Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pre-Production Nerves, Production Excitement, Post-Production Happiness

When I was younger, I swore I would never go to school in New York and that I would never live in New York. Now, I am technically doing both. At the moment, I am currently enrolled in my last semester at the University of Rhode Island, but spending it in New York City earning credit for an internship with the NYC Media Group by aiding them on every avenue of production.

Strolling to the subway stop on my first day of the internship was by far one of the most nervous experiences of my life. I was asking myself questions that I would never ask myself on the way to my first day of classes. "Should I stop for a coffee?" or "Should I pick up an apple now for lunch?" "What if my supervisor hates me" "What if I make a terrible mistake on the first day of my internship" "What if they've decided that I am just not what they were looking for?" The thirty minute subway ride only seemed to be getting longer as I fidgeted through my thoughts.

By the time my train reached my stop, I had realized that I should pass on the coffee and just head straight into the office. As I would later learn, going through the security at the front and catching an elevator to the top floor of my building can be a timely process-I must always schedule 5 extra minutes into my plans.

I headed up to the tower, and when I walked in all my nerves were erased with the arrival of my supervisor who welcomed me with huge smile and words of excitement that I was joining them. It was in that moment, I knew that the NYC Media Group internship was the perfect choice for my final semester at URI. My supervisor took me to meet my co-workers who were all just as welcoming as she was. I was told that the office hadn't had an intern in a month so every person was truly happy to have me on board to pick up projects and get stuff done.

After that, the rest of the day seemed to fly, as I sat in on a production meeting and transcribed interviews for an upcoming show that our group is producing focused on the unemployed world of New York City.

During this first day, I also learned how to run a teleprompter, something that will be useful to me for the rest of the semester as I will be the one to run the teleprompter for the show "City Scoop" and other various shoots that the station will do.

After transcribing for a few hours, I packed up my things and headed out for the night. It would be another two days before I returned, as Wednesday is an off-day. I used that day to really go exploring, and was lucky enough to look on as NBC filmed a scene for their popular show Law and Order SVU. I got a glimpse of Mariska Hargitay and Kathy Griffin, but spent a majority of the time chatting it up with a production assistant and a grip about where to look for side jobs and how to really get myself involved if it's absolutely what I want to do. This was more rewarding than actually seeing my favorite fictional show on television be filmed right in front of me.

The following day I caught the train down to our Brooklyn studio to work the teleprompter, and there I was introduced to our "City Scoop" make-up artist, who is originally from Michigan but came to NYC to do make-up artistry. Next, I met our audio artist and our wardrobe assistant. And of course, I met our two hosts, Lauren Scala and Meena Dimian, who are absolutely fun to chat with and equally as fun to work with while they film their segments for "City Scoop." I was just glad I didn't mess up the teleprompter!

After we finished up "City Scoop," a few of us headed back to the studio and I received a new project which was to write 7 second promo lead-ins for the next two weeks worth of shows. You know those promos you hear before an episode of SVU? Like: "And at 8:00 PM watch as Elliot Stabler fights off another child molester on SVU." My project was to do that for about 15-20 shows, a project I would have to finish up the following day-Friday.

Friday, I arrived to our Manhattan office--this time coffee in hand, and immediately got back to work on my promo project, and then headed down to finish up some transcriptions. Mid-transcribing, my supervisor and one of the producers came in and told me that they needed me to go on location for a shoot, so I caught a train to mid-town and watched the entire process of a television scene take place--even more rewarding than looking on at the set of SVU.

Following the shoot, I went back downtown, and I sat in on our production meeting for the new jobs show, that I previously mentioned. I can't lie, some things that they were saying were over my head, but I will learn in time. I received a new project for next week and was also set up with a schedule for days I have to head to the Brooklyn studio for our new show's shoots. It's going to be a busy semester, but I would be lying if I said it wasn't worth it.

The lovely Mariska Hargitay

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