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!
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 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.
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.
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.
At MATTE, I am a Post Production Intern where I am working closely with the post production team of the company. Within said team, I am supervised by the two managers of the department: Kathy Collins and Nicole Ripka. My responsibilities include using Adobe Premiere Pro to edit, manage, and organize media, preparing video exports, and handling revisions from supervisors and clients.
I found this position through Indeed and with only video editing in mind throughout the entirety of my job search. Despite being in the graphic design concentration, I thought this would be the perfect window to dip my toe in the water of video production. And while I spent a lot of my time refreshing the same websites regularly such as Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster, Internships.com, and Linkedin, MATTE was one of the first companies I applied to in which I was able to easily upload my résumé online. Though, it grew to be nerve-racking since a couple of weeks passed by without a word from any of the companies I showed interest in and seeing that video production internships appeared to be sparse. Even across the multiple job-boards I was using, openings were very limited so I became afraid that I would not be able to obtain an internship before the semester starts.
However, as August rolled by, I received an email from the Director of HR to come in for an interview at their office. There, I spoke only with Nicole (the Post Production Manager) and was asked about school, my availability for the Fall semester, my past work experience, and my experience with Premiere Pro before I also showed her some of my work. Fortunately, she responded positively to my portfolio and gave me more details about the position. For one, they require their interns to be available to work at least 3 days of the week. Given that they specifically look for undergraduate students in their interns, they are accommodative of their schedules and needs. After our conversation, I was able to meet the rest of the post production team.
The next day, the Director of HR contacted me to join the team!
MATTE Projects is a privately owned creative production company located in Tribeca. For this internship, I will be involved in the post-production department. Founded in 2012, the company’s size ranges from 51-200 employees that are well-versed in film and video production, graphic design and event hosting such as music festivals. However, prior to what MATTE is today, two of the three founders began working together with a sole focus on the music industry, producing concerts and music events before taking on producing films/videos for big fashion companies such as Adidas, Reebok, H&M, Dior and Alexander Wang to name a few. Since then, MATTE has been responsible for Rihanna’s 2018 Met-Gala after-party, created a film for Rihanna’s lingerie collection, and a successful branding campaign for Pure Barre.
Two recent news articles about MATTE have praised the music festivals that were thrown this year. By Guest of a Guest, the company was commended for their reputation of hosting successful parties after BLACK, an art and music event held annually in Brooklyn. On the other hand, from Billboard, the La Luna Festival has made news on their efforts on going green. From providing water stations to refill water stations to compositing food waste, MATTE is marrying sustainability with the celebration of music and dance.