Carson School senior to intern at NFL Films
calendar icon24 Apr 2019
Lincoln, Neb.--Reed Ellefson, a senior film and new media major in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film from Rapid City, South Dakota, has received a cinematography internship with NFL Films.
“We are so proud of Reed,” said Professor of Film Sharon Teo-Gooding. “It is always gratifying when our hard-working students have their efforts rewarded with an opportunity such as this one with NFL Films.”
The 10-week internship begins in mid-May in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. He will work in the camera department, and his responsibilities will include prepping gear for shoots, transporting gear to location and assisting on set.
“I am excited. It’s a plan for after school gets out,” said Ellefson, who graduates in May.
Ellefson applied for the internship last year, but didn’t receive it.
“I think they were looking for someone who was a graduating senior, so I re-applied again this year, and the two people who run it were pretty excited to see that I applied again,” he said.
Ellefson felt this internship fit his interests better.
“It seemed like a really awesome opportunity that’s very different from the traditional kind of Television Academy route,” Ellefson said. “There’s a lot that internship offers, but I don’t feel like it quite fits what I want to do.”
Ellefson has worked as a production intern at HuskerVision in the Athletics Department since 2016.
“I really enjoyed working at HuskerVision,” he said. “Throughout my time at Nebraska, I shot a lot of football footage and the kind of stuff that’s meant to be cinematic for their shows that they put together every single week. I really love that process, so I felt that this might be a really great stepping stone just for the next few years or so.”
Ellefson said the internship will be a great opportunity to learn.
“I hope to learn a lot from the staff cinematographers that they have at the company, as well as learn just a little bit of everything about production,” he said. “As film majors, we get a lot of exposure to varied levels of production—everything from student films to some of us doing larger commercial shoots. It’s great just to get more knowledge there and prove myself as someone who is able to work as a camera assistant in the near future.”
Ellefson’s interest in film began when he was in middle school.
“I first started as a stop-motion animator with Legos when I was in middle school,” he said. “I was like this is something really awesome that really love doing, and I did it up until my freshman year in college. Then, I decided that I wanted to pursue cinematography.”
He was also influenced by some Hollywood movies that came out at that time.
“A lot of really awesome films came out when I was in high school that inspired me to do movies, like ‘Gravity’ and ‘Skyfall,’” he said. “Just visually stunning films that made me think this is what I want to do.”
He likes the collaboration that takes place on a set.
“Film is a collaborative effort, so it’s awesome to learn from everyone, as well as to get input and try different stuff out,” Ellefson said. “And at the end of the day, you’re trying to tell a story through your task, which is to visually craft the shots.”
He feels prepared through his classes in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and the other opportunities he has had.
“There’s a lot of learning in the classroom, but you really get the most learning out of just going out and finding those opportunities,” he said. “It’s great. There’s a friendly competition in the School between everyone to just kind do something really awesome, so we’re all pushing each other at the same time.”
Ellefson was a production assistant for “Diagnosis,” a Netflix original series in 2018. He has also served a number of roles, including director, cinematographer and editor for several music videos, commercials and films. He also worked in both the camera and grip and electric departments for the most recent Carson Film, “The Healing of Harman.”
“They rotated us around,” he said. “A couple of days we did camera, and the rest of the time we were setting up lights and whatnot. That was a really awesome experience. I think I’ve learned a lot, especially those first two days as a camera assistant. You make a ton of mistakes, but hopefully I won’t make those mistakes again. That’s the benefit of having that experience under my belt already.”
Ellefson is looking forward to meeting some of the NFL players at NFL Films.
“Part of it will be meeting all these people that are these huge sports figures,” he said. “I think we all kind of as we grow up, have a lot of respect for them in one way or another because they committed to following their drams from birth to where they are now in the NFL.”
He’s also looking forward to the internship experience.
“I’m looking forward to just learning and proving what I can do,” Ellefson said. “That’s just kind of exciting.”