Several years ago, I had a certified blast as a summer multimedia intern at a somewhat major website that shall remain nameless.
The editorial department was looking for someone to help blow up their hit counts on the company YouTube channel, and they figured viral videos were the way to do it. I’d spent most of high school shooting and editing video shorts with my friends, so the job seemed like an awesome fit for me.
Besides, I had an interest in internet marketing and thought viral videos were on the cutting edge of that field. Producing them for eight weeks AND getting paid for it? Sign me up.
The problem became apparent in just a few days: My young multimedia team’s concept of what would go viral clashed massively with the sensibilities of the site’s chief editor.
By the end of it all, even though we did some great work – including a video that smashed the site’s views-in-a-week record – and I established good relationships with my immediate supervisors, I knew I wasn’t coming back after graduation.
Here are eight excellent reasons why.
1.) I spent a significant portion of one afternoon recording this rap song.
2.) Our intern room was adorned with the following images: A fellow intern’s face pasted onto Nick Nolte’s mugshot, R&B singer Seal standing on top of a Volkswagen Passat (miraculously, this was an undoctored stock image), and a creative portrayal of my supervisor gracing the cover of Tiger Beat.
3.) Our department made repeated requests to use company money to fund a web video shoot that involved sawing off the top of a car at a frat house.
4.) Compiling a list of potential viral video guest stars that included Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Fred Savage, Neil Patrick Harris, Sinbad, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Coolio, Fran Drescher, Milli Vanilli, Rico Suave, Steve Urkel, Rider Strong, Danny Glover, Crispin Glover, Hobie from Baywatch, Rick Moranis, Montel Williams, Patrick Duffy, Sasha Mitchell, Jodi Sweetin, Mark Hamill, Shirley Temple, Lisa Turtle, Rick Astley, Deion Sanders, Da Brat, and Michael Bolton. There were 47 of these in total.
5.) My desktop wallpaper was a screen grab of a coworker drinking a giant beer on his unintentionally hilarious public access show.
6.) An awkward first creative pitch with the site’s chief editor, which I was chosen to lead. It began with my supervisor assuring me our ideas were golden and ended with the editor issuing the following words: “Very funny, guys. What are the real ideas?’
7.) Blasting excerpts from T.I.’s “What You Know’ at the 5 o’clock horn.
8.) Chief editor did not understand the humor in “picking up hot moms.’
Now that I think of it, this list would probably be an excellent cover letter for Funny or Die.
Tagged as: Bill Nye the Science Guy, Coolio, Crispin Glover, Da Brat, Danny Glover, Deion Sanders, Fran Drescher, Fred Savage, Hobie from Baywatch, Humor, JTT, Jodi Sweetin, Lisa Turtle, Mark Hamill, Michael Bolton, Milli Vanilli, Montel Williams, Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Duffy, Photoshop, Rick Astley, Rick Moranis, Rico Suave, Rider Strong, Sasha Mitchell, Shirley Temple, Sinbad, Steve Urkel, T.I., fail, misadventures, multimedia, paid internship, rap, summer internship, viral videos, website