Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An Intern’s Insight (Weeks 2 - 4)

Shane here! After just a few weeks of interning with FireRock Productions, I'm proud to announce that I have successfully taken over the company, fired Rocky and Julia (although I've brought them on as unpaid interns), and will be turning away from video production to focus more on selling charcoal, which seems like a smarter business model with a name like "FireRock." Just kidding, but there are still many weeks left for my master scheme to play out. [Insert evil laugh]

The first few weeks have been challenging, rewarding, and eye-opening. Rocky and Julia wasted no time throwing me into the fray. Shortly after writing my introductory post, I was asked to prepare a list of possible video segments that I would enjoy making for a big project they are working on in collaboration with Countess Communications. Easy enough, I thought. I jotted down some interesting story ideas, but after the first few, I realized it was tougher than I thought it would be to produce this list. Doing some research online, and spending most of my down time brainstorming, I finally had a list of ideas that I was satisfied with after a few days, just in time for my first official meeting with FireRock.

Meet FireRock Productions' Spring 2014 Intern, Shane Burcaw!

I Skyped into the meeting due to the 78th snowstorm in Pennsylvania this winter, which was nice because it allowed me to not wear pants and still appear professional from the chest up. Rocky and Julia were meeting with Jeff and Marta Countess of Countess Communications to discuss ideas for their big project. As soon as I "arrived," Julia said, "Alright, let's hear what you've got!"

I read my list, a little nervous that my ideas were stupid, but the group received them with excitement and support. Molding some ideas into new ones, suggesting changes here and there, and I even got a few "that's awesome, we have to do that" responses! After that, Julia surprised me and said, "Okay, pick one that you'd like to produce from start to finish this semester." I was taken back a little, not expecting this much freedom for my first project. We joked around about my apparent hesitancy, and they assured me that they would guide me along the way. I just wanted to make sure I picked an idea that would be good for FireRock, and that seemed doable in my given timeline.

I selected a story (no I'm not going to tell you what it is yet!) and we discussed what my roles were as a producer. My next steps were to begin contacting the necessary locations and individuals who would be key pieces in the segment. Rocky suggested I also start brainstorming a shot list. We wrapped up the meeting, and I left feeling excited by the new responsibility placed on my shoulders.

In usual Shane fashion, I wanted to move very quickly. In my head, this segment could be done in a week or two if I worked hard and effectively. More snowstorms, conflicts with scheduling, and some other minor obstacles led to delays that I didn't expect. I contacted Julia, worried that I was failing, and she completely relieved my frets. "Get used to it," she told me, "this stuff happens in this business." People and circumstances are unpredictable, so it's important to do what you can and keep going, she explained. She also suggested that I start thinking about another segment while waiting for some details to come together for the first idea. I was glad that my slowness wasn't really slowness, but normal-ness.

That's where I currently stand (or, sit). Producing is a new animal that I'm learning one step at a time, but I've loved every part of it so far (except the slowness)! I'll have more updates in a week or two. Until then, stay warm, stop shoveling (another storm will be here by the time you finish), and have fun.