To say Amber Battle, ’15, spent her summer internship at The Branching, a Richmond-based production company, is a misstatement. With The Branching, yes. But not at it.
“I’ve been doing a little bit of everything — location scouting, shopping for props, compiling look books, running errands, and helping out at shoots,” Battle says. “This has really shown me whether I want to get into this field.”
The early verdict: She just might.
Battle juggles her psychology major and studio art minor with the responsibilities of a Division-I athlete as a member of the women’s basketball team. Though she stopped playing during her sophomore year because of a medical condition, she’s still on the roster and keeps the full practice and game schedule. Her internship, supported by a UR Summer Fellowship, was a valuable chance to explore her career options and get a feel for one direction her life might take after graduation.
At The Branching, Battle had the opportunity to pitch in on a variety of projects in various stages of production. She began her internship when the company was in the middle of filming five videos, says Alexandra Krost, half of the creative team that founded the company.
“We then switched gears to planning other shoots,” Krost says. “Amber helped with logistics, tracking receipts, and a lot of meetings, some with clients, and learned about the lines of communication for different roles on a project.” It’s the kind of experience that makes her qualified for a position as a production assistant, Krost adds.
Among Battle’s many tasks, video editing, which she had done on campus in a film and video course, continued to grab her interest. She enjoys synching the rhythms of image and sound to create a greater whole that communicates a feeling or idea. In a windowless, brick-walled interior room in the The Branching’s Shockoe Bottom offices, Battle edited a short film she shot with a fellow intern in locations all over Richmond. It opens with a series of images of people standing in beautiful locations but oblivious to them. Their heads are buried in their mobiles.
“I wanted to say, ‘Look up, and look at everything beautiful around us,’” Battle says, articulating her theme. Her fellowship has her doing the same thing: looking up and taking in the world around her to figure out her future.