As a lifelong sports fan and a Rochester local my whole life, an internship for the Rochester Red Wings sounded like one of the best starts to my career possible, and it has proved to be a great experience. My boss John Blotzer, who is the director of video production, gave me the opportunity to start work a week before the first home stretch of the season, and he took the time to explain to me the many different aspects that go into Red Wings production. John was always willing to stop what he was doing to answer any questions I had and made sure I felt comfortable with the work I was doing.
Some examples of things I’ve learned directly under John includes using many different Adobe programs (among other software used for videoboard features), fundamental aspects of video-making/photo editing, and how to operate advanced cameras. Before each game week and game day, my work consisted of using Adobe Photoshop to create birthdays, group welcomes, headshots for the players and between-inning promotional games that would all be displayed on the videoboard during the games. During our home games, my duties would consist of either operating a base camera, wireless camera, directing the promotions stage or being the replay operator.
While these were my regular duties each week, John would have us help out with mini video projects for the team’s social media and to play during games. I was a part of creating multiple promotional videos such as Office Night and Pride Night. My duties would be operating the camera or microphone during video shooting and editing the footage into a 1-minute video to be uploaded to social media. Similarly, I made multiple rally/intro videos using game footage that were displayed on the videoboard before and during games.
No day was the same with the Red Wings, and that’s one thing I really enjoyed about it. Some internships tend to focus primarily on one skill/aspect, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I felt I learned about so many different things while with the Red Wings outside of just video production. Aside from learning computer software and cameras, I learned a lot about how to troubleshoot basic technical problems such as issues with the videoboard.
While expanding on my knowledge was definitely one of the most important parts of the internship, one thing that really stuck out to me about interning with the Red Wings was the work environment they’ve created. I can confidently say it was the best professional work experience I’ve had and by far the best work environment I’ve been a part of. Everyone with the Red Wings was very friendly and always willing to help each other out. A common phrase I would hear from people I worked with was “Once you join the Red Wings, you don’t leave”. This is because nearly everyone I talked to felt that their coworkers were also their friends, and everyone loves working in the environment of baseball. It was evident from day 1 that this would be a great place to work.
I am very grateful for the experience I had with the Red Wings, and would be lucky to find a work environment like that again in the future. While John was a great boss and taught me so many things, everyone that I worked with was willing to help me in any situation and there wasn’t any point where I felt helpless because the people who work there have each other’s backs. Overall, this experience taught me so much about video production and more importantly, what to look for in a company.