Do you ever find yourself repurposing your old skills into newer faster ones? That’s the beauty of change, as fearful as it is, change is taking a bumpy pothole-filled path and transforming it into a newly paved road. Christensen Media saw my old skills and with a few initiation tests took me onboard. I never knew participating in video shoots, that would go on broadcast television, would created an immense impact on me. From the Subaru shoot to writing blogs, the journey was always a feeling of exhilaration. I began my path with little experience only to end this summer witnessing what could potentially be my future. It’s not the destination that counts, it’s the roller coaster journey that I'm on right now that I must hold on to.
Besides being behind the camera, media requires some sit-down and focused work as well. At my previous job at Honolulu Coffee Company, I didn't have to worry about manipulating my words or put them on paper (although I did convince a few people to buy our amazing cookies and Pea-berry coffee, go to Honolulu to find out more). Through the summer interning with C-Media, my daily routine consisted of waking up, shower, then set-off for coffee. While at the best independently owned coffee shop I could find in Sacramento, I opened my computer and began jotting down thoughts of previous shoots. Ok, so how did I feel, what happened, what do I want to tell the world about? Not to mention, caffeine always speeds up my morning face to super-concentrated face. As much as I wanted to stay at the coffee shop and vent-out my ideas, getting to John’s place on-time was always a priority. Once I arrived, I finish my blogs and reviewed them with him. He goes over them a few more times, just to make sure that each sentence has a subject, verb, predicate, and it’s in English (mais oui?). John tells me a well-prepared Production Assistant watches for the producer and tries their best to anticipate what he or she may need. The more appreciative, trustworthy, and on-the-job experience a PA has, the more clients and producer will appreciate the production company’s professionalism. Where do I get my ideas from for the blogs? From on-the-job experiences and the constant flow of activity that I must absorb.
How do I prepare for a shoot? I heard this from a variety of other prospective interns, some of whom did not make the cut. Even I am guilty of thinking this question. My usual ‘shoot-routine’ consisted of a shower, make-up, dress in professional attire, and arrive with a bright smile. Never forget your smile because it’s the key to making your day bright as well as the colleagues around you. After learning my lesson being slightly late from the live doctor’s shoot (The worst day to be late when we are going LIVE), I now always leave an hour early. But if the inevitable happens, always communicate with your crew. They can tolerate you if you keep them informed but you still feel awful when you know they are counting on you. Now, I rather be too early than too late, no matter the cost. Upon arrival and in one-piece, John gives the crew a quick pep-talk of the day. In increments of time, he outlines what needs to be done by whom. As a PA, usually the slave-like jobs are left to me, lunch, food, water, maybe some grapes and palm fans for the producers. Truthfully, I only had to get lunch for some shoots, but John made it a point to keep me close to the action so I can learn. It’s the experience, not the results. During the shoot, I would stay quiet and listen attentively, very attentively. A PA must watch for possible obstacles or grumpiness in the crew. When the producer needs something, he might pull his head a little to the right and nudge the PA for assistance. It’s up to the PA to think ahead, getting the cameraman or audio tech what they need before they say it. A potential producer always watches and absorbs every molecule of information setting a pattern into their brain as quickly as possible. I learned a lot. Every time I go out on field I think, wow this is what Steve Jobs or Bill Gates must have done before making a major breakthrough; it's important to gain real-world experiences. I believe college is also important, one needs an education to understand the jargon that is happening on-set. For example, French is not something that came to me in a dream overnight. Nor understanding media.
[Ariel studies French at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and will be an exchange student in Paris by the end of Summer. She chose to intern with Christensen Media in the mean time to better her skills in media production.]