July started in Florida for me. Editing podcasts and laying on the beach. It’s a hard life. Now I find myself in Chicago. The windy city. I have been exposed to a bunch of new things, new people, and new forms of transportation. I rode the subway alone for the first time! I figured out the hard way that you can’t park on a road during street cleaning day…. And I have learned how to walk quickly and not make eye contact with the thousands of people that live around you. But the biggest and most exciting part is that I have been interning at the company Intertwine! Intertwine is a video production company who is also starting to move into event management. Not only have they been so helpful and supportive but they have also given me the opportunities to network with local professionals! They love what they do and they want me to love it too!
Because I am interning at a start up company all of the learning has been super hands on and personal. I have weekly or biweekly meetings with AJ Spitz, the founder of the Intertwine, and we go over my assignments and his new ideas for the company. So far I have been in charge of artist outreach, researching and compiling a list of potential event venues, being a PA on set, and assisting AJ with brainstorming as the company moves into the event management realm. These responsibilities have not only shown me how Intertwine as a new company operates but also how the industry works as a whole.
I am going to list the top 5 things that I’ve realized from being in this environment.
It’s a numbers game! I have spent over 10 hours just emailing and DMing artists, their managers and booking agents. There has probably been 2 out of every 50 that will respond and then only one will actually be ready to work on a project! The more people you reach out to, the more people that are going to reply, and eventually work with you. I’ve learned its important to make each message individual and show the artist why you want to work with them as apposed to someone else. Thats what will draw them in, and so will your portfolio.
Portfolio is key. The more work you have done the more work you get. I’ve learned that when you are just starting out ( or a company just starting out) you can’t expect to pick the work you want to do, you have to do any of the work that is offered you. Now that Intertwine has a bigger portfolio/reel and a following, they are able to puck and choose some of the work that they do and have more creative input.
What can you do for them? I know now that this is the best and pretty much only way you are going to sell your skills for money. It is all about hooking the client with what you can do for them to make them successful, which in-turn will make you successful as well. If you approach a client or situation with a service mindset they are going to be more inclined to work with you. I learned this by talking with AJ before I started my outreach. He really explained the way that they contact potential clients and why they do it that way (with service and interest). This point also really helped in brainstorming sessions when we would be out of ideas to pitch to a client. We could always center back to the main goal, “What can we do for them?”.
Connections - it’s all about who you know! The first time that AJ and I sat down together to talk about Intertwine was when I asked about how they promote themselves to artists in contrast to how they promote themselves to corporations. He responded that a lot of the artist outreach is direct and to the individual, while their corporate work has mostly begun by word-of-mouth. This was one of my first examples of how connections can get you work and or gigs.
I have also been invited and apart of a few networking events/release parties that have led me to make more connections in the industry! These connections range from producers to writers to editors and directors! I aim so excited to pursue these connections and really make something great out of them!
To be successful, you have to need it like you need air. One of my favorite things AJ told me when I first met him is that he knew he was going to be successful at creating this opportunity for himself because he needed it like he needed air. That really got to me. That’s how you know what your passion is and when you are playing with 100% of what you’ve got.
I am so thankful that the Intertwine crew has let me be apart of the team and welcomed my ideas with open arms. This internship and time in the city has taught me some of what I do need like air, and some of what I don’t. I wouldn’t give this experience up for anything and I am so excited to use what I’ve learned to create and grow more.
Peace, Abby K Davis
P.S. Check them out on Instagram! @intertwinetv