This blog period has been full of new experiences. Due to the impending conclusion of this internship, the race to complete all given tasks combined with honing in on what I find to be most interesting has been proving to be a challenge.
I shadowed producer Bob Bennet and learned that producing a newscast is hugely time-consuming, but ultimately rewarding (so long as the show goes according to plan). Filling in the “stack” in iNEWS, creating accurate, but aesthetically-pleasing and logical maps, ordering graphics and writing scripts are all pieces in an enormous, intricate puzzle that must be solved daily. Hours and hours of work must be put into each daily show, but in the end, it’s a team effort that utilizes all of the individuals in the control room as well as the studio. Things often go awry, though, which is why I can see how being a producer in the control room during his or her show can be quite intense(ly stressful).
Aside from shadowing Bob, I took time during this period to spend more time in the newsroom. I participated in manning the assignment desk where I pored over Virginia court hearing dates and proceeded to insert them into various days’ budgets. I answered the phone a couple times to talk/listen to interested/interesting viewers. I was able to kill two birds with a single stone that day by shadowing an editor, Ben. I was able to learn about how to adequately edit video according to producers’ visions. It was somewhat staggering at times to think about how much footage had to be scrubbed, cut and matched each and every day for simple SOTs and VOs. I was also able to learn about how AVID is often the punchline for many jokes among editors.
Perhaps the most interesting experience during this period was shadowing reporter Jason Marks. We investigated what might be the first known instance of a cockfighting operation in Virginia Beach. After briefly stopping by the courthouse, we proceeded to one of the suspects’ house. For lack of a better term, it was sketchy (to say the least). It was secluded off of a major street, the house itself was hardly visible through dense trees and foliage. We attempted to gather footage from the vantage of the public sidewalk, but it was deemed inadequate from that angle. So, we ventured forth onto what may have been private property. When asked if he still felt the fear of potential danger, Jason answered, “I’m not going to lie to you. Yes.” Nobody answered the door for an interview, but we were able to gather some fascinating footage there of backyard chicken cages anyway. It was exciting. Some more stops throughout the day to potential points of interest and one interview with VB Animal Control later and we had enough for two packages and two live shots for the evening newscast.
Note: Reporters put themselves into harrowing situations like this regularly. An interesting notion to ponder.
The next interesting day I had was intern Sales day. We got to peer into the sales department and understand what they do for WAVY and the WAVY brand. It was eye-opening. WAVY news and the Hampton Roads Show are fantastic products that the sales department are able to leverage in-order to gain sponsors and partners. Being able to be a “fly on the wall” during one of the meetings between Jason and Jennifer in dealing with a “high-maintenance” client was extremely intriguing. Filling in live-logs according to client demands is yet another puzzle that has to be dealt with either on a daily or weekly basis.
In other developments, my intern project is currently underway and nearing completion. Danielle and I are collaborating on producing and directing a fictional segment for the Hampton Roads Show, dubbed the “Entertainment Express” (with the help of Sydney and Madison). Coding for the show has been completed, so now just the actual recording and punching of the show remain. I hope it all runs smoothly on Tuesday.
There are only a few weeks left in this internship, but there is absolutely no notion of slowing down now.