The Internship Chronicles: Brett

By Brett Schwartz (GPROD ’20)

During the Fall 2018 Semester, Brett interned at Minority Media Inc. as a Management and Marketing intern.

Brett Schwartz (GPROD ’20)

During my time studying abroad in Montreal I worked at Minority Media Inc. as a
Management and Marketing Intern. It’s a relatively small studio that continued to shrink during my time there. Our studio is a single flat with two office spaces and a meeting room connected to the center room, and the over all floor is shared with another software development agency and a publishing studio. So as one could imagine, Minority Media isn’t a very large crowd but its collective unit has got over fifty years of experience working in all aspects of their collective industry. The core business team remains together as their projects evolve, but the development team seems to change with key members working for a few years and then moving to another place in the industry. Through it all has been Stella, the maleficent office dog

Minority Media was formed eight years ago by Vander Caballero and Julien Barnoin.
They quickly became recognized in the VR development sector for their commercial success with Papa & Yo. Following this, they continued to stand by VR game development despite the failures it faced in commercial acceptance. Minority had adapted by developing for tech giants, like Google, until things fell through due to Googles inability to sell their mobile headsets, eventually shifting to the location-based entertainment industry to develop VR arcade games! As of recently they released their own custom WAM rig designed to support four players in a co-op/PvP first person shooter. Where the player is immerse and jumps back in time to destroy robots and collect gold! They continue to be at the forefront of the location-based VR sector of the industry.

While working at Minority I have done a fair amount of different task. As must people
learn when being hired by a small studio you often are doing a lot of task that aren’t technically
related to your main role, but because these small studios require people to me multifaceted
people who can adjust accordingly with the projects they’re working on. There were multiple
times when I was working on 5-6 different projects at once, working on things like capturing
gameplay footage, to Qaing, to updating storefronts, to balancing expenses spreadsheets, all the
way to submitting documentation about project funding to the Canadian government. My time at
Minority has definietly made me a more rounded Game Producer.

Students get to dive right into the game industry, and are granted duties throughout their internships.

My first few assignments related to closing down the Canadian Media Fund (CMF) request that Minority had out. For those who don’t know the CMF is a fund set up by the Canadian Government that is funded through tax dollars and public donations to hand out grants to emerging media companies so they can create their projects without worrying about loss of all self investment. The Canadian Government taxes revenue on the projects when they are selling to continue the fund. When I first arrived at Minority there were six request, three over-drafted and three due within a few weeks. This was a chaotic period as we tried to extend all the
deadlines for these projects. After we did this I began systematically working to check off the required deliverables for the CMF submissions. This was challenging at first because I had to figure out who had what documents and do a fair amount of research on my own to understand everything I needed to cover. Once I was able to get a good grasp on this though I began flying through the submissions.

The CMF submissions were fun as they required me to do a broad array of tasks. Each
CMF submission has seventeen required deliverables that range from capturing gameplay footage, to filling out financial spreadsheets, to compiling list of the people and parties who worked on the game, to documentation relating the general business and distribution strategy of the product. Handling this fund let me grow my skills a lot in so many different areas while also opening my eyes to a future source of funding for projects of my own.

In addition to the CMF stuff, I am aiding the production accountant with her work. As of
lately I’ve been filing the past years worth of invoices, which resulted in the most paper cuts I
have ever received in my life. With this I am also updating expense sheets for the year, plugging
in credit card charges and employee payroll to help balance our books. This is giving me a lot of
insight into the cost of running a game business which is always helpful and again helping me
strengthen my skill set.

WAM Rig Deployed (Minority Media Inc.)

All in all from this internship experience I think I’ve learned a lot more about the different skill sets relating to the business development side of game production. I think I’ve also gained a lot watching the communication between the business team (which I am apart of) and the development team in how communication in a studio can hinder or really help a project. I’ve learned a completely new market place and how to target them as at Minority we aren’t aiming for consumers but other businesses. My communication and problem solving skills have really improved as I have been without a supervisor for most of my time. It has been a very interesting and really awesome experience, that I feel is really preparing me for a graduation date that is only getting closer. The biggest take away from this, was that I made some amazing connections. My supervisor and I became close friends before he left and I have been able to get to know the development and business teams both very well. My time at Minority Media Inc. has made me a better producer and a more well rounded professional… maybe even a more well rounded person.

The biggest challenge at working at Minority was getting certain team members to communicate regularly with myself, and that continues to be a challenge. That being said it has better prepared me for the future as poor communication is something that plagues almost all industries.