Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's all about the experience(s)

When I first came to New York City, it was all about the glorious idea of this awesome internship, and needless to say, the internship is beyond awesome thus far. But I think part of coming to New York City for the internship involves much more than just the internship itself, but all the other avenues that I get to explore and experience while in the city. This week I got to visit new places, converse with strangers, and learn things that I hadn’t even really thought about before, and I think that is what truly makes the overall experience of the internship as rewarding as it is.

One of my tasks since coming here has been to visit as many television show tapings as possible, try to get experience shadowing at talk shows and late night shows, and become well-accustomed to the production world. I took a break from that this week. That, of course, may have been hindered partially because I found myself bed-ridden Wednesday due to either the 24 hour bug or food poisoning. Either way, my break from the TV world, this weekend, was a solid one.

Saturday, one of our freelance producers, who recently graduated from NYU’s grad program, had a showing of the documentary that she worked on through out grad school. Her documentary followed guns in churches, in Kentucky. She examined the differences that people in the south feel towards guns as opposed to the way people in New England or the tri-state area really think about guns. The overall idea was excellent and the way that she went about it in a lighter (not so dark) mood, really helped to get the story of these people in the church in Kentucky across. But in going to the showing, I not only got to view my producer’s documentary, I also got to view many other student documentaries including one on recycling in NYC, one on a home-schooled family in Massachusetts, one on a type-2 diabetic mother, and two which hit even more larger topics such as illegal immigrants who attend public school but then find troubles after and families who take in elderly war veterans and try to help them to recover. Each of these films offered me something that I didn’t know before. Whether it was that broken glass that gets recycled becomes part of our roads or that illegal immigrants are working in accordance to get a bill passed called DREAM—I was able to take something and care a little bit more deeply about it, something that my documentary teacher at URI had explained is the purpose of making documentary.

In addition to the documentary showing, I also visited the Tim Burton exhibit this weekend, where I saw some of Burton’s earliest drawings and writings. All I could think as I looked through his drawings was “wow what a hobby.” Some of his earliest works represented pictures that I recognized from the big screen—and of course others didn’t but were still rather amusing.

The best part was the life size statue of Edward Scissorhands, which serves, with no doubt in my mind, to be his best film. The work that had to go into that film and how beautiful it turned out is absolutely beyond me, and from the sketches I saw, it seemed as though it was a project he did not want to get wrong—and he didn’t.

After this weekend, I am sure that I will take advantage of many more free showings like that at NYU, and will probably take even more advantage of museum special exhibits…. Who knows what sorts of ideas may pop up for my own greatness.

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