I lived through my first week. Just a few days after graduating from Columbia College Chicago I started interning for SolidLine. Not knowing what to expect I tried to make the best impression possible. I dressed up with dress pants and a button up polo, I got my computer together, and I commuted into the city like so many other post-collegiate members of society do everyday.

Once off the train and walking into the office, I realized this wasn’t going to be like most jobs. The walls of the lobby were lined with awards, the conference table is steps away from a huge editing bay, and all the rooms were equipped with everything you need to put a high end video together. After meeting the members of the team I sat down on their huge leather couch and watched them go over notes on a commercial they were working on. I spent the rest of the day watching them edit current projects and get finished projects ready to send to the client. After my first day I learned two things, I was overdressed and that these guys take their work very seriously without allowing themselves to get to negative.

My second day I was thrown right into a meeting with one of their clients. Sitting in the clients large conference room surrounded by windows looking out onto the city I couldn’t help but we taken back by how many different things must be considered when planning a video. Every detail needed to be planned out so that the client is happy and that we know how to put it together. It was really cool to get that inside look into what happens before the shoot and how everything comes into place.

By the end of the week I able to really get into the mix by going out on a couple shoots. At first at I was pretty intimidated by the giant camera (I used a 60 year old Bolex for most of my shoots at school), lights, and golf cart they brought to the set, but after Ed, Justin, and Greg showed me the ropes I felt pretty comfortable by the time we got to the night school. The thing that stood out to me the most and was probably the coolest part of the shoot was how Greg and the crew would take a normal, somewhat boring shot like a woman working at her desk and turn it into a cool panning/up and down shot using their jib and lights. Treating every shot like it is the most important part of the film helped to make every shot unique and cool in its own right.

interview shot
Here you will see a scene where I had to hold the boom pole for 15+ minutes at a time…no wonder they gave me this job…

The night UIC shoot was a little more straight forward, but not without it’s challenges. Shooting a doctor walking up and reading a teleprompter, I was able to boom while Michael mixed. This is what I have the most experience in so it helped me feel more comfortable on the set and I was able to fit in. Of course shooting in a hospital there is always going to be a patient to take care of, or a fax, or a phone call right when you are supposed to shoot. Everyone handled the distractions well and what could have turned into a frustrating experience was a relaxed, professional scene that turned out great.

After packing up for the shoot I got my first taste of sleeping on the truck, something I will be doing a lot of this summer. The large “apartment on wheels” was very accommodating and getting to hang out and enjoy a celebratory cocktail with Michael and Greg was a good way to finish off my first shoot and bring me into the group.

All in all I would say my first week was a success. I learned more in two days on set than I learned from full semesters in a lot of my classes (but don’t tell my mom, the ink is barely dry on my last Columbia check). I can’t wait to hit the road next week and I’m sure my blogs will only get more interesting as we end up in different places.

More to come…I am sure…


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