Few harbingers of spring hold as much promise for us as our annual job fair and the knowledge that we'll soon be joined by a fresh new crop of seasonal staff. Every year we wonder how we get so lucky. These are seriously talented people who come from far and wide to spend their summers with us. They manage our print operations and film gear, edit the weekly slideshows and photograph behind the scenes, assist our instructors in the labs and in the field, shepherd our Young Artists as YO Mamas and YO Daddies, and make sure the bedrooms are clean and the lobsters are perfectly steamed. We already know that the new influx of talent is going to light this place up. It always does. But those who have never worked here before may not know just how much one summer at Maine Media has a way of sticking with you.
We asked a few of our 2015 summer staffers to reflect on their time here last year...
David Martinez came all the way from Puerto Rico to serve as our post production manager last summer, but he wasn't new to Maine Media. His father, a photographer, studied here and encouraged him to do the same. Although an avid photographer himself, David sought out MMW+C when he decided to transition to a career in filmmaking. In 2012 he enrolled in our Six-Week Filmmaking Workstudy
and returned in 2014 for our 12-Week Cinematography Intensive
. Last summer he joined our staff as a way of giving back, and to help other students new to the filmmaking path.
As a student I always enjoyed the Fridaynight shows and the opportunity to present my work to an audience. Knowing that other people were going to see it pushed meto do a better job. The ability to create and produce work and share it with other people is one of the most enjoyable parts of Maine Media's learning process. Because I was a student first, I was better at my job as post production manager. I had an understanding of what others wanted out of the experience. In the position of helping students put up their work in the Friday night screening, I knew how important it was for their work to be presented well. When you're surrounded by 100 to 200 people in the soundstage and everyone is looking at what you produced, it's a great sensation!
Like David, last summer's film technical manager had also spent time here as a student. John Belanger took our Young Filmmakers
workshop when he was just 16, and later studied photography with MMW+C Instructor Jay Gould
in Baltimore. Jay encouraged him to apply for a summer position here so that he could add hands-on experience to the theory-based curriculum of the film program he was enrolled in at Johns Hopkins. John was hired as a film teaching assistant in 2014, and returned last summer to take on even more responsibility.
My film program in college was all theory based, and very academic. Maine Media is the total opposite. I learned everything about production, lighting, camerawork, and the mechanics of making a movie. I also got to sit in on some of the writing and directing classes which was extremely helpful. Now I have a background in theory as well as the process of filmmaking. I think having both has made me a stronger creative.
In his free time last summer, John produced a music video
that won the grand prize for film in the 2015 B&H Creative Storytelling Contest. The prize included a new Sony a7S camera from B&H, which he is currently using to film a documentary aboard a 138ft wooden sailboat. Julia Bennett, his girlfriend and fellow 2015 MMW+C staffer, tells us the boat is currently in Cuba, and John is keeping busy "filming, spearing fish, and being a pirate."
John and Julia met here in Maine last summer (certainly not the first or the last romance MMW+C will take credit for). Julia was hired as our 2015 photography program assistant, but also served as a teaching assistant in several workshops, including those taught by Connie Imboden
, Jacob and Alissa Hessler
, and Elizabeth Opalenik
. During her time here, she also connected with photographers Aline Smithson
and Susan Burnstine
. Julia now works for Aline's popular LENSCRATCH blog (and was recently featured there
) as well as for the Palm Springs Photo Festival thanks to connections made through Susan.
Maine Media gave me the opportunity to work closely with important people and network in an open and relaxed environment. I met Susan Burnstine because she invited me to go bowling with her class. Not exactly a formal job interview! Being around all those creative students, staff, and instructors led me to think about photography in a much better way. I learned to be more critical and take my time when I'm making my work. It was a really nice creative bubble where everyone worked in close proximity, ate meals together, and shared time and ideas. You don't really get that anywhere else. It's very special.
We're excited to introduce you to this year's batch of fresh new faces! And if YOU are planning on applying for one of more than 50 seasonal jobs and internships this year, get ready to work harder than you knew you could and make friends and connections that will last a lifetime.
Our annual job fair takes place on April 1st and 2nd. Attending is a great way to meet all of our staff, tour the campus, and share your work. If you can't make it, don't worry. We can also arrange interviews by Skype.