Hi! My name is Rheannah Wynter. I’m an intern in the digital and education departments here at WFSU Public Media!
As a kid, it never quite occurred to me that media was the product of other people. And not just a few, but teams of people – including producers, directors, editors, distributors…
That isn’t to say I never sat through a credit scroll. I was exposed to plenty of children’s television and films. I saw a movie almost every-other weekend (ah, the days of seven-dollar movie tickets), and on weekdays I was absorbed by PBS KIDS. I liked Cyberchase and Dragon Tales and any program that would transport me on a sci-fi fantasy adventure. I especially loved Zoom. It was always engaging to watch real-life kids present real-life subjects (not to mention the endearing wackiness of the Zoom set). For little-Rheannah, PBS KIDS made learning accessible. And as a child, that meant learning was fun.
Still, I was occupied with more practical career choices, like “horse rider” or “Olympic runner” or “radio DJ” (to be fair, this one did come true).
That is, until I was gifted my first cellphone.
Not a smart phone, but a glorious plastic brick with a 3” screen and a slide-out keyboard. And most importantly, a camera that could record and pause, bestowing upon me the magic of cuts. I didn’t know it, but my malleable child-brain had downloaded more than just moral lessons from all the educational programming I had watched. Like most people (whether they know it or not), I’d implicitly come to understand film language, employing composition, cuts, sound design, and continuity. I’d never heard of a producer or editor, but I liked to make my friends laugh. So, music videos, stop motion, and not-so-good improv ensued.
To me, this was just a childhood pastime. It wasn’t something I considered significant, nor something I would even remember until I entered my 20s.
I decided fairly late that I had a certain facility with video editing (thank you high school journalism class). So, perusing media production was 50% whim, 50% curiosity. I kept an open mind. I considered all the genres, positions, and avenues one can take in film and TV. But studying abroad would shape my future irreversibly. I spent a month in London developing a documentary. I found something special about immersing myself in a subject and community and arranging these findings as to engage viewers in a meaningful way.
My appreciation for non-fiction film and TV filled a Zoom-sized hole in my heart. Educational programming and documentary film don’t live too far apart. They make learning fun (and accessible, engaging, cathartic, funny), and I feel that contributing to these types of media is a contribution to the minds of kids and adults. Whether that’s through marketing, producing, or editing non-fiction content, I find it fulfilling to make learning accessible and engaging.
I’ve only interned at WFSU for half of a semester. But considering all of the educational-local-historical-meaningful content I’ve had the opportunity to work with, I intend to stay much longer!