A University of Arizona student interns with VDC in San Francisco

Zayna Altoubal is a student born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, attending the University of Arizona as a film and television production major and planning on graduating in 2020. She seeks to become a director and actor.

Interning at VDC

by Zayna Altoubal

I was able to spend this past week in San Francisco working with the Veteran Documentary Corps, an organization dedicated to telling the real, sometimes unexpected stories of veterans and their families. Although their workspace is small and humble, I could immediately see that this team had enormous potential, with plans to expand their repertoire of films this year, and continue the growth of the organization through festivals and production of feature films.

My job was to help edit a promotional video for the VDC’s piece on Noble Sissle and his son. In the past, I have mostly worked on editing fiction pieces, music videos, and commercials. Documentary editing is a much more tedious process. First the interviews have to be transcribed. From there, you can piece together a concise account of whatever the subject is describing. The most difficult thing is to remove the less elegant parts of their speech, while still remaining true to the message that each subject wants to convey. Although doc editing can be frustrating and time consuming, I have realised this week that it can also be the most rewarding.


This experience has made me reconsider my thoughts about going into the documentary field. Throughout school, my goal has been mainly to work on fiction films, but I think now, I might look into getting involved in documentary film. It’s an important outlet that has the ability to both entertain, and teach a broad audience. I look forward to seeing more of VDC’s content, and watching the organization grow, hopefully working with them again in the future.


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