Brody Bernheisel can tell you how to get to Sesame Street.
Encouraged by telecommunications professor Joseph “Dr. Joe” Misiewicz, Bernheisel moved to New York City shortly after his graduation in 2010 and interned at Sesame Workshop. Some freelance gigs and a few months later, the telecommunications major landed a job as a digital media production assistant at Sesame.
“I’m so happy, so fortunate to be here,” he says.
He and four other assistants support a team of producers who manage the website and create videos sold on such sites as Amazon, iTunes, and NetFlix. Bernheisel may be asked to gather video clips, provide editing, or work with the legal department on copyright issues.
“It’s a multifaceted job,” he says. “I have access to every segment Sesame has ever produced. It’s pretty awesome.”
That’s every segment of a show that has entertained generations of preschoolers, including Bernheisel’s mother, since 1968, and reaches audiences through various media all the way to Bangladesh, South Africa, Egypt, and India. Bernheisel’s favorite segment is the classic “C is for Cookie.”
Bernheisel aspires to be a producer for Sesame Street or The Electric Company by 2013 and to start his own production company by 2021. He has continued to do freelance work, including photography.
Bernheisel says his experience with Ball State’s Digital Corps gave him an advantage. He produced two original scores for Apple promotional videos, taught media workshops in Final Cut Studio 3 and Adobe CS4, and supervised special effects for Free Wall, an HD movie created by an immersive learning class.
“I was thrown into professional situations my freshman year of college, working with clients, and I think that really set me apart,” he says.
His Ball State experience and mentorship from professors gave him confidence to compete with alumni of prestigious programs such as New York University, the School of Visual Arts, and the University of Southern California. Ball State also provided him access to state-of-the-art equipment, newer than some he had seen at professional studios. But there is more to great storytelling than great technology, he says.
“That was something I learned at Ball State,” he says. “You can’t put something out if you don’t feel good about it. That was drilled into me by every professor I had, and I think that made a difference. I have to think what’s the best—not for me but for the viewer—what’s the best content I can provide so someone can understand the message we are trying to convey?”