Hot Intern Summer
Jumping in the deep end at Madhouse was a universal experience for Joel Helmick, Sam Richardson, Josh Coleman, and Tyson Hughes. Being an intern at Madhouse means getting thrown in the mix right away. You either sink or swim. And all four interns met the challenge head on.
“Nowhere else would I be able to get the hands-on experience or level of trust I do here,” said Joel Helmick, who did his second internship with Madhouse this summer.
The junior at Ithaca College studying cinema production said being able to work on and be trusted with big projects was an unbeatable experience. “No amount of classroom education could match it,” he said. “It feels like I’m just another employee who is trusted with managing high-level projects and given a say in creative decisions.”
Learning how to juggle several projects while meeting multiple deadlines was a skill that Joel was able to improve upon and one that he felt will stick with him into his future. “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to gain experience in a real environment of video production,” he said.
Joel aspires to have his own production company and felt he’s made progress toward that goal. He also said the pandemic gave him a lot of time to work on skills that he doesn’t think he’s that adept at yet. “My experience at Madhouse also taught me a lot about running a company and the little things that I’d never be able to learn in a classroom,” he said.
“My internship experiences at Madhouse are the most fun I’ve ever had at any job,” Joel said.
For Sam Richardson, a junior digital arts major at Bowling Green State University, the deep end came quick. “Before my first day, I didn’t know what exactly I would be doing, but my first task was some 3D modeling, which was exactly what I wanted to do,” he said.
Creating unique 3D Madhouse logos was Sam’s favorite project this summer. “I had all the creative freedom that I could imagine, and I didn’t have to worry about client revisions,” he said.
Getting experience is what it’s all about, and Sam felt that he gained a lot of useful knowledge. “Whether it was a new setting in Cinema 4D or how to work the big coffee machine, I learned something new every day at Madhouse,” he said. “From day one I was working on client projects, which was awesome because the best way to get experience is to jump in the deep end and do it.”
And in a world where many of us are still working from home because of the pandemic, Sam experienced some challenges in terms of adapting to a new work model. “The hardest part for me was adjusting to a full-time work schedule in my bedroom, but I was fortunate enough that I got to start working in person, in the new office, early on in the summer, which allowed me to create some normalcy and explore the city of Toledo during my lunch.”
If he could change anything about his experience at Madhouse it would be: “More free affogatos!”
“The most important thing I received from Madhouse was inspiration and motivation. To see how they created their own little version of paradise here, in Toledo, was inspirational for me. Many people believe you have to go to New York or some other major city to work with the best. I was lucky to work with the best here in Toledo,” said Josh Coleman, a recent marketing graduate from Bowling Green State University.
One of Josh’s favorite projects was shooting video for The Peddie School in New Jersey. It gave him real-world video production experience he previously didn’t have. “That trip was eye-opening for me to see how much work it took to create a one- to three-minute video. We worked our tails off, but understanding how long it takes to get your ideal shot was impactful for me,” he said.
Josh’s time at Madhouse this summer opened his eyes to other aspects of the business that he may not have been exposed to had he not spent time here. “This internship has put me in the right direction to achieving my goals. I have more clarity than ever, and I know a little more of what it takes to get there,” he said.
Getting experience and broadening one’s knowledge base is the point of an internship, and Josh feels he attained that and more. “I was excited to start my internship at Madhouse and knew I’d be sad when it was time to leave. I had the time of my life here,” he said.
Tyson Hughes, a recent graduate of Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo, who previously had a role in one of Madhouse’s videos, joined the team as well this summer. And while he’s taking a gap year after high school, he is using his time to fine-tune his photography skills.
“Coming out of that shoot definitely gave me a newfound love for everything behind the camera rather than in front it. I couldn’t be more grateful for that,” he said. He recently started his own photography business and plans to continue to work to become a fashion and portrait photographer.
He has numerous followers on Instagram, where he highlights some of his work. He was tasked with handling Madhouse’s Instagram account this summer and because he’s familiar with the platform, it was a natural fit. “It’s something that I’m used to working with as a social media manager for myself and a few other people’s accounts, so it was really cool to do Madhouse’s account,” he said. “Getting a feel for their style and whatnot was really interesting.”
While he enjoyed using his time here to amplify Madhouse’s social media presence, he also wished he had more time to spend with the video team. “The film crew is so cool, and they work on super-cool projects all day, and I would have loved to work more with them,” he said.
Time wasn’t something Tyson had a lot of for his internship. “I did my internship part time due to my individual photography bookings, so I couldn’t be here every day of the week,” he said.
Observing some of the day-to-day operations gave him some insight into what goes on behind the scenes in dealing with clients. “Mobility and customer experience is important. The funny part is, they didn’t even really mention that to me; I kind of just observed it from Molly [Luetke] or Bill [Sattler] taking phone calls, or Rob Seiffert and Rob Wagner being as charming to a client as possible during a video shoot,” he said. “Those observations helped me realize that the customer experience is everything.”