My name is Alex V-H (changed to protect the innocent – Chris), and I recently was accepted as an intern here. This was written to point out where I think I have grown, and where I think I haven’t grown as much, and to reflect on my time here for the summer. I first came to CLAi with an ambition to learn, develop new skills, and get an overall feel for how to participate in a production team. I scheduled an interview about five weeks ago, and I was first hesitant about being among the big shots, but they welcomed me and made me feel like I was a part of the family right away. I didn’t think I was going to be doing much, maybe a day every other week just to do the dirty work nobody else wanted to do, but instead I was in two days a week, prepping and learning about gear, and even getting to take it out and shoot some of my own projects for critiquing when I got back. It felt like a dream come true.

The real reason I wanted that interview and this internship was to grow and develop as a filmmaker and in all the various jobs and parts played in filmmaking. At first, I had no idea where I wanted to end up with this career, and now thanks to the team helping me to see all sides of it, I can say I know where I want to be, and what I think I would be best at. They brought out the inner passion I didn’t know about.

The first time I got to go out on the job happened about a week into my time there. There was a lot to learn from that first shoot. Upon arrival, we had a long time to set up gear and make sure everything that we had was ready to go so the director wouldn’t have to wait around for us. For the first three hours, not much was going on. The gear was all set up, the lights and audio were ready to go, all we needed was for the client to have everything ready and the shoot was ready to get underway. It was eye opening seeing the team in action, and I believe I learnt a lot from watching the professional side of things. Once we started, we had to cram a full day of shooting into a much smaller time frame, and being able to be a part of that and help with the success of this project was great. I felt like I was doing my part and being a useful part of the team, and although the shoot could have gone better preparation wise, it was still a fantastic day of learning and gathering experience. Sitting in class reading from a book could never be as helpful as seeing a real shoot in the making, and I think that I benefitted a lot from it.

The first day I joined I thought I knew a thing or two, and I honestly didn’t think there was much more I could actually learn aside from different programs and such, but I was wrong. I believe that I have learnt more in five weeks here then I could have learned in a full semester of video class. They have shown me a completely new side to the art of filmmaking, and it’s a side I didn’t even know existed.

What I mostly do here is gear related: as in packing, prepping, testing, and setting up. Occasionally I go out with the RED or a Canon and shoot some footage to come back and put together in a timeline. I do a lot of fun and interesting stuff, and they never fail to surprise me with something else I can do for them.

We are constantly professional whether it’s shooting a piece, or making a cup of coffee, it’s always done like a professional team. The communication between them is what makes this team the one for the job. They are never lost on what to do, and they are always right on it and ready to go ahead of schedule.

I might say some of that professional style has rubbed off on me. As I compare the videos I made before I came to CLAi, versus the ones I have made during the process of being here, there was a lot of improvement. Although I am still not even close to being at the level the team is, I can happily say that I think I’m on my way.

When I compare myself on that first interview with where I am as I type this, I can say I’ve changed a lot. For one, I’m a bit tanner. On the other hand, I’m feeling more apart of the team every day I come in. I may be just a humble intern, but I am treated as a part of the CLAi family. And now being aware of more of the technical side of filmmaking as well as the creative side, I am extremely pleased with what I’ve been able to do and participate in the last five weeks.

As to where this internship will lead, I have not a clue. But what I do know is wherever I do end up, or whatever I end up doing in the future, it will be much affected by what I have seen and done here at CLAi. As my time living in Santa Cruz comes to a close, I am going to make the last few weeks count, and show the team how much they have really given me this Summer, and to make them see I am incredibly grateful.

One day we are all going to be working for Alex Point 2… :-)