My name is Sara Sowell and I am a senior Video and Film Arts Major. I spent summer 2013 interning for Sargent House in Los Angeles, California. Knowing I had to complete an internship to graduate as a Video major, I spent my entire spring semester researching to find the best opportunity to grow as an
editor. I applied at multiple post-houses in Los Angeles; most of them were those who handled music videos.
I applied for more than 10 positions before I decided to email Sean Stout. Sean Stout is the founder of TerrorEyes TV, an online platform to watch really sick music videos and extremely talented bands play live sessions. Sean, amongst a few others, shoots and edits these videos. Most of his live sessions and music videos are of bands under the independent record label, Sargent House. I thought to myself, how amazing would it be if I could work under him? So I shot him an email telling him how much I admired his work and asked if he wanted an assistant in Los Angeles, for free. He replied the next day, “Hey! Sorry for the late reply, I almost completely spaced this... I actually live in NY now and am no longer working out of the Sargent house office in LA. They do still have video people if you wanted to email email@example.com and tell em I sent you I'm sure they would love totake on a video intern as I am pretty sure there aren't any right now..."
Cathy emailed me back within a few days. After a phone interview and sharing with her my work, I was hired immediately. Sargent House is an independent record and management label with an amazing curation of bands, including Tera Melos, Omar Rodriguez Lopez & Bosnian Rainbows, Russian Circles, Chelsea Wolfe, and so many others. In each artist represented I find an unbeatable sense of originality and sense of innovation in the independent music industry. Iʼve been obsessed with this record label since high school, so you could only imagine my excitement.
There are a total of 4 employees and two management interns at Sargent House (excluding myself). My editing suite was a MAC desktop on the first floor of Cathyʼs house on Sargent Place in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Caitlyn worked in the same office as me while Cathy worked upstairs in her office. My direct supervisor was Caitlyn, the day-to-day manager, although I would go to Cathy to receive information on projects she wanted me to work on. In addition to the videos I would edit for Cathy, Caitlyn would give me very small design assignments every day, like making download cards for albums in vinyl, and touching up t-shirt designs. If I had any questions, I would tend to ask Caitlyn for her advice before Cathy.
My responsibilities in terms of video production were solely editing. There are other videographers who work under Sargent House, but they were all aways shooting things over the summer or touring with bands. This left me with all the footage an editor could dream of. I mostly worked on videos that ideally would have been created months prior to my arrival. I synched up a few live sessions with studio recordings and cut between cameras and edited teasers for tours. My two biggest projects were to start the beginnings of a Tera Melos tour documentary and edit a music video for Chelsea Wolfe shot in the Californian desert. These two projects were huge accomplishments as a growing editor and what Iʼm most proud of. While editing the Tera Melos documentary, I had the opportunity to pull selects with John, the drummer, which allowed me to gain insight working directly with a client. It was pretty cool to say the least.
My biggest take-away from this experience was to never settle for something Iʼm
not passionate about, and to use my age and will to work for free (for now) to
work with the artists I admire.