ƒ Curious Travelers Television: Taking On Interns

Friday, August 12, 2005

Taking On Interns

For the past few months I've been interviewing hundreds of job applicants to work on our travel programs. I've seen people who want to be presenters, operate the camera, direct, take sound, write scripts and project proposals, work in the sales and marketing, either ona full time or freelance basis.

Also I've been interviewing for interns. Some interns are non film students, people that simply have no skills in filmmaking, have never worked on a film project before. Some are highly motivated to learn but do I have the patience to teach them? Sometimes there are so many skills they need that I might as well do it myself or delegate it with a skilled employee.

The other type of interns are the film students, who work about twenty hours a week for college credit. I've made presentations at all the film schools in the New York area or universities that have film programs - NYU, Columbia, School of Visual Arts, Kathrine GIbbs, Harvard, Yale and Hunter College.

If you look at the resumes of the various candidates you'll find that many of them have interned at MTV, HBO, and several of the other large media companies in New York. Interns are great for these types of companies. They have a large staff in place, are shooting hundreds of hours of videos and for no cost to them they can give them a small assignment like answeirng the phone or digitizing video into the computer and free up their staff for the more skilled work.

In a small production company like CNI Cinema there isn't allot of this unskilled work to do but the work does exist to get locations, contact interview subjects and of course digitize footage.

I think the main problems I have taking on interns is two fold:

1. Most people have never worked on a travel program before or even watched many shows, so you have to start from scatch with them and explain the genre, which is time consuming.

2. Many interns are looking for a paid job. You have to ask yourself if I take them on do I want to work with them
on the long term? If the answer is no, that you only consider them as a cost cutting expense it's better to do the job yourself or give it to one of your more experienced staff.