Filmmaker/Photography: Wildlife and Conservation Intern – Missoula, Montana
We are seeking a qualified candidate to learn how to be an outdoor filmmaker! The position will run from mid May to July on the property with the possibility of extension to manage media through October off property. We create documentaries about research projects and wildlife on the ranch. This position requires a self motivated individual who has an artistic photography, film, and/or biology/ecology background with a strong technological ability. The preferred candidate must have experience in at least one, or a combination of the above mentioned. The intern must be willing to learn to identify plants and animals of Montana and understand biological and research processes. Willingness to be hands on in all weather conditions and tech savvy are the most important.
View a collection of MPG documentaries here: https://vimeo.com/channels/1073221
View short videos on MPG Wildlife Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MPGWildlife/
The summer internship includes but is not limited to:
Digital 4k filming with a variety of state-of-the-art filming equipment - all outdoors
Drone operation - manual and automated regular flights
GoPro and MACRO filming
Collecting and researching professional audio
Interview researchers on camera
DSLR still photography
Time lapse filming with remote cameras in the field
Time lapse filming live plants in an indoor studio
Remote trail camera set-up, video data collection, and management of videos collected
Knowledge and skill on MAC computers preferred
Media management - identify and label media, organize and categorize by date and subject
Email and professional communication with supervisors and MPG staff - intern is required to be timely with responses and available via text and email at all times
Learn to work with multiple media platforms
Film editing and still photography editing - Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Final Cut Pro
Categorize and sort relevant media - trim clips, convert, upload and store on multiple external hard drives and cloud based services
Research and learn to accomplish tasks via online forums and video tutorials
This is a creative position with the opportunity to excel as a filmmaker. The candidate will gain skills valuable to the film industry and can pursue any aspect of the position, given they are motivated. They will learn to use professional equipment and gain valuable computer skills. A current or aspiring film student or biology student with a strong photography background is the ideal candidate. The intern will film plants, researchers, wildlife, scenics, and film subjects based on a written list, or on the fly but will also have a lot of computer oriented tasks. The intern must be able to multi-task and organize their own schedule. Self motivation and desire to move this project forward with new ideas is critical. Must be competent outdoors filming in changing weather often cold, wet, windy, or extremely hot and dry conditions. Must be capable of hiking around the mountains and carrying heavy valuable equipment. Must be excited to spend long irregular hours with a significant amount of time working in an office. We have an extensive media library that we aim to make searchable to all staff. The intern’s main task is to organize and label current and past footage collected on the ranch while managing their schedule to film during optimal lighting. Occasional early mornings, but mostly evening filming is mandatory; it’s when the ranch is at its prettiest and the wildlife are active. In the middle of the hot summer days or when filming is not ideal the intern will work inside in our film lab on site. Long days are required; but the position is limited to 40 hours/week with no overtime. The candidate may work 60 hours one week, and only 20 the next week, but can be in charge of the majority of their schedule if they prove they are capable. Our busiest time is the optimal filming season from late May through June when plants are in their prime and wildlife are active. The intern must be able to start mid-May and no later. The intern will learn the majority of their tasks filming with our professional videographer providing the ability to learn how to use a large library of professional equipment. The videographer is in charge of all the tasks listed in this job description and lives on-site. We are hiring an assistant who works well in a learning environment one-on-one who can take those skills out on their own. The intern must be tech savvy, we cannot emphasize this enough. The intern will learn how to use a lot of new equipment in a short time frame and must be able to troubleshoot issues or figure out how to complete a task on their own via online forums and video tutorials or asking questions and seeking advice and assistance from the videographer. If the intern is interested in video editing, they will be required to take an online introductory course to learn Final Cut Pro editing program. Questions and assistance from the videographer are always available.
The possibility to extend the position for a few more months is flexible and depends on proven computer skills and grasping the knowledge of the project over the summer. From late July through October, the intern may be hired part or full time to continue to label and organize footage and potentially edit and release short films from summer filming for online posting ie Facebook, Youtube, and Vimeo channels. The secondary position is self guided and flexible and will be required to be conducted off-site without supervision, and work from anywhere with excellent responsive email/phone communication. We can work around the intern’s school schedule if currently enrolled.
Owning your own Apple laptop is preferred, but not required. We have iMacs and laptop computers available to use. If the position extends past July, it is preferred to have your own laptop, but we can make alternate arrangements if necessary. Personal camera equipment the intern is familiar with can be used i.e. digital DSLR camera or film camera, but the intern will mainly use and respect the ranch’s equipment. The intern must have decent field equipment: outdoor clothing, footwear, backpack, sun protection, rain gear. The intern must provide their own vehicle. The ranch roads are well maintained dirt roads; a 4WD is preferred but not necessary. Mileage will be reimbursed at the government rate per road mile, and $1 per ranch dirt road mile. The intern must keep a detailed record of mileage in their personal vehicle when on the project. They are sometimes required to run errands in town in their own vehicle. We drive slow around the ranch to respect other researchers and wildlife; if the intern is found speeding from site to site it is grounds for immediate termination.
Possible on-site housing is available from mid May to mid July. If housing is available, we prefer the intern to live on site to be able to maintain irregular hours and film scenics and research activities on short notice when the conditions are optimal. The ranch house is busy during the summer: there are multiple research projects taking place and most of the interns for those projects live together. The intern must be able to live and get along well with others. The intern will most likely share a bunk room with other interns working on other projects. In years past, the interns end up spending a lot of time together over the summer and create life long friendships. The house is the main hub for meetings and houses visiting professional research biologists. The intern must be respectable to the space and visitors, and flexible to the constant use of the shared living area. Most visitors are housed upstairs while most interns live in the basement with a full kitchen, living room, bathroom, and laundry facilities. The upstairs, though often less crowded, is off limits to intern use, except for the film lab office located upstairs with its own entrance. Excessive alcohol/drug use and unruly behaviour is not tolerated and is grounds for termination. The ranch is 25 miles to Missoula and 5 miles to Florence. Missoula is a large (for Montana) college town with multiple grocery and retail shops. Florence has one small grocery store, gas station, and limited restaurants. Stevensville is also nearby and has a large grocery store.
• Positive attitude for full days on a computer especially late season when filming is over
• Computer skills - Apple preferred
• Flexible to irregular hours and long days
• Tech savvy - required
• Photography - hobby or professional
• Biology - or in interest in plant/wildlife identification
• Film - hobby, professional, or willing to learn
• An eye for artistic filming and photography
• Film editing - hobby, professional, or willing to learn
• Patience and respect to quietly observe and film wildlife
• Drive and navigate dirt roads
• Hike long distances and tolerate exposure to extreme cold/wet or hot/dry conditions
• Live well with other interns and visitors
• Respect ranch property and equipment
• Self-motivated and organized
• Motivated to work alone
• Innovative and can execute new ideas - this a creative position!
• Works well in an often stressful, busy, but fun work environment
• Must love the outdoors and wildlife
• Respect researcher's projects - not interfere with research activities on the ranch
How to apply:
Send an email to the address below stating your interest and attach your resume including a cover letter and 3 references as a single PDF labeled: "Your Name Filmmaker Internship" We will contact you for a phone/skype interview if qualified. Interviews are likely to begin in March with a start date mid-May.