Virtual Reality Video and a Work Environment in Flux

MadisonLongPhotoBy Dean’s Intern Madison Long at the Newseum

Interning at the Newseum has certainly been a thrilling experience so far. It was also a little nerve wracking—by my second week, I received an email from the executive producer notifying that more than half of the production department had been laid off. After an uneasy week of waiting to know if I could stay or not, thankfully the interns could remain working there and I could continue pursuing this great opportunity. I sympathize with everyone who lost their jobs, and it opened my eyes to see how rough the job market can be, especially for nonprofit organizations with tight budgets. I learned from witnessing this incident that you should always have backup options prepared and keep your network open just in case something sudden and unpredictable happens in your career.

That story aside, what blows my mind about the internship is the ability to explore and experiment with virtual reality video. I can just sense how prevalent VR is going to be in the near future. It certainly is the next big thing. So the opportunity to work with VR cameras and editing software to gain that experience right now is incredible, especially since VR is relatively new. I feel confident that this unique and rare experience will be beneficial for a future career in an industry that will gradually start using VR more.

Recently, I got to sit in on a meeting with two experienced VR videographers from National Geographic who have produced videos that have reaches millions of people over social media. They had tons of great advice and were open to questions so it was an extremely valuable experience. I also get to use the VR headset and 360 cameras on occasion, which is something I would never be able to do or afford otherwise. The interns also splice together the VR video highlights which are viewed and enjoyed by Newseum visitors.

As production assistants, we are also responsible for other editing tasks. We produce “The Lighter Side of News” every 2 weeks, which is a complication of humor news media from shows like the Daily Show, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, and more. It’s very entertaining to look through those hilarious segments to find the best moments. This is also displayed in a small theater for Newseum visitors to watch.

My latest project was working on a Media Highlights Sizzle Reel, which featured Newseum staff members being interviewed on various news stations. This is going to be shown to all the board members to demonstrate the public presence of the Newseum staff.

Overall, my internship experience has been amazing so far. There’s never a day where I dislike coming in to work. I am glad I decided to pursue this internship and am thankful I was chosen for the position!