Summer Internship: Chris Coughlan
“Do you know what a kino-flow is?”
“Keno-flow, keno-flow…. is that like a type of personal lubricant?” I rack my brain for clues but nothing surfaces. It’s Friday, July 13th, the day of my first professional video shoot with Galileo media. My first real taste of working in “the biz” and an important first step towards my dreams of becoming a video journalist.
“Um… yeah I think so.” I lie, hoping to appear capable. Thankfully my boss, perhaps sensing my uncertainty, tells me anyways.
“Its that big yellow light; should be in the lighting crate. Could you set it up next to the beer displays?”
“Ok, sure.” I respond, thankful to be given a simple enough first task. As I went about finding the light, I took a look at my surroundings. The location of my first shoot is a massive bar with the impressive name of: World of Beer. Behind a massive oak bar stood row after row of beers, imported from every corner of the globe. We had arrived the day before the grand opening and the entire restaurant seemed to thrum with energy. Management shouted out orders as servers rushed to place chair and memorize menu items. And in the middle of all of commotion was us, a three-man film crew sent to shoot the interior for a promotional video. It was exhilarating.
Over the course of the next 5 hours we shot the bar from nearly every angle. From slow pans across the beer taps, to close ups of expensive porters, to dolly shots of waiters carrying beer, we used just about every shooting technique in the book. My favorite, however, were the crane shots. The crane looked like a giant seesaw balanced on top of a tripod. On one end, sat our camera, while on the other were counter weights. My boss even let me operate the crane for several shots; I practiced making smooth pans while also moving the camera from high to low. It was a great learning experience not only because I got to experience a real shoot but also because I got hands-on experience using so many different kinds of equipment. I even busted out my acting chops, playing the exciting role of “man sitting at bar”.
In the end, the most valuable thing I learned from the experience was how important time management is when on a shoot. When my boss showed me the shot list at the beginning of the day, I thought there was no way we would be able to get all the shots we needed. John, however, knew better. He had meticulously scheduled every minute of our shoot, knowing exactly how long we would need to set-up, shoot, and break down for each shot. Whenever we would start to run over time, he would rush us along; but whenever we didn’t get a shot quite right, he would make sure we went back to fix it. All in all, the experience taught me many things both technical and organization that I hope to incorporate into my own projects.