Ian Weiner

May 2017

My name is Ian Weiner and I have interned at Contender Productions every day for the last three weeks. I had previously met

I had previously met Chanse while working on a short film, so I knew a little about Contender beforehand, but I didn’t really have any idea what I’d be doing during the internship. Roger, the Supervising Sound Engineer and all around sound sensei was the one to set up my internship with me, but the first person I met on my initial Monday was Evan, the Photographer/Editor/Whatever needs to be doner. I was a little nervous coming in my first day, but Evan quickly

I was a little nervous coming in my first day, but Evan quickly put any worries I had to ease and gave me a tour of the whole building. His knowledge of sets, cameras, and pretty much everything production proved invaluable to me, and he would consistently teach me more in a single day than I had learned over months by myself.

Evan also introduced me to San, the Senior Animator and Studio Manager. San’s office is filled with all the coolest stuff in the office, including the expensive cameras, so I was more than eager to help him organize it all. Every time I moved a mysterious piece of equipment he would explain what it was to me, and I learned an embarrassing amount from just helping him clean stuff.

I also got to spend a good bit of time with Chanse, the Studio Executive and team leader, who taught me more about how to think about my career in general than anything else. Chanse has worked in the industry for a while, and he told me about all the mistakes and pitfalls he’s seen others fall into, and about his journey to get where he is today. I also got to meet Amanda and Melissa, the Senior and Lead Editors, respectively, for the team.

The Saturday after my first week, Contender had a shoot with the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, and I got to help out. I was the 2nd AC, which meant I got to help Chanse set up his camera and switch lenses. I found this much more exciting than I probably should have; carrying an entire case full of Cooke lenses remains one of the most harrowing experiences of my year, but also one of my favorite. It’s a serious privilege to get to spend time on a professional set, and I learned so much just watching the crew at work.

After we got back on the second week, San had thought up a project for us. He challenged us (My classmate and fellow intern, Ethan and I) to pick any scene from any film and recreate it using these terrible Kodak cameras. We chose the chemical burn scene from Fight Club and got to work creating a storyboard. As much as I’d like to claim that Ethan and I did it all by ourselves, Evan worked with us every step of the way and is pretty much the sole reason we were so successful. It was a ton of fun to make, and I can’t believe how much I learned.

I’m finishing up my final week, and I’m so grateful for the time I got to spend here. Before I showed up on my first day, I thought I really had a strong grasp on the basics of filmmaking, but perhaps more than anything else the experiences I had here showed me that I had hardly scratched the surface of all there was to know. This internship has been enlightening, educational, and a lot of fun.

By the way, this guy on the left (below photo) here is the new guy here at Contender. Meet Josh, our new Junior animator.  We’ll have more on him in the next few weeks.

Thanks again to the entire Contender Production team for being so welcoming and helpful.