A teenager is standing in front of the Adam Opel Building in Rüsselsheim, Germany. The GM Design Center is visible in the background. The young man is visibly relaxed as he looks into the camera. In one hand, he’s holding a microphone, and in the other, a notepad. “Hello, my name is Noé, I’m 14,” he says, and introduces himself as an intern in the Opel Communications Department. This is the start of a roughly three-and-a-half-minute video clip.
The video has been viewed about 12,000 times.
Noé tells viewers that the Communications team is currently very busy due to the market launch of the Insignia Grand Sport. He followed around the team filming the ‘Design Walk Around’ on the new flagship so that he could create a making-of covering the hard work that went into that video, working together with Opel Head Designer Mark Adams. The making-of features breezy music, superimposed keywords, and time-lapse footage of the filming process, topped off with images from the production halls. Noé pops up again and again, acting as a reporter and providing information. The special thing about his film: The student produced it himself within four days.
“Okay, go ahead and do it”
The 14-year-old not only appears in front of the camera as a reporter, but also served as the clip’s director, sound technician, and editor. “When Noé started with us, it quickly became clear that he wanted more – and was able to do more – than most other student interns his age,” said Malina Dragu, Assistant Manager of the Social Media Content Team at Opel.
He wasn’t content with simply observing the working world and helping out a little bit. “Noé quickly got a sense of daily activities here and promptly came up with the idea of making his own film. We thought: ‘Okay, go ahead and do it.’” Dragu found the end result “impressive in all regards.”
Talent, experience, and odds and ends
For the student intern, the most challenging part of the project wasn’t planning or technology – looking back, he says: “At the beginning I was pretty shy about approaching the adults.” Dozens of people were involved: Mark Adams, a PR crew, and the film team. “Everyone seemed so busy, and then I would come up with my questions, requests, and the camera. But despite their workload they were all laidback, so I quickly felt comfortable and was able to get started.”
The fact that Noé’s film is so professional doubtlessly had to do with his talent. It’s also partly due to his impressive media experience: The French 14-year-old from Colmar in Alsace has been keeping an online journal, ‘Brik@Brak’, (‘odds and ends’) in his free time for the past two years, covering literature, science, and music. “Social media and video journalism are my thing,” says Noé.
Getting to drive an Opel at 16
He’s also an Opel fan. “I practically grew up in a Meriva, and I like the brand,” he reports. He’s now learned that “the people behind it are great, too. I just think it’s dumb that I can’t test out the cars that they make yet.” Noé wants to make up for that in just under two years; in France, young people are allowed to get behind the wheel starting at age 16, after passing a theoretical test and putting in 21 hours on the road.