to college. The three of them have had various projects throughout the summer; all three have been production assistants on shoots, Matthew filmed the home walkthrough we did at the beginning of July, Josh created a video for the summer camp where he’s a counselor, and Emily has been working with me on setting up new workflows in our marketing automation software. We also assigned them one project to work on together: to conceptualize, pre-produce, film, and edit a short commercial for Mark Leisher Productions.
We knew it would be a good way for them to get experience with every aspect of the production process, and hopefully have some fun at the same time. They took a few days to brainstorm and plan out the video, shot it in one day using our Sony A6300, and worked together on the edit. Throughout the process they came to us with questions. I sat down with Emily and Josh to walk them through storyboarding, Mark held sessions with the three on operating the camera, and Nick showed them best practices for media management and some of his favorite tricks in Premiere.
Like I said, Emily and Josh are headed back to college next week. Emily is going back to Clemson University where she’s a Marketing major with a minor in Film Studies, while Josh is headed east for his final year at University of Delaware, where he’s an interpersonal communications and interactive media major. Both of them want to work in the industry after they graduate. Josh is thinking post production and editing (and possibly web design) while Emily plans to move to New York City to do either marketing & advertising or production management.
I asked them about their favorite aspect of the internship. Emily enjoyed the creative side – she loved working with Josh and bouncing ideas off each other to develop the script and storyline. She says that seeing their creation come to life was awesome. Josh liked the editing process, finding the best shots and piecing the footage together to match the storyboards. Both of them feel like they learned a lot during their time with us. Josh said that learning how to operate a professional-grade camera was incredibly helpful, & Emily said that getting to observe the day-to-day of a production really helped her understand everything that goes into making a project happen with a client. She said, “From sitting in on client meetings, to attending shoots, to watching the post-production editing, it was so cool to get to see the whole process from start to finish.”
We love having summer interns, and Josh and Emily are no exception. They’ve been fun to work with, provided some great help on shoots, were a pleasure to have in the office. We’re sad to see them go, but we know that the next steps in their careers are going to be fantastic.
Check out their finished video, and let us know what you think!