Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Where Did the Summer Go?

 NYC Time Warner Offices 
With less than a month left in my internship at The Next List I have come to the point when I begin to ask myself, “Where did the summer go?” It happens every year like clockwork. We lament the summer’s slow beginnings and then suddenly the summer slips through our fingers like so many grains of sand on the overcrowded beaches.
I feel like I just started at CNN and at the same time like I have been here forever because (most of the time) I actually know what I am doing. I have a gotten into a routine and I am used to things like waking up (and going to sleep) early; things that were once foreign to me. My daily tasks as an intern vary depending on the day, what is going on with the show, and who needs help. I jump around between the show's numerous producers just trying to make all their lives easier and assist with anything that needs to get done. I also work closely with the production assistant (PA) on social media and increasing the show's following. 
 As an intern, one of my main jobs is to research information related to the person we are profiling for the show that week or just cool science/technology/entrepreneurial based things going on in current events all to share through our twitter feed. Scouring the web has become a talent of mine and I enjoy finding articles I think are noteworthy and entertaining. There are so many people doing interesting and innovative things in the world and while we cannot profile them all on our show, we can share the love through social media. I use the articles I find to compose many of the show’s tweets for the week. I like writing the tweets because it gives me practice in trying to see what works (and does not) in terms of attracting attention from followers.
Another task I have become skilled at is logging tape- which is a fancy way of saying transcribing interviews. This is a non-glamorous and intern designated task. However, over the past few days of transcribing I have gotten increasingly better and much faster at typing. Also, I find the people we profile and their subsequent interviews for The Next List fascinating. While the task of logging tape is tedious at times, I see this as a way to be involved in every aspect of producing an episode. I like listening to the interviews and then seeing what each producer chooses to include in the final episode. In some cases, they have even asked my opinion and told me to highlight sections I find interesting or important while transcribing.
Not the real CNN building, but a sign
(I was confused on my first day)
Also, in my down time, I have been watching the editors put together the episodes using Final Cut Pro. If you have read any of my blog, you know the love/hate relationship I have with FCP, but these guys (and gal) are all equally amazing. I love seeing each editor’s different style and just watching them work. Scenes that look good to me they will tweak a dozen times until it is just right. I admire their technical skills, but most of all I am in awe of their patience. Our editors will work tirelessly with the producer to make sure the episode is perfect before it airs. Everything from the image on the screen to the music (which I have had a hand in selecting for certain parts) is examined. I find that watching the editing process is one of the most intriguing parts of my job because it really is where everything comes together.
Even though I am excited to start my senior year of college, I plan on enjoying my last few weeks at CNN. Next week the other intern and I are going to shoot and edit our own digital short for the website (more details to follow). I am also working on an intern project that I have been assigned with a group of six others where we are free to do propose anything we can come up with to improve CNN.  I suddenly feel like there is so much to do and so little time. I also have a whole list of things I want to accomplish outside of work such as going to the MoMA, seeing one of the many outdoor movies around the city, and going to see Into the Woods in Central Park. I plan on making the most of this entire experience because who knows when I will get a chance like this again?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Have My Reasons

I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be seeing The Dark Knight Rises at midnight along with everyone else tonight. And by "come to terms" I really mean "bitterly accepted my fate while secretly loathing everyone watching the finale of what may be one of the best 'superhero' trilogies of all time." (Superhero is quotes because I feel that Nolan's films are so much more, but that is a post for another time.)
There is no real reason why I am missing the movie; I have work in the morning, but not until 10. I am living in New York City which probably has as many movie theaters as Chinese restaurants so there are plenty to choose from. I am an avid fan of Chris Nolan (as I’ve mentioned before he is my 2nd favorite director behind only David Fincher). So what seems to be the problem? I guess the issue is just the company.
I had originally planned on seeing TDKR with my dad. When we went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in IMAX we saw the movie in the afternoon and then went out to eat at the restaurant across from the theater afterwards. We both shared ribs and raved about the movie while I filled him in on the more intricate details of J.K. Rowling’s novels. It was one of the best movie going experiences I have had and we talked about doing the same with this film. But work schedules conflicted and now I am left with no plans except that I will see the film before the weekend is over and sooner rather than later.
My dad and I at DH 7.2. I look icky because I pulled an all nighter in my excitement 
I have many options. Since my dad backed out I could see it with a number of friends scattered throughout the city or even go alone (It would be easier to find a seat). But to me, the experience of seeing a movie for the first time is as important as the film itself. No matter how many times you will watch the movie once it comes out on DVD or Netflix, you can only see a movie for the first time once. Nothing can replace the experience of sitting in a darkened theater with rising anticipation as each preview plays and you get closer to the feature presentation or the almost anxious way your stomach clenches itself as the movie begins with the wonder of "will this movie be everything I hoped?"
Me & my friends at the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows 7.1
To me, going to the movies by myself would be the epitome of loneliness. Sure, I could find a theater and go at midnight or even catch a 6 am showing before work. However, there would be no one next to me to turn to and say, “ooh that movie looks awesome” during every trailer or to look at the minute credits begin to role with either disappointment or awe. These moments many not seem like much, but they can make or break a movie going experience.
Movies are all about the people you share them with. There is just something different about sitting next to your best friend at a movie and a total stranger. It is the reason films like Harry Potter have meant so much to me. Part of it is because of the film itself, but the main reason I have such fond memories is because I have enjoyed going in costume with a group of friends and raving about/bashing the films during the car ride home.
Sure, many could argue that with twitter and other forms of social media, one is never really alone. After a movie, send one tweet and thousands of people have the ability to respond and create a conversation.  Also, midnight showings are usually packed with people all as excited as you to see the film. That is just not good enough for me.
So for now I will wait. I will avoid twitter and Facebook and newsstands. I will try not to be too bitter at anyone for seeing the movie at midnight. I will see the movie at the earliest possible time Friday or Saturday surrounded by people I love because that is what is important to me. I love movies because I see them as a way to connect people and create common experiences and conversation. More than the cinematography or special effects, that is what draws me to films.