Sophia Black ’22 captures the beauty of Walla Walla on video at Visit Walla Walla in Walla Walla, WA

Hello there prospective Whitman student interested not only in applying to the Whitman internship grant but an internship centered around Video Production, Digital media marketing, or film in general!

I’m interning for Visit Walla Walla. Basically, it’s a tourist non-profit promoting and trying to get people to come visit Walla Walla! My job is very interesting to describe right now because I mainly am collecting footage for a variety of ads to edit and post to various social media platforms later this summer. The interesting part is that while one might think a tourism company puts a lot of its budget towards content creation, the budget for it is essentially two shiny nickels. This has led me and my supervisor to get creative with how to tackle a mountain of obstacles that stand in our way of producing attractive content. Now that context is set, I can let you in on the biggest two keys to success when working in film, advertising, TV, marketing, etc: adaptability and communication.

Seems like run of the mill buzz words, I know, but trust me. My usual work week for May and June consisted of collecting footage (because how can one produce content with going out and getting shots?) This might seem backwards to you, I mean you might be thinking “what about a shot list? Or an outline?”

Which I would say good job! Yes, those are very important but for this case, we have no archived footage to even lean on. For example, if we need an establishing shot of a vineyard for a wine ad, we can’t just pull one from our archived collection because… there is very little footage that has been filmed until I got here. Basically, we don’t have any footage. So what I’ve been doing for a month and a half is going downtown and shooting the flowers and the atmosphere, going to a Sweets baseball game, a biology family fun event, a Shakespeare show, or whatever might be useful because having that footage as back-up is important for July when I have to sit down and put together video ads.

This is where adaptability and communication come in. Some things can’t be planned like a gorgeous day with clouds in the sky; me and my boss have to drop everything and go film as conditions arose because we didn’t know if we’d have another sunny day like that in a while. Or when I had to film a baseball game and the weather was bad so I talked to my supervisor and we decided I got everything I needed from the game before. Some things are less important than you thought, on my first day my boss gave me a list of long term tasks to work on–such as finding good music for our company to use whenever I have open time. In 4 minutes I solved that problem in front of my supervisor.

Mistakes will happen and that’s okay. Me and my supervisor both thought that I owned a micro USB to charge the batteries, turns out I only have a mini USB and that assumption I made cost me a day of filming (it actually didn’t 2% is apparently just fine to film for 30 minutes but that’s not the point)

The point is unpredictable things happen in film, and your ability to accommodate and communicate with your supervisor is most important with anything you do in this internship.

Am I learning more about different cameras? Yes, I am!! But, I have previous experience making ads and filming with a similar job I have on-campus. The real experience I get out of this internship is learning how a real company goes about advertising and how to communicate with my superiors on connecting my ideas with what their greater goal is. Like, how to be a very efficient cog in a machine and learning what I can do to get better and more experienced in marketing. Does that make sense? Did this help anything perspective internship goer? I hope it did. I really like my job, I know I’m doing a good job. And you will too, because you’re reading this and preparing already. And that’s really important and I know it’s hard so I hope this was a decent resource and if you need more information beyond this rambling blog post shoot me an email and I’ll talk to you about it in person or on email!

Experiences like Sophia Black’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Mitzy Rodriguez

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