June 12th was a circled date on my calendar, and not only because it was the first day of the FIFA World Cup. June 12th was also my very first day interning at Galileo Media Arts. I was excited and nervous to start, and unsure of what to expect. The very first week my fellow interns (Chris and Molly) and I jumped right into the mix, getting a taste of what is involved in media production. John Wager, the founder of Galileo, gave us a project for the first two days: organizing and doing inventory of all of their production equipment. What was great about this was that it forced us to become familiar with the equipment at Galileo and what its purpose is. Within a week’s time, Chris, Molly and I could identify everything in the equipment closet and have a basic understanding of its function. This was hugely beneficial for when we were going on shoots and working on our individual projects.

A few weeks later, I got to go to a shoot at the Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival. The purpose of the shoot was to capture the unique experience of the fair, including the launch of the glow balloons, the live music, and the expansive kiosks of artists and artisans selling their specialty items. I went along with a videographer named Jake and helped him scout out cool things to shoot, and I even got to shoot some footage myself. John had Chris, Molly and me draft up a mock 30 second commercial with the footage Jake and I shot. This allowed us to understand the specific requirements of constructing a commercial piece, and creating something in accordance with a client’s desires. Editing together footage also taught me a lot about Final Cut Pro. I had had a basic skillset in using the program before coming to Galileo, but one thing I had never learned to do on it was organize media. At Galileo I learned how crucial the technical aspects of putting a video together is. We learned how to transcode media, organize clips properly, and of course, how to back up everything.

One of the unique perks about being an intern at Galileo was that John assigned us a two short film projects – we each did a short documentary and we collaborated on a narrative piece. We mostly shot within the last couple weeks of our internship, and it was really awesome to have a chance to apply everything we learned over the past two months. Molly, Chris and I really had a blast shooting our collaborative narrative project. We got three amazing student actors from Skidmore star in it (and Molly’s siblings saved the day by agreeing to be extras). We wrote the script, story boarded, made a shot list, got actors, accumulated props, and did all the directing, lighting, sound and shooting between the three of us. Galileo graciously offered to lend some really great equipment, and without it our project would not have turned our nearly as good as it did.

My summer at Galileo Media Arts was a really immersive and positive experience. I was so appreciative of the fact that we got hands-on, real world experience with the production industry. It is not uncommon for college students to be placed in intern positions where they do nothing but sit around or make photocopies. This was not the case at Galileo. Everyone at Galileo intended for us interns to make the most of the opportunities present at the company, and for that I am very appreciative.