Impressions of a young summer intern – a guest post by Joe Mason

Here is a guest blog post by Joe Mason from the School of Logical Progression‘s blog.

Pixie Lott, coffees, and running

I’m a week into my internship at Somethin’ Else, a content company who create radio and tv programs, films, digital, apps, and work with brands. I first came into contact with them a few years ago while on the Headstart program, run by A New Direction who share the same building. Since the 2012 Games I’ve been relatively quiet on the blogging front, concentrating on my studies and now go into my final year at university! Anyway, this is a good excuse to get back on the blog.

Being a general intern at Somethin’ Else is a great opportunity to learn and get involved with a vast array of creative areas. During my first week I spent two days as a runner for a film crew working with the likes of Pixie Lott and yes, doing a lot of running. Being a runner is the first foot in the door in this exciting industry and it was inspiring to see how a crew come together from the director to the gaffer, and the producer to the cameramen. So here are my ten top tips for being a runner from what I’ve learnt so far:

1. Don’t be on time. Be early. It shows you’re reliable and enthusiastic and gives you more time to help with tip 2.

2. Learn everyone’s names. I try to put name to job title which helps especially when everyone seems to have a four or five letter name beginning with J. (Yes, my name’s Joe…)

3. Eye contact. I always try to keep eye contact when listening to anyone in life but it’s so valuable with your team and those above you.

4. It’s obvious but be comfortable with making hot drinks in the various ways even if you don’t drink them!

5. Have a smart phone with data and full battery. It comes in very handy with maps and notes is also useful with taking down food and drink orders.

6. Dress appropriately. I learnt this the hard way unfortunately. Turning up to my first shoot in thick black jeans and a shirt on a hot summer’s day was stupid and made the day very sweaty. However, speaking to one of the crew that day he said he had seen a girl turn up in high heels once… she didn’t last long.

7. Bring a small rucksack. This will help to carry lunch and your money/receipts.

8. Run. Not in a crazy, out of control manner, but if the nearest shops are 15 mins away then you need to get your skates on.

9. Be honest. If you don’t know what a piece of equipment is that someone’s got you to collect, tell them.

10. Show interest. At the end of the day you’re there to learn (especially if you’re not being paid) so ask questions and try to get involved.

That’s my advice! More to come over the next few weeks.

BBC Introducing and the Manchester Jazz Festival

Week 2 on the internship merged two of my favourite things, jazz and Manchester, which teamed up last Friday night at Band on the Wall where I helped BBC Radio 3‘s Jazz on 3 record the event. Four contrasting, upcoming bands were selected by BBC Introducing and performed half hour sets which will be broadcast in next week’s Jazz on 3 (10th Aug @ 11pm).

My favourite of the groups was the first, an (almost) all girl group from South London called Nérija. The Hebrew word means lamp (or light) of God and such powerful energy is ubiquitous in their sound. Listen out for their unique style which blends jazz improvisation with afro-beats and I was particularly impressed by Sheila Maurice-Grey on trumpet, and Guitarist Shirley Tetteh, the latter who took lead in the changing atmosphere during their set. Maurice-Grey’s clean tone, mature presence, and versatile solos were impressive and she was my stand out performer of the event.

nerija

My role on the night was assisting with the production team whilst helping out the artists with any requirements. It was new and interesting to see how the sound engineer and one of the producers spent the whole evening parked outside the club in a small, sweaty, high-tech van listening to the event and doing their individual jobs. The whole day taught me a lot about events management and radio production. The role of radio producer is becoming ever more appealing to me and I appreciate the way they find the balance between what will work live and what will go well in the program, and how they interact and benefit each other.

Essential Classics

Another radio program I’ve worked with on my internship at Somethin’ Else has been BBC Radio 3’s Essential Classics. I’ve shadowed the producer and broadcasting assistants at interviews, editing sessions and in the BBC Broadcasting House for the live shows. This has given me great insight into how a daily radio program is put together, and has inspired me to work in radio. Hear the most recent Essential Classics’ full interview here with Rick Wakeman.

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On Thursdays I also help produce the audio book versions of the Economist for their subscribers. These have definitely been the hardest working and most fulfilling days. I do a range of jobs including editing, where I receive the raw articles and edit them on Cubase Elements into the final versions that the subscribers hear. I hope to use these skills more in the future.

Final Impressions

After a month interning at Somethin’ Else, I’m far more enthusiastic about entering the creative media industries.

I learnt most from shadowing professionals and asking them questions. Radio provided me with the most opportunities to get involved, especially with BBC Radio 3’s Essential Classics, where I saw every side to the team. In general, radio seems more attractive to me and hopefully I can pursue this along with my musical studies.

Film and TV were also exciting to work in and my interest in photography came in handy there. My time spent working in the office and at reception taught me valuable skills and built my confidence in the professional environment.

I thoroughly recommend interning at Somethin’ Else.

Joe

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