— Behind the camera —

Internship provides hands-on video production experience

There is nothing like practical, hands-on experience to complement textbooks and classroom instruction. Nathan Dawson, a senior at Centennial High School, understands that concept – even better now after a four-month, unpaid internship in video production at ITD. He wanted an opportunity to put into practice what he had been studying in a video production class.

ITD’s video unit, part of the Office of Communications, proved to be the perfect platform, with professional guidance by videographer Dave Tuttle and photographer Mark Hall. The internship, which began in September and concluded in January, also filled a need by Human Resources to promote the department to teens as a potential career track.

Shortly after Dawson volunteered for the internship, Michelle George requested help in producing a video targeted to junior high and high school students. The timing couldn’t have been better.

“It was right in his wheelhouse,” Hall explained. “It was the right project at the right time.”

Dawson began with a rudimentary understanding of videography. Tuttle and Hall helped him develop the professional skills needed to produce a seven-minute Human Resources video, “Outreach Idaho.” It was a total immersion in the video process, Tuttle explained.

The intern committed two hours a day, four days a week on the project, beginning at the beginning. He helped develop the video concept, scheduled and conducted on-camera interviews, provided narration for the script provided by HR, added his own recorded background music (produced on Garage Band) and did final editing.

It was virtually his product from start to finish.

Dawson admitted that he learned as much through the hands-on experience as he did in class; each format complemented the other.

“He was very responsible and dependable,” Tuttle said of his understudy. He and Hall often were scheduled for shoots with little or no notice that took them away from Headquarters, leaving Dawson behind at the studio to continue his production.

He was exposed to the latest technology in a small video production facility and learned the logistics required to produce a video. Just as important, Hall emphasized, Dawson also learned how to function in the workplace. He left with a better understanding and appreciation for video production and functioning in a service-oriented professional work environment.

His video was shown at the state capitol during the 2013 Legislature and will be posted to the ITD Website. It also will be available for HR education outreach. Dawson will submit the video as a graded senior project.

The internship was a first for Tuttle and Hall and required a blend of supervision and instruction that went beyond their normal duties. But it was a “very positive experience,” Tuttle said. If the right opportunity and right candidate were to surface in the future, they would consider another short-term, focused internship.

Published 2-15-13