During this semester, I compiled five videos total. This was not an easy feat. Before entering the internship, I had never before edited a video or worked with a video editing program. I had no idea what kind of work I would be doing, and I did not know how it would apply to me as a Writing Arts major. I had never interviewed anyone on camera before either, and was not sure how my questions would be answered. Through hours of hard work, determination, and admitted frustration, I was able to strengthen my editing and interviewing skills.
One of my biggest struggles during this internship was learning how to edit the videos. At the beginning, I would only make small insignificant changes to the footage, not really being creative with it or exploring the possibilities of the program. I didn't fully understand all the work that truly went into editing a video and creating something visually appealing. My first video only took me about an hour to make. All it was was a polished up version of a video that had already been finalized from past semesters. I was disappointed with it, which makes sense because it wasn't truly mine.
After seeing Seth's video and all the work he put into it, I knew I would have to do better in the future. I made plans with him so he could show me a few tricks of the program (iMovie) so I could produce something of similar quality. After meeting with Seth and spending several hours in the library, I finally felt like I knew how to approach future videos. I went back to the drawing board, watched hours of video and pulled my favorite quotes from each one I watched. I took notes on time stamps in the videos so I knew exactly when to start and stop in order to cut specific scenes from the footage. After cutting all the footage I needed, I compiled the videos in an order I felt made sense. The whole process took around 5-7 hours, spanning over the course of two days. The end product was still not something I was satisfied with. The entire video was nearly six minutes long; much too long for an introductory video to the Creative Writing Concentration.
I began to think of ways I could cut down the video. I wrote down specific questions to guide me in my editing process, only cutting footage when I felt the interviewee truly answered the types of questions I was asking. Again, I reviewed the raw footage. Again, I recorded time stamps and cut footage where it was appropriate to do so. Again, I took my time to compile them in a way that made sense to the viewer. Again, 5-7 hours were spent in total making my creative vision come to fruition. But this time, I felt I was nearer to the product I was ultimately searching for. I went through this same process three more times throughout the semester, each week spending hours sifting through raw footage and ordering and reordering the footage until I felt it was as close to finished as any creative piece could get. My final product ended up being about five minutes long (still a little longer than I would have liked, but I didn't want to cut anything I felt was important to the video).
My biggest take away from this internship was not only the skills I developed in being able to navigate different programs and create videos from scratch, but the ability to rework something over and over again until it's exactly the way you want it to be. The closest I ever came to understanding the true meaning of a draft was in The Writer's Mind. In this class, we were assigned one essay only throughout the entire semester. We had to rewrite it over and over again, adding things and deleting others, until finally handing in a "finished" product. By the end of the semester, I had nearly ten drafts of one essay. But the difference between writing and editing is more significant than many would think. Yes, writing those essays was frustrating and rewarding when it was all finished. But what was even more rewarding was coming to a final conclusion through editing. It took more time, effort, creativity, and patience than anything I had ever attempted before. Though the constant back and forth to the drawing board became frustrating at times, it was that much more rewarding to have finished it in the end knowing I had learned something invaluable.
In addition to my experiences with editing the videos, I felt that participating in the internship did well to enhance my interviewing skills. I enjoyed learning how to use the camera equipment and microphones; how to make interviewees look their best in certain lights and atmospheres; and how to ask questions. Learning how to ask questions was probably the most valuable skill I developed this semester. It's not enough to get someone to give you the answer you're looking for. You need to be creative, be in the moment, and listen for prompts that the interviewee may not be aware they're giving. All of these things factor in to how well the interview goes and what kind of material you capture on camera.
As a result of having completed this internship, I feel that my understanding of Core Value IX has strengthened. This value states that students will develop an understanding of how the writing process works in the professional field. Through my experiences, I definitely feel better prepared for the working environment as it relates to the writing process. I learned that writers must go through many drafts and learn the desires of their bosses in order to conform to what they want. I also learned that a piece of writing is never truly finished, but with hard work and lots of editing you can achieve a polished product. I also learned the value of organization, and that managing your time appropriately in order to complete a task is vital to the writing process and the quality of your work. I think this internship has definitely opened my eyes to the difficulties writers face in the working world, and it has prepared me for how to overcome these obstacles.
This internship challenged me in ways I had not been challenged before. My initial intimidation with the unfamiliar programs was easily melted away by Seth's willingness to teach me. Through many frustrating hours of work and seemingly endless edits, I finally was able to walk away with something I was proud of creating. By listening to others and knowing the types of things I wanted to hear from those I was interviewing, I was able to better develop my interviewing skills and capture great material for later compilations. I feel that this internship has sharpened my editing skills as a whole, and as a result I feel I am better prepared as a writer in the working world.