I've been reading about internships that take place without the intern being physically present. How would that work in this industry? Would it work?
I spent the last year mentoring four young sound editors, and its only just ended - rather than write lots here I'll write a post sometime about it & also ask the four interns to explain what they got from it....
I took two simultaneous approaches
If an intern had a question or problem or specific need, they could ask me (usually via email) and my approach to being a mentor means I wouldn't provide answers but would help direct them to find their own answers.... This often worked best when all five of us began a discussion...
Over the length of the 12 months I personally did 3 feature films, and I explained my approach to them, as I worked through each stage; from reading script & doing a script break down for sound, pitching for a project, spotting and then progressing through all of sound editorial & predubs, final mix etc... I sent them screenshots of sessions (as well as actual sessions via ftp) and it worked well as each of the three films was quite different in style & requirements....
I do intend to run another 12 month virtual internship but I'm having a holiday at the moment and enjoying working on my own stuff! If you're interested in applying you can read about the process last time (plus all the update posts including the actual application questions & mute clip that I asked potential interns to describe their approach to) http://www.musicofsound.co.nz/blog/need-a-mentor
But ask specific questions here if you want?
Although I continue active as a sound designer (just finished a feature Dreams Awake earlier this year), my focus at the moment is as an educator, offering information and experience for as many people as possible through my book Sound Design and classes on site and online. So in a way, the webinars I've just started (see sounddesignforpros.com) are functioning like a virtual internship by helping the participants with their craft and creativity.
But I also have been working with interns on specific projects that relate to my needs. For example, I've been recording amazing, quite long and in depth interviews with top sound designers in film, games and other audiovisual media, and needed transcripts so I can include these on my site and the upcoming second edition of my book. So this gave an opportunity to a recent film school grad to hear these masters speak, and also take my webinars for free. Another arena that I'm seeking help with is getting the word out about the webinars into facebook, twitter, etc., and I can once again offer a free place in my webinar series for those who can really put in some time to help me on the tech and blog side of things. (There will be a free intro webinar Aug. 24.)
Another area I'm interested in developing and need support, is finding and posting links to examples of specific sound design principles that will demonstrate the theory presented in the book. And a much bigger project for the future is expanding this last idea with fun educational games and contests for people to submit their own creations, maybe with some kind of prizes. I would need some help in making all this happen, interns that would be involved in more than just sound editing, but in a whole creative entrepreneurial approach.
One thing I've noticed about the success of an internship relationship is the component of commitment. I write from both sides of the equation here. You've got to be honest with your mentor about your availability and what you really want to get out of it, because if the mentor takes the time to share those many years of knowledge and experience, you should be clear on what you commit to give in exchange, and stick to it. Everyone wants a win-win situation, and it's more likely to happen if you can say, for example, how many hours a week you can devote, what skills you have to offer and what you hope to gain. And this goes for the mentor as well, as a two way street.
So if anyone anywhere in the world has the time and interest to be involved in Sound Design for Pros and my other projects, please contact me by email and we can see what fits for both sides.
Although I've never had (or been) a virtual intern, I can draw upon my own internship and which experiences were the most valuable.
In my opinion, the role of an intern is to learn the craft and learn the business, and in doing so perhaps help the business owner build his own company and possibly secure a permanent position there. How could this be done virtually?
- Craft essentials: Recording. Be assigned a recording task in your local area and see how well you perform it. For example, you live in Texas and are asked to record several different perspectives of an oil derrick.
- Craft essentials: Mastering & Editing. Master the oil derrick recordings and prepare them for library archiving and later retrieval. This would require DAW editing, data management and metadata skills.
- Observe sessions in progress via Skype, iChat, etc.
- Receive sample sessions and flush them out with further sound editorial and design, to be later reviewed and critiqued.
- Write essays on the craft, why you think you would do well in it, how you could overcome potential challenges, etc.
Just a few ideas there, I'm sure there are many, many more. If you have the opportunity to participate in a relationship like this, then I highly recommend it!