Friday, June 25, 2010

A Look Back and a New Beginning

Now that I have been writing here for six months, I think it’s a good time to look back and see the progression that I have made.

You see, sometimes to understand where you are , you have to see something from your past, and since we can’t physically do that, we need to find records of it. These records can be scrapbooks, yearbook, report cards, graded tests, old papers, or in my case—journals. For me my look back goes beyond the six months that I have kept this blog; it goes back to 2002-2004, when I wrote in my N Sync covered journal about the hardships I was facing at the whopping age of 13.

From looking back at this, I realized a lot—I still sign my journals the same way—However I must have thought I was cooler than, because I spelled “Libz” with a “z” as opposed to an s…something I didn’t even remember being called until my freshman year of college. Also learned that I write of similar things in my journal then and my private journal now—sadness.

But I didn’t and still don’t seem to write of goals and experiences like the way I do in my public blogs online. Often times, people tell me that I seem so chill and reserved—this may be because I often times don’t appear overly energetic, I don’t laugh out loud unless you are really funny, and I don’t ever show impatience or anger. Maybe I need to find that balance in both my journals and reality. Maybe I need to learn to live out the positives and negatives in both my private and my public spaces. Maybe this will help you...and me...get to know the true Libs better. Maybe it'll make it all a little bit more "real" as opposed to "reel." So from now on, Libs on the Reels is always going to be REAL.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A peek into what I do each week...

It's safe to say that this week has taken a lot out of me. Between the hit and run on Saturday, commuting to Bethlehem, back to New York City, and then back to Bethlehem again, and working in the heat the last three days I've found myself using all my spare time to sleep--and after this post maybe you'll understand why.

I thought that a good way to to help you visualize what I spend my weeks doing at Forensic Files could be done by posting a few videos that Medstar Television produced of building the reenactment sets. Unfortunately, there are no embedding codes, but I have posted a few links, and I hope you will take a look.

Creating The Set


Casting the Roles

It is important to understand that lighting, looking at the set, and doing everything to make sure it matches, doesn't mean just flicking on a switch, and letting the actors dive into the roles. It also involves a grip (lighting guy), a DP (camera guy), production assistants, the producer, and the director, all working together to make this recreation match accordingly. The pre-light for a shoot can take anywhere from 2-6 hours, and the shoots themselves can last anywhere from 3 hours to 18 hours, depending on what needs to be shot and how it needs to be shot, and other factors.

It's something that can take a lot out of you--and should, if it is all done right.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Restoration of Faith in the City

There is nothing quite like stepping off a subway train in one of your favorite areas of the city and hearing a live show going on. Monday morning restored my faith in New York City, just two days after a devastating blow to my Honda. As I got off the 6 train in Astor Place, all I could hear was a fun, loud, and talented band playing across from the cube that sits in the middle of Astor Place. I thought to myself, "Wow I just stumbled upon something fantastic." And it was, not only because it was right there in front of me, but because it was part of an all day event called: Make Music New York. The event takes place each year now on June 21st in order to celebrate the longest day of sunshine as well as the first day of summer.

The music and the people performing reminded me of just why I was in New York City--for opportunities, something that I had forgotten somewhere in my rides to and from the city recently. Some days I'd question why I was still in New York City at all....and days like this one, where there was free music and opportunities to meet new people were perfect answers.

Here is the Joe Iconis band:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hit and Runs are Meant for the Baseball Field not the City Streets

Today, I write in regard of the disappointment New York City bestowed upon me. For the first time, I was angered and saddened by the city all at once, and I found it hard to really describe what I was feeling inside. I guess I felt betrayal by the city which I treat so well: Park my car on the correct sides of the street, refuse to litter my banana peels each day on my walk, follow all traffic warnings, remember not to turn right on a redlight because it's against the law in New York City--that's right I treat the city with the utmost respect. But apparently that's not enough to bring good karma to your car all the time. Thank goodness the car was still driveable in daytime.

When I approached my car and saw that someone had hit it--and ran--I did the only things I could think to do. I cried. I called my dad. I cried. I called my mom. I cried. I texted friends cursing NY drivers. I called the cops. I called to cancel my Rhode Island trip. I cried. All I could think of after the whole process of the police report (in which the cops essentially laughed at me when they saw the damage and then sarcastically asked if I knew what tape was so that I could tape my car back together), was the Dane Cook piece where he talks about car accidents and how everyone wants to be part of the action when one happens. However, this was not the case after the hit and run that caused the front left panel, front left headlight, and front of my bumper to crack and pull away from the car. I could have only been so lucky.

Here is his piece:

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Break from the Action

I've gone on hiatus for a day. It is my first day off from work, seeing people, and being outside in what feels like weeks...I think it has been well deserved.

Here is what I will be watching on my hiatus:

The original video for Brand New Day by Joshua Radin (thought this was interesting to see in comparison to what I did)..I didn't watch this video until after I posted mine.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Unconventional Reel Life

Whoever thinks that the movie and television world is all about the glitz and the glam has never done work as a gaffer or a grip; has never known the troubles of make-up artistry or wardrobe supervisors; and has never known the feeling of cold days or humid afternoons on one’s feet for 12-18 hours at a time—followed by sleepless night and more cold and humid days. No, the world of film and TV is not always glamorous. It takes lots of work for low pay and lots of patience…That being said…in the end, when an episode of a show or a feature film, documentary, short, or indie is all done…it is safe to say it was all completely worth it. And that may be the only reason that I can explain my currently continued reel life as a commuting production assistant for the television series Forensic Files.

Most people do what makes sense, but I have always been a fan of the unconventional: play a sport for thirteen years—and go to college for the one that was played for seven; pick a college—but barely spend any time at that college; go to the bar, and never order a drink. See? Unconventional. So when I put money down on an apartment in Queens, New York, it was clear that the next few months of my life would be anything like the life of a normal college graduate living in the greatest city on this side of the Atlantic. You see, most people get a house or an apartment and commute into the city…well, I get an apartment and two days later choose a job where I will have to commute out of the city (Hey, it works out okay for one of my college professors). Shake your head in disbelief—but then hear me out.

Two months ago, I applied for an associate producer job with Forensic Files. After going through the interview process and a writing test, I wasn’t selected for the job. That’s when I decided to roll the dice, find a new apartment for the summer in Astoria—a part of Queens—and test my luck on finding an opportunity in the city. I thought, ‘Hey—there’s millions of opportunities here, why not?’

In the meantime, since I needed a job, and I was becoming a bit desperate, I took a job offer for August in which I will tour field hockey teams around Bermuda. There, they will play hockey, visit the sites, and have team bonding.

I didn’t give up after committing to this. I had several more interviews in New York, but my commitment in August really hindered many of these opportunities. Now you may shake your head in disbelief again, but you have to understand that when I make a commitment, I follow through with that commitment no matter what. The only time that I have broken a commitment in the last six months for a job, is when I learned of a family friend passing away moments before an event I was supposed to work began (If interested I wrote about that earlier in this blog). Commitment is one of my greatest values.

So while you ask yourselves, still, how I could pass up career opportunities, I encourage you to list more: In less than a week, I will be 22, and I have tentatively 75% of my life left, and I have the opportunity to travel outside the immediate U.S. for an entire month…That is a LIFE opportunity, and that, to me, is completely worth it. Ask yourself what you would choose—and if you think I am crazy—well then so be it, but at least I am committed.

So going back to things that are “worth it,” let’s dive into my backwards commute. Two days after I handed a check to my new roommates, I received an offer to be a production assistant for Forensic Files. It was not the AP job—in fact it was an offer to do things completely different from the AP job. As an AP I would have been researching crimes that took interesting forensics to solve, putting that into a pitch format and then passing it on to the next producers in line to approve before it was written by the next guy in line. As a PA, I would be running for wardrobe, putting together sets, helping out with props, and assisting on shoots—the gritty, unglamourous, far from glitz life. The PA job, may not be the writing and research that I had looked forward to, but it offers me flexibility for my August commitment and gives me an unconditional amount of experience in the career field that I hope to keep pursing. Does this make sense?

Maybe—Maybe not. But for me it does, and while it isn’t glitz and glam of Hollywood, it’s an experience that everyone who wants to purse a career in television or film should try to have, because it really puts you in the spotlight of how things are truly done.

After two weeks of long days on my feet, running around, and a backwards commute, I can say the unconventional reel life, at least for me, is starting to feel a bit conventional.