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Victoria Geske, a Barrett Honors College student, got a career jump start that took her to the outer reaches of the Arizona wilderness in the summer of 2013.
Geske, an Arizona State University junior majoring in filmmaking practices, interned at D-Mak Productions, a Tempe-based film and video production company
www.dmakproductions.com. In June, Geske, along with her fellow interns at D-Mak, were hired by NBCUniversal to be production assistants for “Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda,” a televised event in which high-wire artist Nik Wallenda walked a tightrope stretched across a gorge of the Little Colorado River near the Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona. The daring feat aired live on the Discovery Channel on June 23.
“This was the first big production that I was a part of. As a production assistant, I staffed the credential table for 16 hours a day, which means that I got to meet every single person involved in the production, from Nik Wallenda to (NBC news anchor) Natalie Morales to NBC executive producers,” she said. In addition to making those important connections, Geske also had her hands full facilitating crew transportation, revising and delivering shuttle schedules to multiple hotels to ensure everyone got to where they needed to go, and running errands for the crew.
In addition to learning about live production logistics, Geske picked up many other skills in her internship, including the use software for film editing, blogging, and social media, and the ins and outs of feature-length film pre- and post-production. She also employed several marketing strategies and reached out to artists to request song use in a movie.
Her projects included work on a documentary called “Alpha Class,” editing videos, creating blog posts, and working as a production assistant on a shoot for tutorial videos for Savage Paper, a company that makes and distributes paper backdrops for use in photography and videography. She also produced a video about interns and their experience at D-Mak Productions that is posted at www.youtube.com/watch?yv=qTA-ERhMRpY
“My film professors always say that when you move to Hollywood, expect to be working for free for the first year you live there while you gain experience you need to make films. I wanted an internship so that I could get that experience before I graduated. I wanted to learn more about what it takes to make a feature-length film as well as learn more about certain parts of film making, such as editing. And of course I wanted to add something to my resume,” she said.
“Interning at D-Mak Productions was a great experience. I learned so much that I will be able to use in my future career and have made networks that will help me get further. Simply learning how to edit videos has already helped me get another internship with a television station,” she added.
Geske has sage advice for fellow students interested in interning.
“Try and get an internship as soon as possible. Some people say to wait until you are a junior because most employers do not want anyone younger, but that is not always the case. I got my first internship my freshman year and my second one entering my sophomore year,” she said. Undoubtedly, it’s experience that will give Geske a leg up on the competition when she graduates.