I produced a series called Intern Confidential for mtvU. This series involved me interviewing interns about their previous and current internship experiences.
Previous to this series, I hadn't interviewed people younger than myself. In the past I had interviewed celebrities, musicians, athletes, or thought leaders in a specific subject. I can now say that my favorite interviews were these intimate sets with a college student and our small crew.
1. These young professionals rarely have the chance share their insights, ideas, and thoughts openly. They are often told to listen and learn, rather than share. My interviews were an open forum about them.
2. They haven't done a million interviews where they were asked similar questions over and over again. This was a new exciting experience for them and that energy was apparent.
3. I was really relaxed. I knew I didn’t know where the conversation was going to go, but I was excited to keep it casual and let it flow naturally.
4. We had so much in common. They were eager to learn, ask questions, and find their way. As a writer/producer my hustle hasn't slowed down. While I am now more experienced, I still have so much to learn, so many mistakes to make, so much time before I feel successful.
5. They had so much to teach me. I am now 26 years old. Most people would tell me I am young. I am. But the amount of things that have changed since I was in college is immense. I honestly don't think I would have had any idea to what extent, if it wasn't for these interns.
As a writer/producer, who relies heavily on research and data to help justify much of what I create - I felt it was important to better understand what and why these millennials watch what they do.
Data can tell you that many of these young professionals are on Youtube - spending countless hours learning new things, watching funny videos, and discovering their new favorite creator. But you can only begin to understand what is that they really watch and why they watch it, when you talk to them. Their motivations for what they watch can not be simply pulled from numbers. Data does not automatically transfer into making good content. Data should be used to influence your decisions, but if you are trying to reach an audience you need to truly understand them. Talk to them. Empathize with them. This young audience can feel the difference and they are seeking out the content that truly speaks to them.
With that in mind, I will continue to create work I think goes beyond a catchy title and eye grabbing visuals. I will continue to follow my gut, do my due diligence on the topic, and ultimately attempt to be an original voice in this overly statured world of content.
My interviews with these interns inspired me to keep following my own dreams. Thank you young professionals. You're all going to do great.