ACMi has just completed a 6-week internship with two young men from Northern Ireland who arrived via the auspices of The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) and its Learning Exchange Programs Director, Ann-Marie Byrne.

Ciaran Denver and Nick Campbell arrived at ACMI on Wednesday May 23rd, following two days of orientation at IIIC. The following two days they worked full-time before settling into the ensuing five-week pattern of Monday-Wednesday work at ACMi. Each Thursday and Friday the lads have spent at IIIC working on their required video project for submission when they arrive back in Belfast.

In volunteering for this project, ACMi became part of the Wider Horizons Program dedicated to “Transforming Lives & Contributing to Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland through Community Media in Boston. The program is funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), by FAS, and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland. Participation in the program provided ACMi and other community media centers in the area the opportunity to demonstrate how community media can be a used as a tool for peace and conflict resolution.

Denver and Campbell arrived with a previous working knowledge of GYHM 700 in-studio cameras and JVC HM 100 field cameras, the iMac OSX operating system, and Final Cut Express. Both diligently applied their previous knowledge and experience to the tasks assigned them at ACMi. They learned most aspects of video and TV production–camera operation, green screen technology, lighting, and sound, and even script writing. Both young men agreed that they significantly expanded both their knowledge and their experience during their time at ACMi. In the end, they created a short promotional video for ACMi and recorded various images around Arlington for ACMi’s later use. Their final assignment and send-off was their participation in the production of ACMi’s biggest event of the year—last weekend’s bi-annual awards ceremony, held at Town Hall on June 22nd. Denver was ACMi’s hand-held camera operator, while Campbell assisted as production troubleshooter.

As ACMi bid them farewell at the conclusion of the awards gala, each had something to say about his experience at ACMi:

“My placement at ACMi in Arlington, MA has been great” said Nick Campbell. “The people here are seriously civil. The experience has been worth even the 90-commute from Dorchester. I feel like I have learned more in six weeks here than I did in the two-year course I took back home.”

Ciaran Denver added “The Wider Horizons project has surpassed my expectations. My time here has given me a greater understanding of media production as well as a dynamic and more evolved perspective of an ethnic and social diversity here that I could not experience back home. It’s been a rich cultural experience.”