Over the years, I always heard two things when it came to art: One, it is subjective; and two, art comes in many forms. This summer I had the opportunity to intern at Blouin Artinfo, a Tribeca-based art magazine, within their Digital Media department. This magazine focuses on the latest in the art world, ranging from a cutting edge gallery opening in the city to a review of an up and coming Broadway show. It was an illuminating place to intern, and I learned a lot over the past two months.
The Digital Media department produces all the films that are featured on the magazine’s website, blouinartinfo.com. There are multiple videos published almost every day in a plethora of categories. One day, there could be a video on a recent exhibition at an art museum; the next, you could find an interview with a famous fashion designer. (I recommend you go on YouTube and look up Blouin Artinfo Jason Wu.) Each video needs to be pitched at the weekly editorial meeting with the entire company. If the heads of the company like the pitch, then the Digital Media department set up a time and date for the film shoot to occur.
The process of making a video is both exciting and time-consuming. When it comes to the day of the film shoot, we (and by we, I mean the associate producer, the videographer, the reporter and myself) go to the location for pre-production. The location of the shoot changes with every video ranging from the Chelsea area of New York City to Basel for the famous Art Basel exhibition. My job of the pre-production was to test all the audio equipment being used in the shoot to ensure that we had the right camera with the right lens, to set up the chairs to ensure that the interviewees looked good in the shot, among other technical things. Without any of this preparation, and me being meticulous about it, we wouldn’t be able to get the correct audio for the shoot.
There are times where I was able to pick up an issue with the audio, such as hearing the interviewee’s shirt brush against the microphone. You’d be surprised that the microphone would pick up on something that the average person wouldn’t blink twice at, but when you are in video production, every little sound that isn’t the voices of the interviewees can interfere and hinder the final product quality.
In actual production, we interviewed. The reporter (sitting next to the camera, to ensure that he/she is not in any of the shots) has a discussion with whoever is the subject of the video, usually an artist or a curator of an exhibition. The interviewee talks about the goals of what he/she is doing, his/her personal life, and how he/she feels towards the subject being filmed.
I’ve been lucky to assist in these interviews, even playing reporter when the writer became ill. I never find them boring, and some of the topics that are being discussed can be really thought provoking. (I recommend you type into YouTube “Play FAILE’S Arcade Games at the Brooklyn Museum” – you will not only enjoy it, but it will really make you think about technology today.)
Afterward, we would go back to the office, where the associate producer goes into Post-Production. The associate producer looks at all the footage, decides what topics are important enough to place in the video, adds the separate recorded audio and then pieces it together. Once the final cut is complete, we create an article page for the video, add the information that both the gallery/artist and the reporter provided and send a link to the publisher, letting her know that the video and article page are done and ready to be uploaded to the website. From there on out, it’s up to the publisher to upload it and let the public see what we created.
So what did I learn this summer? I learned that making a video is a more complicated process than I originally thought. I learned how a company functions to ensure that the best videos are being put on the website. But mostly I learned that I might potentially want to continue in the field of video production, which is the most important lesson of all.