Every summer, our team invites a group of talented and deserving college students into the Koi-Fly Creative internship program. Since its inception a few years ago, the program has evolved into a highly intentional and curated ecosystem that allows for a mutually beneficial exchange of talent, eagerness to learn, and mentorship.

About the Koi-Fly Internship Program

Throughout the internship program, Koi-Fly Creative acts as a catalyst between two elements: students who need expert mentorship and resources to fulfill their passions and a community-focused non-profit. To us, it isn’t just about giving students workshops on marketing and video production to increase their confidence in the industry; but it’s using mentorship as a vehicle to pay it forward to a deserving non-profit with a story to tell. By partnering students with a nonprofit, they receive a hands on chance to apply their new found skills behind the camera while supporting a great cause.

We wanted to steer away from the traditional internship which consists of grabbing coffee and transcribing interview after interview and decided that our program would include an immersive experience. To create a more realistic synergy between the team, we tasked the interns with creating a mini production agency with their own client (procured by the intern supervision team at Koi-Fly) and travel through the production process from pre-production, production and post-production. 

The Internship Team

This summer, we invited three students into the program: Julie Griesemer as the production intern, Gina Castanzo as the marketing intern, and Kyra Bond as the production development intern. Although the whole team played a part in each section of the production process and the Koi-Fly producers and editors mentored them along the way, their agency, which they named Lucky Koi, allowed them to engage in realistic roles that are modeled after the roles we have at Koi-Fly Creative. 

Julie played the role of Director of Photography. She mainly focused on the technical and artistic decisions related to the shot list and final piece. 

Gina was the Creative Producer. Gina’s main duties were to develop the story behind the client’s brand. Gina, an advertising major, also created a comprehensive marketing and video distribution plan to help the client launch their video and social media presence. 

Finally, Kyra contributed to the team as line producer – taking the responsibility over logistics and scheduling.

Pre-Production 

After the announcement of the 2019 Koi-Fly Creative Summer Internship client, Chester County Futures, our interns kicked it off with a discovery meeting with the client interviewing stakeholders within the company to learn their goals, audiences, and brand identity.

During our first meeting with Chester County Futures with Shelly (our internship supervisor), Shelly gave us the reins to take this project as our own.

Gina Castanzo

Marketing Intern, Koi-Fly Creative

They switched it into high gear and started researching information about Chester County Futures and concepting ideas. 

Once the interns developed a concept, they dove into the more logistical aspects of the process of budgeting, submitting an official proposal to the client, casting, and create a scheduled timeline for the project. Although this project was pro-bono for the non-profit client, Lucky Koi created a “fake” budget that resembled realistic numbers for a project of this caliber.

It was really great to have all three of us working on this project because we could bounce a lot of ideas off of each other and we all could contribute our strengths to the concept.

Julie Griesemer

Production Intern, Koi-Fly Creative

After Chester County Futures signed off on the proposal, the interns took the next few weeks to finish out the back end of the pre-production process of creating storyboards, creating questions for each interview, a shot list, a call sheet and a list of equipment needed for the one day shoot in July.

Internship Video Shoot Day

Call time 8:30 a.m. 

Lucky Koi and some Koi-Fly employees arrived at Chester County Futures headquarters to unload the equipment and set up the lights and props for each of the shots for the three interviews. 

They scheduled the first interview at 10 a.m. with Executive Director Maria McDonald, which followed the interview with Program Director Kim Dickinson at 10:55 a.m. and the mentor and mentee interview at 11:50 a.m. 

Kyra was in charge of the audio, Julie worked the SONY camera, and Gina was interviewed each subject. After wrapping the interviews and a quick break for lunch,  the Lucky Koi team got ready for the b-roll section of the shoot. To create a more steady hand-held look, Julie brought her homemade stabilizer made out of PVC pipes for the outdoor shots. 

Because of the seamless transitions from shot to shot and the extra buffer time built into the schedule for learning opportunities, the intern production team wrapped two hours early. 

I loved that the interns were able to work on their own project and got to take the reins on responsibilities and decisions.

I gained a lot of insight being able to go to a few of the shoots because I learned more about life on a professional set and was able to take what I learned and use it for our own intern project.

Kyra Bond

Production and Development Intern, Koi-Fly Creative

Post Production

The next day, Lucky Koi logged all the footage and audio back at the production house and began transcribing the interviews so they could start building a script. All three interns hunkered down in our conference room and built the script in a just few hours. 

The first video stringout ended up being around five minutes – a little long for a branded piece. So they went back to regroup and figure out what they needed to cut out to reach the final version. It took three rounds of cuts, along with feedback from in-house Koi-Fly producers, for the team build the final sequence that told the most succinct story about the non-profit. 

Without this experience, I would have merely gone through summer as just another student trying to understand where her life was headed.

Koi-Fly Creative helped me to develop my future and find new avenues for my experiences to take me.

Gina Castanzo

Marketing Intern, Koi-Fly Creative

Then it was time to bring in the music, add some b-roll, graphics, and color correct the footage to tie the piece all together. The interns decided to create a long piece and a short piece for Chester County Futures to put up on their website and social media platforms. They also created multiple versions with different calls to action that pertain to different events and holidays throughout the year.

Thank you all so much, this summer has been super fun, memorable and I learned so much! THANK YOU!

Julie Griesemer

Production Intern, Koi-Fly Creative

The team decided to surprise the Koi-Fly office by creating an invitation debuting their world premiere of their intern project on August 6th at 1:00 p.m. The entire team LOVED the video and gave them a standing ovation. The Koi-Fly experts offered some minor tweaks before delivering the final product to Chester County Futures. 

Upon the in-person video reveal and walkthrough of the distribution plan with the client, each representative from Chester County Futures had a smile on their face. The timing couldn’t have worked out better because the non-profit was about to hire a new community relations manager to the team whom will be in the perfect position to execute the distribution plan.

Check out their full final piece below!

I’m inspired… This distribution plan will be their playbook… and the video will be their tool.

Maria McDonald

Executive Director, Chester County Futures

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