My Unique SVG Internship Experience: A Remote Environment
I’m Kalah Karloff – I am a graduating senior at Northeastern University studying Media Production, Communications, and Music Industry. I grew up in Marlborough, Massachusetts and I was a Production and Marketing Assistant at Skillman Video Group for summer 2020.
COVID-19: The Start of Something New
My internship was an extremely unique experience. When I took the opportunity in early 2020, I was planning on beginning my internship in June, as I was selected to be a Teaching Assistant on a documentary filmmaking study abroad program in London for the months of May and June. Then, global pandemic, COVID-19 hit. Although my trip to London was cancelled, I was glad that I was able to jump into my work at Skillman Video Group earlier than expected and get even more out of the experience!
I began working with Christina, CEO/Creative Director, and Joe, Chief Growth Officer, in early May 2020, just as I finished up remote classes at Northeastern for the semester. Because COVID-19 had taken over the world, my internship was entirely remote. Having just adapted to taking remote classes, I entered my very first remote internship with ease during quite a frightening and uncertain time.
Blogging: Write, write, write
Over the course of my internship, I wrote a total of 36 blog posts! I strengthened my writing skills throughout the summer, creating blogs in three major categories:
- Insight into SVG’s shoots and their unique video production process on various different projects
- Original long-form content explaining significant topics in the industry, such as the role music plays in video.
- Transforming Christina’s personal, thought leadership videos into compelling posts about different aspects of the video production industry.
No matter what blog post I was working on, I focused heavily on SEO to improve SVG’s website ranking and search engine results. Understanding what people are searching for online is key in being able to connect with the right people who are searching for the solutions we offer. Using SEO in blogs involved including specific keywords that would reach our target audience as they search for Boston video production services.
During my internship, SVG moved towards wanting to write more long-form blog posts (1,300+ words) to acquire more traffic and attention on our website and blog page. I pitched original ideas for long-form blog content to Christina, Joe, and my predecessor, Lydia. I brainstormed many topics that I felt were important to educate people on regarding the video production ecosystem. Once we agreed upon the most engaging topics, I took on a more educational, research-based style of blogging, as opposed to my usual, concise style.
Marketing/Intern Video: Ability to Adapt
Another significant project I took on during my internship was writing and producing my own marketing video under Christina and Joe’s guidance. At the beginning of my internship, I pitched many ideas for a compelling SVG brand video. We agreed upon a comedic skit that reflected SVG’s core values, appropriately titled SVG has Grit.
Taking place in an office, the video introduces that SVG has grit by following the actions of a new SVG employee. The employee, recognizing SVG has grit from an initial on-boarding meeting with Christina, brings Christina various types of grit (dirt, then the breakfast food) to impress his new boss. Not realizing that Christina meant grit as in hard work, the employee undergoes a stunning revelation to conclude the video.
I wrote up a script and shot list for the idea, but due to the coronavirus, shooting the video was not realistic during the timeframe of my internship. Instead, I picked an idea I could produce from home: a brand video about myself! In addition to my internship, I took this summer to record and release my debut EP, OUTCRY, and further establish myself as a new Boston-based pop-rock songwriter. So, I chose to make a marketing video about my EP.
I constructed a creative brief, interview questions, and a shot list for b-roll before shooting an interview in my room. My roommate was kind enough to interview me to make my video seem more authentic.
Video Production Shoots: Life as a Production Assistant
In mid-August, SVG had their first shoot since everything shut down in March. I served as a production assistant on the tennis-themed shoot at various different locations in Beverly, MA. During the shoot, I followed COVID-19 guidelines while taking behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the action. I got the crew and talent anything they might need, including lunch, and assisted with moving equipment on the set. Moreover, I took notes when I had some downtime for learning purposes. My notes also helped provide a basis for the blog post I would write about the project.
Social Media: Promoting our Brand
Furthermore, I was also responsible for implementing marketing strategies for online videos and blog posts. I managed SVG’s Boston video production company pages on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook. I also presented proposals on new marketing ideas for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and prepared a more in depth presentation on B2B marketing on Twitter for Christina and Joe.
On the whole, my internship with Skillman Video Group was certainly not what I expected because of the sudden impact of COVID-19, but I took away a great amount of valuable lessons and knowledge. I learned how to navigate being a production and marketing assistant remotely, further developing my communication skills and proactiveness. I strengthened my writing and promotion skills, while seeing firsthand how production operates in this new world.
As I move towards completing my undergraduate career at the end of 2020, I am considering opportunities in producing and writing for entertainment. This internship brought me one step closer towards my career goals.
Marketing Video: Kalah Karloff Intern Video – OUTCRY (Behind the EP)