How to Set Up Your Video Production Intern for Success

Welcome to Maker Corner, our monthly series where we feature guest contributions to our blog. This month’s post, written by a QuickFrame maker Brooks McCormick at The Stewdio, dives into a process for setting up a video production intern for success.

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Trying to learn how to shoot and edit is a big task, so big it is hard to know where to begin–especially if you are an intern.

At The Stewdio, I implemented what I called the “Micro Series” which was a learning method to help our interns start their journey to becoming master makers. This can be used with everyone from videographers just starting out to even seasoned makers that want to expand their skillset.

This method may not work for everyone, but we found it worked for us with a recent intern, and I wanted to share with you a few best practice tips we surfaced with him that you can apply to your own internship program.

Learn More: Social Media Video Ad Specs & Placements Guide

Divide Up Video Production Intern Projects into Digestible Steps 

Say you want to make a video. You want the cool transitions, the perfect colors, the clean shots. There are a lot of little details that go into each pillar in shooting and editing that can be overlooked if you’re trying to do everything at once. Some people are naturals, but for others, they need to practice the details by taking small digestible steps as they learn.

We would come up with so many video ideas that our intern could make to practice being behind the camera and in the edition station, but these ideas were too big! In order for someone to learn, they need a starting point that is realistic. The first steps can be the hardest, but when they’re manageable it’s a little bit easier. 

Let Your Video Production Intern Focus on One Thing at a Time

With this method, I took a very micro piece of video production for our intern to focus on. He would only think and care about that one aspect, disregarding everything else (within reason), so he could properly develop that specific skill.

Take editing transitions as an example. There are so many transitions one can learn to utilize, but if they’re worried about the story, the lighting, the script, etc. then they will likely do two things:

  • They make the piece of practice content, but because they are overthinking the rest of the project, they don’t fully grasp the finer details for the skill they’re developing. 
  • Even though it’s practice (meaning it doesn’t have to be perfect!), if they don’t understand the finer details, it’ll be more difficult to make measurable improvements as they continue honing their new skillsets.

One of the first pieces of Micro content I had our intern make was utilizing masking transitions. We went out in Downtown Dallas for maybe an hour to capture some clips and then we went back to the office for him to edit. In his video, there is no story, there was no thought about lighting or audio, but the end video had a couple masks and a newly developed skill to be used on bigger projects. I even had him record himself explaining what he did for the micro project and show how me created the masks in Adobe Premiere. I felt that recording an explanation afterwards, forcing our intern to really think through what they did, helped solidify the knowledge

Additional lessons to consider offering to your video production interns: 

  • Color grading 
  • Camera angles 
  • Dialogue scenes 
  • Capturing B-roll 
  • Music 

Setting Your Video Production Interns Up for Success: The Takeaway

The big takeaway is don’t overthink when you’re trying to learn video production. You can create more practice content if your narrowed in on one specific task opposed to trying to create the perfect piece of content every time you turn on a camera. Once you’ve made a dozen micro series videos, you now have a dozen new tools to use as you take on bigger projects! Now the intern is our full-time videographer and editor, implementing techniques he didn’t even know existed when he started a little over a year ago. 

Learn more about The Stewdio by visiting their website.

Headshot of Brooks from The Stewdio Brooks McCormick was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and met Stew, of The Stewdio, in high school where video production was their favorite class. They went their separate ways for college where Brooks studied business and got his MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Amongst the pandemic, Brooks moved back to Dallas and shortly joined Stew as co-owner and business development. Brooks quickly re-discovered his passion for video production and took on a role as a content producer as well!

The Stewdio started with Stew as a freelancer and, shortly after Brooks joined, they had a mission to grow as a company. For the first year they were a catchall for media needs. They managed social media for restaurants, did general video marketing work, events, weddings, etc. but have now narrowed their focus to what they do best: create content for the internet. They specialize in adapting to each social media platform so each piece they produce feels like authentic native video. Their team is expanding in the Dallas area but one thing remains consistent, their passion for producing specialized content for brands to grow online.

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