Sam Cleary ’22 obtains editing skills through video projects at Hullabaloo.

My name is Sam Cleary and I am a Film & Media Studies and Economics Double Major at Whitman. The most rewarding aspect of my internship last summer was the editing skills I learned, the increased productivity in post-production, and building professional relationships with talented industry veterans and coworkers who recently entered the field. I had a lot of fun with the tight-knit Hullabaloo team and made a close professional friendship with every employee.

My role at the start with Hullabaloo TV was helping with corporate video projects. This is my second summer with Hullabaloo, but this summer I got a lot more hands-on experience with post-production. This internship also further honed my storytelling skills through participation in a long-format documentary project. “Ultimate Citizens” is the story of an Iranian American grade school counselor and ultra-athlete who uses the sport of Ultimate Frisbee to help children heal in Seattle Public Schools. Many of the Frisbee players are youth from multicultural and/or immigrant families. By helping edit this documentary in post-production, I have been exposed to the beauty and complexity of these children’s lives. I’m proud to help tell this important story about making a difference in public schools.

There a was ton of responsibilities needed to perform this job, and I learned many new video editing skills:

  • Cutting “fat” for assembly cuts, meaning I made long edits. This helped Hullabaloo have the first version so more experienced editors could refine the scene later.
  • Taking notes on my supervisor’s critiques on my reviews, so I could dive back into the edit to make revisions and/or learn how to cut future scenes better.
  • Lifting “selects” (good excerpts from clips) from “string outs” (timelines with all the footage from the scene) using keyboard shortcuts to expedite the process. My product was a sequence of “good” clips for the assembly edit.
  • Dating my project files and sequences so I stayed organized and other editors could access and make sense of my work.
  • Browsing footage at an accelerated pace using keyboard shortcuts, which increased productivity and assembly edit turnaround.

This internship will certainly improve my academic relationship and communication with my professors. Furthermore, teamwork with fellow Hullabaloo editors gives me practice for group projects at Whitman. Like editing an essay, video editing these scenes together required the communication skills to apply constructive feedback and follow prompts. My internship also has relevance to Film & Media Studies Department courses, an area of study I plan to at least minor in. Working at Hullabaloo has given me a new appreciation for why and how a scene is cut, and its role in the story. The studio also gave me more intuition for cutting films for Professor Robert Sickels’ filmmaking courses. Finally, being inside a small business has complimented my microeconomics studies, a department in which I plan to major.

Professionally, this internship has been incredibly insightful and eye-opening. As a future freelancer, getting exposure to copy writing, marketing and client research, as well as documentary film making and corporate video, will help me find future success in the film industry. With copy writing, I got to draft a press release for Whitman magazine (stay tuned!) and wrote a synopsis explaining the rules of Ultimate Frisbee for documentary research purposes. I participated in team brainstorms about marketing and social media. With the documentary Filmmaking, I learned about applying for grants to producing films, finding stories, shooting “B-roll” footage for scenes, and researching stock and archival footage. A recent discovery was understanding the “spectrum” of montage where at one end is essentially a highlight reel and the other end is subtle and has continuity between shots to feel observational and in real-time. Finally, I got experience with corporate video and social media video editing, as I cut a social media video for a client and researched stock video for use in the client’s feature video.

I thought the SEC was very accommodating and generous to internship students. Thank you for this amazing opportunity and funding!

Experiences like Sam’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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