Interning for Production

Today was the real first day of my internship for Tangent Mind, a production company based in Saint Louis. We’re filming a documentary about Chicago Brauhaus, a very famous German Restaurant in Chicago.

This is the first time I’ve ever been on a “professional” production set. I say “professional” because this is a “bare bones” project. Just me and 5 other people on the crew, and I, an intern, replaced an AC. The other people include audio, director, producer, another intern, and a DP.

My main job for the day was to basically watch and learn, and that I did. I noticed many similarities with things I’d been taught about production, as well as many technical things about specific cameras and especially about lighting and DIT work.

This documentary couldn’t be more perfect for something that interests me. Its all about German culture and how that influences Lincoln Square, a very famous neighborhood in Chicago known for its German population that is steadily diminishing.

Today was the first day of shooting and it was a 13 hour day of only interviews. This may sound boring, but hearing people talk about the Chicago Brauhaus and being raised in Chicago as German American’s was exceptionally relatable to me since my Grandma moved to the U.S in the 60’s just like the parents of almost all the interviewee’s. Many of the stories they told of their upbringing was exactly how my own mother describes her upbringing and was exceptionally relatable.

Now we shot these interviews in a studio that was free to us for the day because Jon, my boss, knew some people and they allowed us to use their studio. This came with some setbacks. The studio is literally located mere feet away from train tracks, not to mention its on the Southside, in a less than desirable neighborhood near Garfield Park. This meant that all day we had to deal with sirens, choppers, and trains. From an audio perspective, this sucked, but we were also working on a time crunch and couldn’t afford to stop whenever a loud sound occurred.

I learned that even in studios, there will be problems that you can’t take care of no matter what, and this is also something that Jon advocates that spending lots of money on a slightly better studio pretty much won’t always be worth it, because there will always be problems on a production set to work through.

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