Getting Reel: John Courchane’s SolidLine Intern Blog Week 1

Hello SolidLine readers. Let me briefly introduce my self. My name is John Courchane, and I’m the new summer intern over at SolidLine Media. I’m a 22-year-old transplant from Madison, Wisconsin, and just finished my fourth year at Columbia College Chicago. I can’t call my self a graduate just yet; I still have one more semester to go. I’m calling it a victory lap.  I’ve got one week of interning under my belt, and I think it went pretty well.

For this first week I mainly observed and absorbed, feeling out the system and atmosphere of the office. I have a leg up on previous interns in that I’ve actually worked with the SolidLine crew on two separate shoots prior to my internship, but I was still one part nervous and three parts excited, just like any other first few days at a new job.  I was greeted by the people I had worked with, and introduced to the people I hadn’t. It was immediately clear that while these people are both relaxed and casual, they take their jobs very seriously. Awards and newspaper clippings, some dating back to the mid 90s, adorn the office walls, and there is a clear “client first” mentality.

My first day, I sat in and watched both Ed Boe and Michael Kromm do some editing. Most of the courses I’ve taken at school have been focused on editing and color correction, and it was definitely cool seeing the lessons I learned in the classroom being put to practical use in the “real world.” While at school we’re all encouraged to do everything in a uniform way, it’s clear that everyone has their own process and style.

What really surprised me is how much work is done using different graphics. Considering the types of video SLM makes, it makes sense that graphics play such a key role, but they’re just something that I never really thought about. After sitting down and watching Mike work his magic with a couple different animation programs, I’ve since been teaching my self some basic Photoshop animation.

The highlight of my first week would definitely have to be my first trip on the SolidLine Truck. You can safely consider me impressed. The massive RV provides not only a place to live on the road, but also a mobile production office. While the rest of the crew was stowed away in bunks, I got the penthouse bench, with luxuries like the table next to me and room for my feet to dangle off the end. I only got to spend a couple hours actually sleeping because we had to be at the client, U.S. Corrugated, at 7:30 the next morning.

We shot at one of U.S. Corrugated’s corrugated box factories located in Lancaster, Ohio, about 30 minutes outside of Columbus. Watching all the attention to detail that Ed put into his shots made me realize just how much work goes into getting shots that not only get the desired message across, but look aesthetically awesome. People who aren’t as in tune to the production process often think it’s simply point and click. Seeing all the hard work and meticulous shot set up translate in to usable footage gives me a sense of pride.

I would be remiss if I wrote this blog without mentioning the brats we had on the way back to Chicago after the shoot. Coming from Wisconsin, I consider my self an authority on all things brat. After all, I’m from Madison, home of the World’s Largest Bratfest. Before we even put our hard hats and steel-toed boots on for the days shoot, Greg Vass had some brats sitting in a crock-pot with his secret blend of beer and onions, sour kraut to be added later. Brats in a crock-pot? Get serious, brats belong on a grill. Let me tell you what, these brats were soft, flavorful, and all around mind blowing.

All in all, I’d consider week one a success. I learned some things, had a some brats, and didn’t sink the company.

Tell Us About Your Project

Regardless of the type of video your organization needs from our team, there’s a
perfect mix of live video and motion graphics that will meet your needs