My Internship Experience

My Marketing and Video Production Internship Experience

Hi there! My name is Aaron Roberts, a rising senior, Film, Television and Media Arts major at Quinnipiac University. I grew up in Andover Massachusetts, with a love for the film industry. I had the honor to be Skillman Video Group’s Marketing and Video Production Intern for the Spring 2021 semester.

The Future is Looking Bright: COVID-19

COVID-19 had rampaged the world, for the better part of a year. Classes had gone remote for the last half of my sophomore year. Thankfully junior year was in person with limited in-person classes. After I left for winter break, junior year, I started searching for internships. Many internships were remote, due to COVID-19, so I chose to stick with the trend.

I was looking for something in Boston or down by school in Connecticut. I preferred cold emailing companies because I felt it showed them I really cared. And many companies do not post internship opportunities on job boards liked indeed. So I researched many different companies. When I came across Skillman Video Group’s page, I was intrigued with their production process as well as their values as a company.

So I cold-emailed them in hopes of landing an internship. Shortly after emailing them, they reached out. In December of 2020, we met over Zoom and had a lengthy conversation. After speaking with Christina, CEO and Creative Director, and Joe, the Chief Growth Officer, I was offered the position as the Marketing and Video Production intern.

My time here at SVG was a unique experience, to say the least.

Blogging: The Bulk Of My Time

Although I’m a film major, I chose to take this internship, knowing full well that I would be writing blogs. I chose to stick with it because I thought it would challenge my creative writing skills as well as challenge my ability to adapt. I was right.

Writing blogs about the different processes of all of the different types of videos SVG Creates, allowed me to develop stronger creative thinking and writing skills. I will be able to apply these skills in the future, whether it be my career or future education.

The blogs consisted of Discovery to Production Posts, Editing and Finishing posts as well as explainer blog posts where I got to transform Christina’s LinkedIn videos into blog posts!

Discovery to ProductionScreenshot of blogpost for final intern post

These posts are exactly what you think. They go in-depth about how SVG discovered the client and video, all the way up to how we produced the video. The process consists of four stages.

  • Discovery
  • Strategy
  • Planning/Preproduction
  • Production

Feel free to check out a Discovery to Production post to learn more!

Screenshot for Editing and Finishing

Just like the Discovery to the Production process, the Editing and Finishing process has different stages and is exactly what you think. This is where the video is assembled, edited, and colorized. Then it is sent to the client for review.

The five stages in  the process are:

  • Assembly Cut
  • B-roll
  • Animation/Color
  • Audio Mix
  • Final Review

Check out this Editing and Finishing blog post I wrote for our client, Charlie Maher.

Client Shoots: Slim, But Not None

Filmmaking is my passion. I have a genuine interest and love for the craft, so when COVID-19 put a dampener on video production, around the globe, I was disappointed. However, being a part of SVG gave me the opportunity to go on two client shoots. As mentioned above, I assisted on the Going Pro shoot with Charlie Maher. I also got to film a client testimonial with a company called, Hometap.

Both of these shoots were very hands-on. I got to experience first-hand, setting up lights, audio equipment, as well as the camera. Although there were only two productions during the time of my internship, I learned more than I ever thought I would.

On the sets, I absorbed so much information that led me to understand how client shoots actually work. Having worked in the film industry for a few years I understood how narratives and music videos were made, but client videos are a whole new ball game. I learned how to structure videos so they fit in a company’s sales funnel, as well as learn the very effective Skillman Video Group Process.

I worked with, of course, Christina, the CEO and Creative Director, the Directory of Photography, Matt Fraser, our Audio Technician, Ken, as well as a couple of other crew members. Working with these high-level professionals taught me so much about the industry and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to assist them.

Dog, BTSFlexibility: The Need To Adapt

Starting an internship in the middle of a pandemic meant getting used to a few things. First of all, a nearly fully remote internship. Second, online meetings versus in-person ones. And of course, the masks. Thankfully, Skillman Video Group exemplifies flexibility. They pride themselves on being flexible, without diminishing quality. That is one of the largest ones I’ve learned while working at SVG.

Flexibility in scheduling and ability is key. Having a flexible schedule allows you to wiggle room when working with clients. The ability to adapt is even more important. Producing videos is hard work. There are many obstacles one might face while doing so. That’s why adapting to each situation is of utmost importance.

Adjusting as you go is huge, and constantly communicating with your colleagues is a must. Observing, and partaking in the client productions showed me how to be flexible. Take our Hometap, client testimonial shoot, for example. We were able to outfit a common space in the apartment complex that our talent was located. We were flexible enough to be abler to move to different locations inside the building, throughout the day, capturing the best shots possible. Also, getting to film with a puppy on set was a lot of fun.

Working with SVG has taught me a lot. One giant takeaway is to be flexible, but do your best, and provide the highest quality of service you can.

Social Media: Marketing The SVG Brand

Taking the internet by storm! I was able to continue the work of my predecessor, Kalah. Every Tuesday and Thursday I posted a video to youtube and LinkedIn. This allowed us to spread the word, and visual of our own brand, as well as our clients’.

final intern videoMarketing/Intern Video: Self-Marketing

The largest project I got to tackle, on my own, was a final marketing video to end my internship. Christina, Joe, and I met, during our weekly meetings and discussed possible ideas for the video. After settling on a self-marketing video, we decided that I would create two. One for clients looking to hire me to make brand videos for the; and another targeted towards film producers looking to hire me as a production assistant or camera operator.

After drafting a creative brief that laid out my plan for executing the video, I utilized my university’s film studio as my set. I set up a practical light in the back, the lamp, and a studio film light that actually, happened to be there already. Then I set up a fill light and backlight. For this project, I used a Sony FS5 with a Rokinon 35 mm lens.

I chose to go with this camera and lens for the crisp picture it gets, and the great color space it has. Thankfully I had a great friend who was able to ask me the interview questions. Although I am far from a natural on camera, I did my best. I restated answers multiple times until my voice sounded clear. Overall, I am happy with the product I created. I used the skills I gained here at SVG to aid me in drafting the creative brief and the interview questions.

Conclusion: Just The Beginning

Experience is how I learn, and I can definitely say, I learned a lot from interning at Skillman Video Group. I got some hands-on experience, on set, and the experience I received from writing all of the blog posts, is more than I could have imagined. Although I did not get a normal internship experience due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, I made the most of it. I was flexible.

This is just the beginning of my career. As I move on and up in life, I will always look back at my time here. I will be thankful for everything Christina and Joe have taught me about business and marketing, and Matt one of our DP’s for teaching me more about camera work.

I learned many invaluable lessons and skills. With one year left in school, I will be able to use the new creative writing and promoting skills I gained, in achieving the highest quality of education and industry success that I can. Interning with Skillman Video Group, brought me even closer to my goals.

Check out the final intern video project I created as a self-marketing tool!

Video aimed at Marketing Clients:

Video aimed at Film Producers: