Student Spotlight: Conrad Klooster at ABC4’s Younger You
Blog and photos by guest blogger Conrad KloosterI am a second year student in the Visual Design program at Broadview Entertainment Arts University in Salt Lake City. In November of 2014 a faculty member, Mark Sorenson, asked if I would like to accept an offer working an internship at the TV station, ABC4, on a TV show called The Younger You with Troy Thompson, working as a producer’s assistant. Originally I was a little hesitant to take the internship, because I want to do set design and animation more than filming or producing, but this job would still allow for my creative side to come through, so I accepted and I’ve been here at ABC since November.
Upon my arrival at ABC4 I found myself out of my element, in a large building filled with cubicles and conference rooms and business people in suits and ties, but the team on The Younger You took me under their wing and made me feel at home. Troy Thompson is the host of the show and the head of the project, and his Australian accent alone is very therapeutic. He is a talent that has been in the film and talk show industry for a long time and has been successful, which makes him a valuable resource, but Alysha Shelby is the producer of the show, and she really is the backbone of the whole project. Troy and Alysha work with me to give me projects that suit my interest when they are available and they constantly have me working on different things to keep me from getting burnt out on doing the same thing all day long.
On the job, they have me doing everything from writing scripts for episodes to helping design our film set and editing episodes. They even have me sitting in the booth when some live segments are being filmed at the station. I get to see firsthand every part that goes into producing a TV show, and I get to dabble in the production of a live news broadcast. Much of what I do in particular, though, is researching and writing. For any episode of any show, you have to study what the main topic of that episode is and write plenty of material on that topic so you have material to work with and talk about. Sometimes I specifically write an episode script, and put the script on the teleprompter and then I run the teleprompter for the people on the show to read off of while we’re filming the episode. This is rewarding because the material you’ve developed is directly getting used on TV. Editing segments that get used in an episode or used for an online promotional video is also extremely rewarding. It’s nice when you get to see the work you’ve done aired on TV.
Along with networking with The Younger You team and getting lots of good work experience, this internship has possibly given me the opportunity to transition into a job at ABC4. They have expressed that they know me, and they think I do good work and I already know the job details, so they consider me to be a good candidate for a job. This is exciting news, because it means that my work is appreciated and they would like to have me working there. I know that Mark recommended me for the internship when ABC asked him for some student interns because he also thinks highly of me. Showing up to work and school and working hard while you’re there gets noticed and makes people willing to help you out. Creating good relationships by being a hard worker will do a lot of good things for you. My work landed me an internship and a good in with a respected TV station.
Being a producer’s assistant is not exactly what I’m going to school for, but you’re never really going to school for just one field, that would be limiting. You want to keep all available doors open and not close off any paths for yourself. If somebody gives you an opportunity to get experience and do some networking, then take it. Don’t turn something down just because it’s not exactly what you want. You never know what you’ll learn or whom you’ll meet, and knowing people and creating a good name for yourself is key. Keep opening doors, not closing them.