My Review of the Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders’ Program

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As I’ve occasionally mentioned in the past few months (admittedly, quite sporadically), I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to work at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. as a video editing intern. Going into the program, I had little knowledge about what I was going to be doing, who the people were, how I was going to like them, and frankly, how I was going to cope with losing the majority of my summer to a 9-5:30 job.

But for anyone who might be thinking about the intern program, or have already submitted the application and been approved, I decided to do a full review of the goods, bads, and uglies (but trust me, they’re mostly goods) of Heritage’s program.

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Sentinel Summit Promo (Heritage Action)

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This past summer has been the busiest summer of my life. The Heritage Foundation offers a paid internship practically on the steps of the Capitol in Washington. With an only 14% acceptance rate and hundreds of applicants, I wasn’t sure what would become of my resume and application.

After my interview with Heritage’s VP of Communications Rob Bluey for my journalism class (which you can read here if you missed it), I received an acceptance email from Rob and an offer to join him for the summer at Heritage.

I said yes.

Since then, I’ve been working every day to help Heritage’s multimedia news outlet, The Daily Signal, produce conservative videos and Facebook Lives for their website and social media pages.

My first project was editing a promotional for Heritage Action’s Sentinel Summit, which required me to learn Adobe Premiere within a week’s time. And yes, I loved every minute.

Behind the Scenes of “Faint Not”

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Several people have asked me how I put together my Scripture For Life chapel challenge video (If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it here!) So I thought I might take the night alone in my room to write a basic tutorial explaining how I made the animations using just Photoshop and Final Cut Pro X.

I started out with the idea. My roommate suggested doing an animation versus a live-action video because I wouldn’t have to feel bad about collecting the prize scholarship when so many actors would have helped with the project. With a cartoon made completely from my computer, I would have done the entire video myself.

The first thing to do was come up with a verse I’d like to center my video around. That was easy, since my college verses are Isaiah 41:10,13. I liked the visual image I got when I read the verses, since it specifically talks about the God of the universe holding our right hand and leading us along through our life’s trials.

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Faint Not (College Contest)

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President Shoemaker of Pensacola Christian College challenged the students to take a Bible verse that meant a lot to them and express it in some creative way for an upcoming contest (the winner got the rest of their tuition paid for). This could either be a form of artwork, photography, music, speeches, writing, or video.

I jumped on it.

I put in twelve hours of work in Final Cut Pro (because I didn’t have access to Adobe After Effects) to create a text-based cartoon. I’ve seen the style everywhere in popular videos and wanted to try one for myself.

(Winners to be announced next week)

UPDATED 3/13/17: Although submissions remained closed, President Shoemaker extended the contest for another week to allow more time to showcase exceptional entries. He invited nearly twelve more finalists to the platform today, including us nine from last week, to showcase their work and pick the final winners from that group.

Because Shoemaker loved the entries so much, he chose four winners to receive the scholarship, one from each kind of category: art, writing, music, and graphic design/video. I and three other finalists were picked to be the winners out of over 700 entries.

God’s Smugglers (Short Film)

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Loosely based off Brother Andrew’s autobiography, God’s Smuggler (and I MEAN loosely!), young Bible smugglers have to move the Word of God from their base and across the country of Russia while avoiding the secret police force.

It’s been several years since we got to make a video with our cousins, so this year we decided to make a new one. The night before, we introduced them to the classic game of Underground Church, but tweaked the rules to support a smaller number of players. The game ended up changing so much that it needed a new name: Bible Smugglers.

The game is similar to Underground Church in that you have to avoid detection while accomplishing a task. Only instead of trying to get every Christian and a sympathetic cop into a designated church location, the Christians must smuggle fifteen Bibles (note cards) from the start to a location of their choosing (only four Bibles can be held at a time). If they’re caught, they’re sent to jail and their Bibles are confiscated and return to the beginning. The goal is to deliver all the Bibles safely to their destination.

We took this concept and decided to document it in movie-form.