An Inside Look at the Smithsonian

IMG_5499_editedBy Dean’s Intern Agnes Erskine at the Smithsonian

Built in 1849, the Smithsonian Castle is charming and bustling with character; it’s also where I spend my time editing videos for the Smithsonian Insider. Steps away from the National Mall and nearly all the Smithsonian’s museums and attractions, it’s the perfect location for becoming completely immersed in all that the Smithsonian Institution has to offer. My first project was an in-depth look inside the visually stunning Horace Poolaw exhibit in the National Museum of the American Indian. Today, we’re at the Smithsonian’s latest addition to its family of museums. Visiting hours are 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., but it’s 9:00 a.m. on a Wednesday and the National Museum of African American History and Culture is already buzzing with the sounds of people milling about. Guest Services staff members preparing for their day’s duties gather for a pre-shift meeting on my left; to my right the museum’s Founding Director, Lonnie Bunch hosts two guests on a personal tour, and directly in front of me is my camera capturing Museum Specialist, Tulani Salahu-Din. She is introducing Smithsonian Insider viewers to the “Making A Way” exhibit on the third floor of the museum.

Producing, filming, and editing videos for the Smithsonian Insider has given me an opportunity to think critically as a producer. A day like today proves that the challenges that accompany any production–large or small–can vary. From lighting an area that has minimal electrical outlets to avoiding background noise and distractions like automatic doors that keep opening and shutting (which was actually quite funny), interning at the Smithsonian Institution has truly allowed me to expand my production horizons. I look forward to sharing my completed works on the Smithsonian Insider website in the coming weeks!