An internship is an invaluable step in getting started on your career as a successful videographer. If you already have a good idea of specific career you are interested in, you already have a leg up.
Before you start looking for internships, bone up on industry-specific materials. Read newsletters, magazines, join organizations related to your career field. And remember to get involved on campus if at all possible. Most companies who hire interns on a regular basis are looking for students who are passionate about videography and show early promise and potential. Even if they do not hire you immediately, if you do an outstanding job, they are usually more than obliged to provide excellent references and provide additional networking opportunities.
There are two options for obtaining an internship. The first option is to work with your academic advisor and a couple of professors on arranging an internship at a company in your field. Almost every large corporation in the country has some sort of internship program and within these programs, they will likely have some capacity for audio/visual production and editing. If your dream is to work in Hollywood, your best bet is to try and get an internship at a film company. The most well-respected ones are usually located in Los Angeles, Hollywood, New York City and Atlanta. These internship programs tend to be extremely competitive with hundreds of applications for only a dozen spots.
If your dream internship program is notoriously difficult to get into, consider interning at a smaller, local company or even a locally-owned studio in your junior year and work your way up to that dream job in New York City. This is actually the second option for obtaining an internship and plenty of videographers go on to lead exciting, rewarding careers having only interned with small companies. The good thing about working with smaller companies is that they are much easier to get into. If you choose to intern at a locally-owned studio, check with your academic advisors beforehand to ensure that you will receive credit for work completed.
Here are some typical responsibilities and tasks that you will complete for the duration of your internship. The exact nature of your work environment will be similar to that of the videographer, editor or producer who supervises you, but it will vary depending on the field in which you intern.
- Assist with all aspects of video production
- Create, publish and participate in video production and editing
- Attend meetings, write, brainstorm, storyboard; learn lighting, audio-visual production techniques and equipment
- Final Cut Pro editing, logging tapes, editing video,field production, interview lighting and basic scriptwriting
Education and Experience
- Able to receive academic credit for the internship
- Minimum junior status, with minimum G.P.A.s ranging from 2.5 to 3.0 on average
- Progress towards degree in Film/Video Production or Broadcast Journalism
- Previous part-time work experience or internships (this is often the case with competitive internship programs)
- Demonstrable participation in campus TV programs and industry-related organizations/associations
- Internships.com: Similar to a job search engine, but lists paid and unpaid internships for videography, video production and video-editing
- Job Search Engines: A simple search on websites like Indeed.com and Simplyhired.com often have a few listings for internships
- Magazines, Trade Journals and Newspapers: Some of the larger print media throughout the country in major cities have internship programs that have recently begun accepting interns for their video production programs
- Associations/Organizations: Be really proactive and join an association or organization that is specific to the industry in which you are interested working. You can network with industry professionals to see if they internship programs at their companies or you can approach a studio owner to see if they would allow you to intern with them. As long as your school OKs this, you will receive course credit and you can use it on your resume in the future.