App Reviews

Slack

At my internship, we regularly use Slack to easily communicate with each other. After having used it for a while, I would praise this application to be great for productivity.Image result for slackFor one, this application helps reduce the level of noise in the office as we have an open workspace. With its group and direct messaging feature, there’s no need to leave your seat to speak to someone. The culture of the company can be quite fast-paced where many of the employees are in and out of meetings or in and out of their desk area so you would have to spend time to look for them half the time. But as both a desktop and mobile application, everyone keeps their line of communication open and will respond quickly at almost any given point in time.

Slack also helps with organization. There are always multiple projects being worked on at once and all of them are separated by channels. Within each channel, only those involved in a certain project has access to it. In this way, everyone in the office would not be receiving a notification for every message sent across the company-wide platform. This system is also beneficial in keeping all messages and files related to one project in one place.

 

Wipster

MATTE also relies on Wipster which, like Slack, is a collaboration platform. However, this site and app is specific to video sharing.

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All drafts and final exports live on Wipster. When a video is uploaded, it allows an employee to review it and comment on a certain timestamp. It also is where clients are able to watch the video using a shareable link we send them and download the video at different resolutions.
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Similar to Slack, Wipster also helps with organization where each project is separated by folders and sub-folders. For instance, each client has their own folder and within that includes their corresponding drafts, finals, and b-roll.
However, one downside to using this platform is its performance itself. Although not often, it can sometimes take a long time to load a certain page.

 

Networking Event at The One Club

As a member of The One Club, I attended the Gold on Gold event in their Hudson Yards office. This event in particular is held annually as a way to hear from the winner of both the Gold Pencil and the Gold Cube award. But also, between checking in and the anticipated panel, they had an open bar, a food table, a big couch,  and rounded tables for everyone to converse and get to know each other. And a major benefit about being a part of The One Club is being able to be surrounded by like-minded people as an exclusive organization that supports creatives.

I arrived early and was one of the first there but the room was soon packed that I had trouble hearing my own self talk. I did get to speak to two people during my time there while also connecting with them on Linkedin.

I first met a recent graduate from Cornell who has an interest in UI/UX. While this was my first One Club participation, she also shared with me her experience with being a member. For instance, she attended a few other events such as one that taught her about making a salary and another on being a female in a creative field. Hearing this gave me the urge to be more involved and keep my eyes peeled on upcoming events.

I also met someone who is currently studying advertising at FIT, which is almost right next door. Like me, this was also her first event with the organization. We both shared our favorite things about the industry and the process of designing and she told me that she’s currently been focusing on a project with MLB. Not to mention that we also talked about the food served there. I passed on eating anything but I did hear from others that they were impressive.

Agency Event

Today I attended what they call “Agency Standup”. The Director of HR sent out a company-wide invite a week earlier and upon receiving it in my email, I was beyond confused by what that meant. So when the time came, all the employees gathered around at the front of the office and I just followed suit.

One of the co-founders, Max Pollack, was front and center to discuss the fall season for the company.  He started off by giving a formal welcome to those who have only recently joined the team. Such as us interns, we, one by one, handed each other “the mic” to introduce ourselves and to state what we were most excited for during our time here. They referred to us as the “second generation interns”, leading me to assume that their internship program is likely to be fairly new. But nevertheless, I felt grateful to be where I am. If there was anything I was not expecting, it’d be standing in a lineup of interns in front of everyone but it did feel good to be acknowledged.

Max also took the time to recognize the employees’ hardwork, to address what’s to come, and to motivate them for the upcoming months. He shared that they’ve already been kicked out of three offices before their now, Tribeca home. Hearing this took me by surprise but this fact was treated as an indicator of success because of how much MATTE has grown over the years. They were apparently receiving complaints for being too loud, taking up parking spots, and using the elevator “too much”. In his words, he said that they’ve “outgrown” those spaces literally and metaphorically. He followed up by extending his appreciation to the team by reminding everyone of the big clients they’ve worked with and the 4 Emmy nominations they received this year. Even though they haven’t won, they’re rooting for next year. And before we all separated, he briefed us on the new clients and company updates.

Hope Poster Case Study

After reading the case study on Shepard Fairey, I personally believe that his use of Mannie Garcia’s photograph of Obama qualifies as fair use. While he did use a piece of work that did not belong to him and without consent, Fairey does raise a valid point that his Hope poster is transformative of the original. He not only performed some retouching but the photograph was used to create an entirely new creative product in support of Obama’s presidential campaign. He used it as a reference and a foundation for the poster. Therefore, I would consider Fairey as having followed the fair use guidelines.

However, I do stand with Fairey deserving of a penalty for tampering with evidence. At the beginning of the lawsuit, he insisted and truly thought that he had used a different photograph. But he was then shown and proven that the original source was in fact what he was being sued for by Associated Press. Especially since his initial mistake was genuine, Fairey should have admitted and disclosed it upon realizing.

Self Evaluation

If I were to self-evaluate my performance, I would consider myself to be a dedicated hard worker to my team (and the company). For one, I ensure to maintain consistent communication with my supervisor. Especially since she is only a Slack message or a few steps away from where I sit, I regularly report my progress on projects, ask her any questions I may have, or, if I’m having trouble with a particular task, I wouldn’t hesitate to call her over for help. As a newcomer to this industry, I try to learn as much wherever I can, adjusting to the work environment, trying to get myself acquainted with the other employees, and sometimes shadowing another intern that started at the company before me. And when it comes to projects, there has been a couple of occasions where I had to stay late or come in earlier than usual to meet a deadline. For the aforementioned Google project,  I co-edited a video with another intern and received news today that the client approved of it!

Client Work & Relationship

One of my responsibilities at my internship is handling revisions from my supervisor and the clients. Working with clients is entirely new to me thus, since starting with the company, I’ve gotten to learn about the process. For instance, MATTE has been working on a video series with Google since the beginning of the year consisting of interviews with multiple people of different backgrounds. This has become one of my biggest priorities for the past few weeks since given the opportunity to contribute a small part into the project. Nevertheless, I’ve learned that the post-production team does not have direct contact with the client. Rather, the senior account manager holds this responsibility, collecting files from them (such as photos, logos, and title/end cards ) to be sent to my department. 

On that note, I have also learned that there will be situations where we have to work with what we have. While I was assigned to edit a rough cut for Google, my supervisor and I quickly realized that the audio file of the interview was of poor quality. There were a couple of times while listening to it back where I was not able to make out some of the interviewee’s responses. Especially compared to the other videos, there was a clear inconsistency in quality. However, standards cannot always be met so we would have to settle. After informing the senior account manager, she later confirmed from the client that the interview could not be re-recorded. That being said, I went ahead and continued making the rough cut to be reviewed regardless. 

Collab Project

I was assigned my biggest project so far recently. The company has been working with Marriott, producing a series of videos of their hotels in various different countries. So far, they’ve covered Dubai, Thailand, Japan and Greece to name only a few. And currently, they’ve been working on their El Ciego hotel in Mexico.

With the production team having finished shooting the footage earlier on, it was passed onto post-production for editing. That being said, another intern and I were able to be put on the project by my supervisor to create the “selects”. This entails looking through the footage and selecting the best shots for a rough cut to be made in the near future. And since the shoot was done in two days, I was responsible for day 1 while he took the second half. However, despite splitting the work, I was still left with a duration of 4 and a half hours to watch through and through. Not to mention that I had a deadline since the client was scheduled to come in at noon the next day! I was really intimidated to say the least but was ready for the challenge. I had the opportunity to sift through raw footage and see for myself the many tries it takes to get a single shot oftentimes—the camera operator would change angles, adjust the camera settings, take a still shot or decide on a stationary shot. Getting to judge what will (and what won’t) make the final video was exciting.

While the other intern and I mostly worked separately on the same project, we did help each other out here and there. I showed him the process of making selects and we both checked up on each other’s progress. And in the end, I managed to cut down the footage to 30 minutes and we made it to the deadline.

Photoville 2019

I visited Photoville‘s grand opening today and I almost can’t believe that I have never heard a single word about this event in the past years. It was much bigger than I anticipated with exhibitions everywhere you turn. There was even a makeshift “second-level” built to explore and a beer garden because you’ll most likely be there for a while.  


From one artist’s work speaking on segregation to a group of artists confronting the issue of child marriage in South Sudan through photography, it’s safe to say that no two shipping containers/exhibitions were the same. In fact, one of my favorites was Photoshelter’s “#PsYouGotThis” in which featured various photographers and their personal advice to fellow artists for motivation and inspiration. This would be especially helpful for those in search of their own style and all aspiring photographers. In the very back, they also invite visitors of Photoville to chip in their two cents as well! As much as I do enjoy this medium myself, there is still a lot for me to learn so it was comforting to read through their wisdom.

During my time here, I spoke with the Creative Director and Editor of ZEKE magazine, Barbara Ayotte. Displayed were the two winners of their ZEKE awards for 2019, Toby Binder and Rory Doyle. They not only specialize in documentary photography but I was told that they also dabble in video. Though, they are based in Boston.

I also spoke with Harmen Meinsma, the artist behind The Last Season I & II. I was gravitated towards the vibrancy of his photos and how they almost looked cinematic. Based in the Netherlands, Meinsma captures ordinary strangers that catches his eye on the streets. I was intrigued and asked him what he looks for in his models to which he told me those who are “electric”. He also said that he looks for people of older age because he wants to remind them of their beauty, capturing as many details as possible. And when I followed up asking how they usually react when the models see the photos, Meinsma told me that the majority of them react positively while some do become critical of themselves. I found this to be especially unique and fascinating.

09.10.19 at MATTE

The very first project I was tasked by my supervisor entailed digging through a stack of hard drives to find animation assets. This included anything from overlays to animations the motion designers have created in the past. Because every video the company has produced live on external hard drives, I had the opportunity to be nosy. I searched through their old and more recent project files, getting to see how they’re organized. But by the same token, I got to see the skeleton of each piece of work. Since I was familiarized with MATTE’s videos, I was amazed to see raw footage, the audio files used for sound design, and the animations independently. As mentioned before about the collaboration culture, it was really presented here. For instance, I discovered footage (from the production team) that I did not recognize in their videos because they did make the final cut and title sequences designed by the motion designers that were then assembled and constructed by the video editors. The amount of detail that goes into creating a single video was astounding to see.

Aside from this, the interns do perform clerical work as well. I have not done so so far, however, one of our responsibilities include scheduling/booking meetings on the Google Calendar. In another instance, if the office manager is particularly busy, one of us takes her place at the front desk temporarily, greeting and helping any visitors that come into the office.

Company Culture

The culture at MATTE is primarily collaborative seeing that there is a lot of communication between each department. For instance, the motion designers occasionally provide video editors with feedback on a video project regarding shots to use, color correction or transitions to name a few. These comments will then be used to execute rough drafts until finalized. I would also describe the culture as motivating. Not only do the employees work well together, sharing the same dedication but we also have office dogs! On my first day, I was told that there are always about 4-5 dogs in the office every day. Having them wander around and sit by your feet every now and then definitely makes coming in all the more exciting.

The attire at the company is casual. Formal attire is not required, however, it is asked of all employees to remain professional in the case of any clients coming in. As for the office itself, it is an open work area with respect to HR and the three founders that have their own offices. Being only a one-floor space,  each department is situated in their own “corner” with the graphic designers sitting near the back, the accounts department sitting near the front desk followed by the post production department on the opposite side, and the interns having their own designated area in the middle. Although it is an open work area, I do not find it too noisy or too crowded but rather easy to get in touch with any employee if need be.

The office opens at 10 AM. While I usually leave at around 5 PM, some do tend to stay later (especially full-time employees). During a typical workday, the office regularly uses Slack to communicate with each other and with the interns as we have our own channel. There, any employee can reach out if they are in need of one of us for a research project, for a production assistant to assist on a shoot or just needs someone to make a quick trip to FedEx. Though, these projects are independent from those given to us from our supervisors and our department. Aside from that, in regards to lunch, we’re allowed an hour to take at any time of the day and a $15 daily stipend.