Intern/Producer at Interface Media Group

McKinnon interviewing two subjects for a short video she produced about IMG’s work with the National Museum of the American Indian.

By Dean’s Intern McKinnon DeKuyper, Interface Media Group and Scripps Howard Foundation grantee

In my previous post, I discussed how my first four weeks at IMG were spent rotating through the different departments. Throughout this first phase, I learned how a multimedia production company works while performing various tasks for who I was shadowing.

At the end of this period, the VP of Operations asked me how I envisioned the rest of my summer. I didn’t hesitate to answer, I wanted my own project. I wanted to get into the thick of video production with a team of professionals.

I was assigned to produce a case study about a project IMG did with the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). In November, they had built 4 interactives and 3 video installments for the “Nations to Nations” exhibit. It was my job to create a mini-documentary about the staff’s creative and technical process, i.e. “the making of” the finals. Because my project was for internal purposes, they told me frankly that they were only going to use my video if it was good. I liked this challenge.

To start, I had to wrap my head around the project so I knew it as well as those who contributed to it. I did pre-interviews with core members of the team: the Producter, Software Engineer, Director of Animation, UI Designer, and Senior Editor. Once I felt I had a grasp on their roles, I wrote a two-column script to share my vision with my clients (IMG).

Once my treatment was approved, I got rolling with a Project Manager on booking the Studio Manager and his second in command as cameramen, lighting designers, and audio techs. Our first shoot would be on-location at NMAI which required coordinating with NMAI staff to get permission to work within the exhibit.  On the day of the shoot,  I led a six-person crew that included two IMG interns as Production Asssistants. In addition, a Producer joined us to supervise and provide pointers.

That being said, although I have written a ton of “I” statements, this was definitely not a one-woman job. Every step of the way there was support. I was always welcome to pop into anyone’s office to ask, “How would you go about doing this?” And I did that often.

Once the B-roll and interviews were shot, I tucked away in an editing suite to begin post. The first few days I worked with a Senior Editor to lay down a concise narrative with the interviews. The rest of the video I edited, checking in with producers every now and then to get their feedback.

As mentioned earlier, when the project was first given to me, there was no guarantee that they would use what I produced. On my last day, the Executive VP of Creative came down to the edit suite to review my work. With a big smile, he said, “You did it. This is a great piece.” Currently, the audio is being mixed and enhanced then it will be published on the IMG website.

It’s been so fun to read up on what the other Dean’s Interns are up to and I’m glad everyone had such wonderful, productive summers! I am immensely grateful for this internship and the AU School of Communication team who created this opportunity, the Scripps Howard Foundation for their sponsorship, and IMG for their mentorship.

10 weeks after I began, I am now ready to take on senior year with a host of refined and enhanced skills.