Learning by Doing: A Summer Internship in NYC

By Isaac Derfel, Senior

This summer I interned at the NYC-based Post-Production company Technicolor-PostWorks. As I was leaving the company was being consolidated, but when I worked there, PostWorks had three locations - a mid-town studio, a SoHo studio, and also the Technicolor offices on Leroy street. Since then, the mid-town location has been merged with the SoHo location, so the company is down to two main offices. PostWorks is well-known in NYC for offering a plethora of post-production services, including film to digital transfers, the creation of Dolby certified print-masters, video editing, and color correction services. I started my internship in June, and left in the middle of August. It was a very rewarding couple of months.

The commute to work every day was longer than anything commute I've ever experienced. I had an apartment in Yonkers, and took a 40 minute bus ride to the top of the Bronx. I got off the bus at the Woodlawn subway station, which is the very tippy top of the 4-line. Once on the 4 train it was about a 45 minute ride to Grand Central Station. PostWorks is just 3 blocks from Grand Central, which was probably the most convenient part of my entire commute. To get to work at 9 a.m. I had to wake up around 7 a.m. Everyday I had a 1-hour lunch break, then left at 6. I was lucky if I got home by 7:30 at the end of the day. On nights when there was a Yankees game though, forget it! The 4 line would be jam packed from 5 p.m.-7 p.m., often running with delays. But you get used to it.

I got to be a part of some pretty incredible projects while I was working at PostWorks. I sat in on mixes for the Food Network show "Chopped" and the Investigation Discovery shows "Disappeared" and "Fatal Encounters." But one of the most exciting projects was the new documentary film called "Half The Sky," which is based on the book by Nick Kristoff. The documentary was mixed by an absolutely fantastic engineer by the name of Martin Czembor, and I had the very unique opportunity of sitting in for a few days while Martin was mixing dialogue for the film. It was incredible to see how he has truly mastered the art of re-recording mixing for film. The second big project which I got to participate in was a feature-length film called the Hot Flashes. IC professor Marlena Grzaslewicz was doing the sound editing, and IC grad Matt Rigby was her assistant. They brought the project to PostWorks on my last week there. Peter Waggoner did the mix and he too was a master of his craft, making very tough and technical moves look as easy as tying your shoe. If you've never heard of him, he's most well-known for mixing the popular kids movie "School of Rock."

How does this all relate to the Park Scholar program? The program has given me the confidence to apply for jobs and internships that I once thought were far out of my reach. To be involved in such high-profile films and TV shows was a very exciting and inspiring experience that I won't forget any time soon. In addition, the program has taught me that I should trust in my own abilities as a sound engineer, and I am starting to believe that I have skills that have true monetary value. The Park Scholar Program has given me a very valuable resource: trusting myself. 


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