The First Five Things I learned as a Production Intern

My name is John Zawawi, and I just finished my freshman year at the University ofMassachusetts Amherst. This is the first internship I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t be happier to be doing it at MEDIABOSS.

Being in a professional environment for the first time, I quickly realized that I know nothing.
There’s plenty of things you can learn in school, but your true education begins once you step foot inside the walls of a real workplace.

Now that I’ve settled in, I’d like to share some of the first lessons I learned (so far) while working for MEDIABOSS.

5. Making Coffee

The quintessential intern task, becoming the office barista is one of the first things to learn on the job. However, this doesn’t make it unimportant.

Whether it’s an editor on a marathon session or a client coming to the studio for the first time, being able to make a coffee saves time for everyone.

It may not be the most important thing I’ll learn from my time here, but being willing to make my colleagues’ lives easier is a guiding principal that I’ll take wherever I work in the future.

4. The Difference Between a Camel and a Dromedary

Coming into this internship, I expected to learn a lot about writing, production and filmmaking. I didn’t expect to learn what the difference between a camel and a dromedary is (answer: a camel has two humps, a dromedary has one). But I recently had this specific difference explained to me, because that attention to detail is what you need to have when working in professional environment.

You have to be an expert on whatever you’re shooting, whether it’s beer or the Boston Marathon. At MEDIABOSS, being the most prepared isn’t a goal, but a requirement.

3. Anticipate

On set, my job as an intern is to anticipate what everyone needs, and try and find a way to help them. Every second is precious. Sometimes, the difference between having gaff tape on your wrist and 10 feet away from you is costing the crew that last second of perfect lighting before the sun sets.

Good anticipatory skills are a result of paying attention to the filmmaking process. I learned very quickly that you have to be paying attention to each person’s job, which is something I’m
thankful to have to do: forcing myself to be constantly in tune on set has helped me soak in more of what is going on around me.

2. Never Leave For Post-Production What You Can Do In Production

On set, it’s easy to say “we can take care of that in post”. As it turns out, it’s not nearly as easy to do in post. Photoshop takes time (read: money), and the less editors have to do, the more efficiently the entire company can move.

As a successful company, there are always more projects coming in than there are editors.

Delivering them quality footage saves them hours of unnecessary work. In taking the time to make shots look perfect from the start, you get that time back tenfold later.

1. Everything is Storytelling.

What I believe is the most important thing I’ve learned since coming to MEDIABOSS is to look at every project as a story. Before, I only looked at visual storytelling in terms of film and television.

Even the simplest commercial has a story, and it is the job of the creative professionals who work here to tell that story in the best way they can. Approaching all projects as stories has helped me simplify the process. Asking the question, “what is the story here?” has allowed me to understand the purpose behind creative decisions made, and consequently has helped my own decision making process.

John Zawawi


Related posts

Search Unleashing The Full Power of Facebook Live
Badass Women: Your Ship Never Sails - Ep 1 Laura Raposa Search