During this summer I had the pleasure of interning at the RAW SPACE Gallery of the ImageNation Cinema Foundation… and it was truly a groundbreaking experience.
I entered the summer seeking an internship that would be challenging, amusing, and artsy to say the least. I decided to ask the career engagement specialist Christa Miller about any positions that would ignite my creative spark. After hours of discussing and research, we finally came to an agreement that ImageNation would be the best fit for me, and moments later she contacted co-founder Gregory Gates to set up an interview.
As I walked to the RAW SPACE Gallery for my interview, I could feel my heart rate increase for every block I walked and every step I took. Once I arrived to the door I conducted an inspection on myself making sure my shirt was tucked in, shoes were tied, and hair was neat. I walked into the gallery, and was greeted by Gregory. My first impression of Gregory was that he was going to be strict, but as the interview continued I realized that he was a cool dude. Although Gregory seemed lax, he still had high expectations for me. In fact, he informed me that during my time working for ImageNation, I would participate in social media marketing, video editing, and occasionally cleaning up the gallery. Hearing these tasks made me nervous, but rest assured Gregory told me, “Don’t be nervous, I know this is new for you and that is why our team will be more than happy to guide you through the process” (Gates, ImageNation) He continued to state, “The only reason why I am giving you these tasks for now, is because I want you to be prepared to take on more career opportunities” (Gates, ImageNation) His words not only relieved me, but motivated me to work harder than I ever did before. After the interview, Gregory was impressed, and on July 10th I would be apart of the ImageNation team.
Equally important to Gregory, the other members of the team I met were Moikgantsi Kgama who is the founder of ImageNation, and Andrea Sanchez who was my supervisor. Both of them were a joy to be around, and had a significant impact on my work experience. Andrea was responsible for teaching me how to edit while using Adobe Premiere Pro. I learned how to add audio to videos; cut and edit footage; change the lighting and color effects of film; creating sequences and much more. Although I wasn’t around Moikgantsi as much, I was able to gain knowledge from her as well. In fact, she taught me to create an e-blast (e-mail that allows one to send an email out to numerous recipients). From time to time she would even send me out to hand out flyers in person, which taught me how to effectively manage time, advertise events, and discipline.
In addition to editing videos and handing out flyers, another skill I developed was writing via blogging. I was given the task by Gregory to create blog posts about the events that occurred during the summer which included the ImageNation Outdoor Film Festival, 50th Anniversary Celebration of Each One Teach One, and Black Music Matters Panel to name a few. Despite blogging being new to me, I planned to exert as more than enough effort in order for me to create the best content. I took notes on the activity within each event, and took it a step further by interviewing people. One of my best conducted interviews came from Each One Teach One co-founder Bob McCullough.
Furthermore, one of my favorite parts of the internship was participating in the film festival. Aside from writing blogs about the movies being screened, I helped set up, manage concessions, and passed out more flyers. A couple of my favorites were the screening Get Out and I Am Not Your Negro. The screening of Get Out, was one of my favorites because it was actually my first day working for ImageNation, selling snacks at a concession stand, and first time watching the movie Get Out. The screening for I Am Not Your Negro was exciting because on the same day I had the pleasure of meeting rappers ASAP Ferg and Lil Yachty as ASAP Ferg debuted his short film ASAP Ferg In Liberia as the opening to our event. Overall, attending the film festival was exciting because the crowd, film, and locations were all amazing.
In conclusion, as I end my internship with ImageNation, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to my experience. I will take with me tools and skills that I never thought I would posses in my lifetime. For anyone who is interested in soul cinema or having an experience like mine, I recommend you become involved with ImageNation in any way you can.