Everyone has a story, and I love the concept of engaging with someone to learn what they care about. It's what drove me to major in journalism in the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) and then the Multimedia Journalism Master’s (MMJ) program to grow my multimedia journalism skills. But the master’s program is where I found my calling in media production.
As a journalism major in the SOJC I learned how to write for different purposes and platforms, and I grew a love for reporting within different communities. I thought I would take my multimedia skills and knowledge to a newspaper or more traditional journalism setting. I did not anticipate the many career opportunities that would open for me when I enrolled in the master’s program.
Specifically, the MMJ program exposed me to media production — a broader way to use storytelling skills. I gained access to fancy cameras, audio equipment and lighting technology, and I was challenged to be more creative than I was used to in my previous reporting experiences. The MMJ program showed me that documentary and nonfiction storytelling can still be really creative. Through the creative assignments during my first year in the master’s program, I realized just how fun production is. It’s so exciting seeing an idea turn into something cinematic.
This led me to seek a summer internship at Hungry Man Productions, a production company focused mostly on commercials, in their Los Angeles office. Hungry Man has a roster of award-winning directors, who (for commercials) work closely with advertising agencies and clients to make their visions come to life.
As commercials are different than the traditional journalism experience I had, I was excited to check out the advertising world, but through a production lens. And I can now say, post-internship, that my excitement for this type of work has only grown. During my internship I viewed old pitch decks and treatments, where I learned the process of how the commercials came to life. I found value in seeing the initial, very raw ideas before they were made into incredible commercials. I organized and archived hard drives, ran lots of errands and did whatever other office tasks I could do to be helpful. And I did script coverage for the entertainment department at Hungry Man, where I read the scripts for potential films. I wrote a summary of the script, and I recorded my opinions on the strength of the story and viability of the writer.
Once I was on set for the first time, I saw how much goes into making it all happen. I was overwhelmed during my first set-day experience. So many departments and teams were working together, and the teams were even using a different language on walkie-talkies. I was expected to know and find people I had never seen or heard of before.
I was also so excited by it and liked the challenges. I quickly became comfortable asking people on set if they needed anything or how I could help them. I left my first on-set experience feeling so much gratitude for all the hard work that goes into production and all the creative, interesting, driven people behind it.
During my internship at Hungry Man, I met so many people including grips, gaffers, truck drivers, chefs, artists, aspiring actors, working actors, cinematographers — the list is endless. I got to learn about so many interesting life paths, stories, hopes and dreams. This was my favorite part of working on set.
From the office to the set, my internship showed me the entire process of how commercials are created. I also learned from:
- The producers who are making calls and reaching out to advertising agencies to match a Hungry-Man-represented director to the agency’s pitch.
- The directors who must first sell the agency on how they will make their idea come to life and then make it happen through acting, costuming, props, editing, etc.
- The production heads who coordinate everything from payroll to prop team to location team.
I am so excited about all the possibilities for storytelling and creativity, and I have decided to stay in LA while I finish up my time in the MMJ program. I will be working at a post-production company, Exile Edit, while I stay in search of stories to tell through my own work. And while I’m not totally sure what will happen from here, I am certain storytelling and connecting will remain at the core of whatever I end up doing.
–By Jane Glazer, BA ’22, MA class of ’24
Jane Glazer received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from University of Oregon in 2022. She joined the Multimedia Journalism Master’s program in Portland to sharpen her production and storytelling skills and plans to graduate in spring 2024.