Kaden Hildreth just graduated from Arizona State University, earning a degree in digital culture with a concentration in film, and has already landed their dream job working at Achievement Hunter as a freelance post-production editor.
Hildreth recently interned at Achievement Hunter, the American video gaming division of the popular entertainment production company Rooster Teeth Productions, and focuses on a mixture of fun gameplay videos, as well as live-action videos for comedy and entertainment.
During their time at Achievement Hunter, Hildreth worked on a variety of projects including video editing, thumbnail designs, social media and even cameoed in a video or two.
We spoke with Hildreth more on their experiences with Achievement Hunter and what their future after graduation will look like.
Question: You mentioned that you swapped over to the digital culture major. What was your previous major and why did you make the switch to the School of Arts, Media and Engineering?
Answer: I definitely was one of those people who swapped majors many times before figuring out what they wanted to do. I went from elementary education to English to journalism at a different university beforehand. At some point, I realized that the reason I hadn’t pursued the film industry was because I was worried I couldn’t succeed and decided to take the leap when I transferred to ASU. I liked the digital culture major specifically because there’s such a variety of skills and abilities that you learn that really grabbed my attention, which is why I ended up sticking with this major.
Q: Were there any digital culture/ASU courses you feel helped prepare you for this internship?
A: I would suggest Improvising Cyborgs with Professor Lauren Hayes. I feel that while this class wasn’t necessarily about what I ended up doing in my career, I was constantly encouraged to try out new things, and I best learned how to collaborate and adapt with my classmates, which was both incredibly fun and interesting as well as useful in my field.
Q: What are some of your inspirations and what made you decide to pursue post-production?
A: I grew up watching a lot of anime and "Let’s Plays," which are online videos of gameplay with commentary, and decided early on that I wanted to be a creative in some vicinity. I tried out a lot of different ways – writing, game design and social media management especially – but found that I loved video editing the most because it allows me to help craft a story, just behind the scenes.
Q: Describe a day at Achievement Hunter. What were your duties and responsibilities? What are some memorable moments and takeaways from your internship?
A: During my time as an intern at Achievement Hunter, I helped out the whole post team with an assortment of tasks. I did a mixture of video editing, creating thumbnails and descriptions, logging important information, helping out with social and community management and just being an overall assistant to the team. We collaborated every day with a variety of meetings, and even remotely, there was a lot of teamwork throughout the company.
One of my favorite moments was during RTX, which is a big convention that Rooster Teeth holds every year for its community, where we ended up having our own post-team panel and “hacked into” the convention to host it. It was a ton of fun, and I loved being able to be a part of streams with our team.
Q: For other students pursuing film and internships like this, what advice would you give them?
A: This is such a cliche, but I would suggest just trying out different things. Early on in my education, I found I didn’t have time to group up with people outside of school to make films, so I started making fun YouTube videos myself with a webcam and gameplay capture, which is what I built my portfolio off of. I also would always suggest taking those chances that you might think you can’t achieve, because as scary as it can be to risk being rejected, great opportunities come from that.