A Week of Firsts

The past week has been full of a lot of unexpected firsts. To begin with, I helped put together a cat 6 cable. We were using it for a connection to be able to monitor wireless microphones from a laptop. So, we took a cat 6 cable and cut off the end, and then uncoiled all of the colored wires inside and aligned them in the correct order.  After that, we fed the coiled wires into an RJ45 connector. This was kind of cool to actually physically put together something before we even got to the tech part of the project. It was a quick process, and the hardest part ended up being able to cut through the wires with the wire cutter we had. 

Another interesting thing I learned was about cameras and video switching. I learned all of the proper angles that things should be displayed from stage, and to be mindful to always keep the lower third of the image plain because the lyrics are always displayed there. Camera switching was a lot easier than I expected it to be. There’s one screen that shows you what you’re currently airing, and then another screen that has all of the other camera shots you can switch to. In order to switch, all you have to do is enter the number on the keyboard and press enter, and the image automatically fades to the new camera angle. I actually got to control this during a worship night we had on Tuesday. Even though it was really easy, I was still a little stressed I would somehow mess it up. Thankfully I didn’t!

The coolest part about this week happened out of nowhere. The band was rehearsing for the worship night, and our lighting guy noticed that some of the spotlights weren’t working correctly. They were on, but needed to be refocused manually. So, he had to go up in the catwalk to mess with them. He knows that I had been asking for weeks for a reason to go up there, and I finally had the chance! It was actually a lot scarier than I anticipated. The only way up is by a straight 90 degree ladder that just fades into pitch black darkness as you climb up. Literally, if the spotlights weren’t on to cast a slight shadow in the corner where the ladder was, I never would have found the ground of the catwalk. After gripping EXTREMELY tightly to each step, I finally made it up and had a pretty awesome view. We refocused the lights (which was literally just gently moving them) and I saw that this is also where we keep the projectors for our screens too. After watching rehearsal from a different perspective, we headed back down. It definitely took me awhile to hit real ground again, but when I finally did, I have to admit I was pretty relieved. Although it was a little scary climbing up and down the ladder, going up in the catwalk was totally an amazing experience. 

#Independent

So, I know it’s only been a few weeks but I think this past week has been my favorite part of my internship so far. On Friday, we had a kid’s event in the Adventureland Theater and I got to run sound all by myself. It was super simple though because we were basically just playing tracks and using two microphones, so it was pretty much just fader up/down and mute/unmute the whole time. However, on Tuesday I did get to help set up for a concert that we were having a few days later in the same room. We transformed the room from a simple stage set up to a stage ready for a full band. I helped extend the stage, put together a drum kit (for the first time ever, actually), set up mic stands and XLR cables for the mics, and watched one of my coworkers program lights for the set list.

The part that I really loved happened over the weekend. We had another middle school service, and this time the band was doing an acoustic set. Instead of a full band (vocals, keys, drums, acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar, and tracks), we just had vocals, two acoustic guitars, keys, ambient tracks, and a cajon. One of my supervisors is actually the worship leader for the middle school service, but he’s been out of commission lately because he fractured his knee. He’s been one of the main people teaching me the ins and outs of the Student Center, but this week he was out of town and left things in my hands. His girlfriend, Bri, also happens to be a worship leader, so she’s been filling in for him on stage. So this weekend she was basically my only lifeline if things got a little sticky from the sound end. We were both nervous because she’s still new to the church and isn’t entirely familiar with the room, and of course neither am I. Plus, there’s only so much she can help troubleshoot and guide me with once she’s onstage. Thankfully, we were both able to work together and everything went relatively smoothly. The only problem we encountered was that the acoustic guitar player’s guitar signal was super patchy and we couldn’t get it to cooperate. After some trouble shooting and testing different guitars, we realized it was his guitar and not the connection. Since it was an acoustic and relatively intimate set, we just let him play rhythm guitar unplugged alongside the band. 

I was really stressed when I first found out that I would be running sound essentially on my own, but to my surprise (and honestly, probably everyone else’s too), things went great! Bri was able to help me set up everything, and once we were up and running I was able to slowly but surely adjust everyone’s in-ear mix and find a good house mix that suited the acoustic vibe. I had been extremely nervous as soon as I found out I was on my own, but it turned out to be an awesome weekend!

I Finally See The Light

Okay so anyone who knows me knows that as far as the AVL world goes, I specialize in audio and only audio. Sure, I can do some graphic design and snap a few quality photographs like the next person, but as far as lighting….. it’s a no from me. I’ve never really paid attention to the lighting aspect of this business, because honestly I just never really cared. I guess I just didn’t think it was as important. This week, my entire mindset was catapulted out of the window. 

One of my coworkers is kind of a lighting genius, and he let me get my hands on Vista this week. He started out with showing me a lighting program he set up for the song “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman. I don’t say this often but, I was SHOOK. The theater lit up with bold reds and blues and it literally transformed the entire vibe and feeling of the theater. The flashing of the lights synced up with the colossal beats at the beginning of the song, and it was honestly so breathtaking. I’m pretty sure my jaw actually dropped while I was watching it. The crazy thing is, we were just in a giant empty room with a song playing! There were no people, nothing was going on onstage, it was just the song blasting and the lights doing their thing. I don’t think my coworker realized this when he was showing me, but this setting was exactly what I needed to realize the power and effect that lighting can have. That song is already catchy and commands attention, but synced up to a room full of colorful lights takes it to a whole new level. The layout of the theater definitely helps as well, because there’s a ton of light fixtures scattered between the ceiling and stage area. 

There’s an additional aspect of lighting that I really didn’t consider until this week: haze. We always use haze machines during on stage performances, but I never really gave it any thought. I just thought it made the room a little foggy and dramatic, and that was the point. To put it briefly: I was wrong. Yeah, haze adds a nice foggy effect but I never realized what it does for lighting. Without haze, most lights are just shining bright and pretty, but they don’t really travel. Adding a layer of haze in a room allows the lights to cut through it with colorful strobes and rays, and the haze just swirls in the spotlight. It. Is. Gorgeous. I can’t believe I never noticed that the haze is really what makes that all possible.

A couple days later I actually got to play around with Vista in the main auditorium, and honestly it’s really cool. It’s a super user friendly program and everything is visualized, which I love. I can clearly see which light is doing what, and when it’s doing it. I learned how to make patterns, gradients, and how to gradually turn on certain lights to make different effects. Later, I got to help set up the lighting for an event we were having, which needed to be different shades of green. I loved that I finally understood the method of how lighting works, and it’s definitely something I’ll pay more attention to in the future. 

Is This Thing On? Yes? No? Maybe?

I’ve got to say, this has been a wild past few days. I started my internship at Journey Christian Church as a tech intern, and it’s honestly been kind of amazing. There’s a large auditorium where the main services are, a kid’s theater called the Adventureland Theater, and a Student Center that all have their own unique tech set up. One of my supervisors gave me a quick run down on all of the different systems, and I definitely got a little overwhelmed at first. There’s so much to learn! We use Vista for our lighting, ProPresenter for all of our visual projections, and we have 2 DiGiCo sound boards and an Avid Venue Profile. 

This week I started in the Student Center. The middle schoolers were having their own weekend service and I was able to help run sound for the band. I got familiarized with the DiGiCo board (which is awesome, by the way) and learned a lot of the basic set up routine for the room. I set up mic stands, learned how to check and change batteries in the microphones and packs, and learned how to mix everyone’s in-ears. During rehearsal, I got to experiment with the board a little bit and learned how to EQ each channel and eventually find a good mix that suited the room. I definitely had a few hiccups and missed some cues with making sure everyone’s mic was on and unmuted, but I think for my first try it went well. My favorite part was learning to adjust everyone’s in-ear mix, and also learning how to solo each channel in my own headphones to be able to hear a specific instrument. 

During the actual service I ran the TelePrompter, which displayed all of the lyrics and chords for the band to follow along to on a tv against the back wall. This was done through ProPresenter, and it’s definitely one the easier features of the program. This required pretty much no training, as it’s just pressing left and right arrows to advance to the next or previous slide. The only hard part about this was making sure I was following along with the band and not getting distracted. Interestingly enough, it’s harder than it sounds! 

For my first week, I think things went pretty well. I get along well with everyone on the team and I really like what I’m doing so far. I’ve learned so much already and already feel so much more comfortable with a lot of the equipment than I did when I first walked in. I’m excited for what’s to come!

That’s a Wrap!

Well, this officially marks my last blog post. All my pictures have been sorted through and uploaded. All my social media posts have blown away in the 24 hour limit Instagram has imposed. All my videos have been watched countless times. It’s honestly so strange having to finish everything and move on; I still feel like I have a game to go, despite being back at home and preparing for senior year!

I already miss it, and it’s made me really consider going into sports media as a profession. If I were getting paid to do what I was doing at the home games? Sign me up please. There were definitely professional photographs and hired multimedia staff members. Though it would only last a summer, I feel like that would be quite the fun and interesting profession to get while attempting to figure out a more solid career…Consider me intrigued!

Also, I think this internship has really made me appreciate my major more. There’s just so much that can be done in the Digital Arts world, so many professions that pop up all over the place. Companies these days are seemingly always in need of social media upkeep, graphics, videos, pictures…A digital presence in this ever-growing technological world. So it’s kind of more comforting to know that there are a lot of different opportunities out there. I guess the question now is which one to take after college is complete! Maybe I’ll even try another internship in the fall or spring to explore even more.

Until next time, Word Press/Crea 397!

Weeeee Are the Champions

So good news and bad news. The bad news is, I’m back home and my internship has nearly wrapped up. But the good news is, the team I was predominantly working for won the League Championship! I honestly saw it coming from a mile away, because my home team had the most wins out of all the teams in the League. And we were the top of our division during both halves of the season. So yeah, not super surprised there, but really happy that the guys made it all the way through!

It was kind of a bittersweet goodbye. It’s weird to not be following them anymore, and to not be hanging out in Morehead with the other staff and fans. But the owner of the stadium and my supervisor were both very pleased with my work, and offered to stay in touch and act as references for my future endeavors! The stadium owner also happens to know people from Stetson and Full Sail surprisingly, so he offered to open a few doors for me if I wanted! Little birdy told me there’s quite a large green screen at Full Sail, so that’s a very enticing offer…

I suppose my focus now is finalizing everything, ie making sure all my pictures are edited and uploaded, maybe making a wrap up video for the team, etc. And of course, I need to work on finalizing my portfolio to turn in! I’ve thankfully got all my pictures and what not organized; it’s just a matter of sorting through them a bit better I suppose.

Regardless, it’s going to be very bizarre when all of this is said and done. Next week will be very strange!

Final Blog Post

Hello, everyone! Summer is coming to an end and my internship is over, so this will be my final blog post. I have much to share about what I have been doing the past couple weeks and how much I’ve learned from this internship.

The past couple weeks have been spent making the finishing touches to my digital Disney guide, and half of this time was spent at Walt Disney World. My friends invited me down for a trip and I took the opportunity to take photos for the guide. I needed photos of Toy Story Land, a water park, and a snack, which I have provided in the final product. I also added a few graphic designs, cleaned up a few images with Photoshop (increasing the lighting and saturation, for example, and for the cover photo I used the blur tool to remove the edges of the fish eye lens that was used to take the photo) and rearranged some of the photos and wording at the request of my boss. You will find the guide attached as a PDF. When my boss comes back from vacation, she will format the guide as a digital flip book and upload it to Chesapeake Family’s website.

I’ve definitely learned a lot during this internship, such as what its like to have a job. This internship was like an actual “job,” which I’d never had before, and it’s prepared me for when I will officially enter the workforce. I learned new digital techniques (learning how to use InDesign and some new Photoshop and Illustrator techniques), and the internship has made me think about what I would like to do for my digital arts career. I enjoyed all the art that I created, but I think my favorite part was going outside and doing photography because I don’t like staying inside a cubicle for long periods of time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed using the Adobe software, but I love to explore the outside and to be interactive, and I want to make sure that I will be able to do that in whatever career I end up doing later in life.

Well, here’s the digital guide, and a few ads I made that appear on the magazine’s social media. I hope you all enjoyed your summer and are looking forward to the new school year!

disney bucket list final product

It Didn’t Listen

How our field hasn’t completely washed away yet is beyond me. We’ve been having to cancel games left and right; we only got in two of the five we were supposed to have this week! But hey, on the bright side, at least we got to play a little bit before the playoffs.

The games we did get to play were business as usual. My supervisor approved the “vertical video border” idea I came up with, and so I got to send a few different ones to her earlier this week! I actually got to meet her in person for the first time as well, along with a few other staff members from the CPL. She let me know that I’ve been doing a great job all season, which was very reassuring to hear. Getting that sweet sweet validation of a job well done is pretty important!

I also got to step in as the “official” photographer at tonight’s Double Header game. I was taking pictures of the home team and their host families for a little Host Family Appreciation event, and the team’s photographer stepped back and let me fully take the reins. So it looks like my work is going to be featured on the Marlins’ social media and perhaps even the League’s pages as well! Though I was finally reassured by my supervisor that all my work will eventually end up on the League’s website, it’ll be nice to see something go up much sooner.

Now all that’s left are the playoffs, and unfortunately having to wind down/say goodbye to this fun experience…

Week 9

Since my laptop is being repaired, last week’s work mostly consisted of writing and photography. I went around Annapolis and took some pictures, and I wrote an article about the student page program that the Maryland General Assembly does every legislative season, since summer will be over soon and students going back to school will be looking for productive programs to do. It’s when high school seniors take two weeks off school to help delegates and senators at the State House.

My boss and I talked about whether my cover for the digital Disney guide should be an illustration or a photo, and she wants something that will grab the reader’s attention, so I’m leaning more towards using an artsy photo that will immediately share the magic of Disney with readers. I’ve been looking through my photos from past Disney trips and I think I found one, though I will take some on my upcoming Disney trip before deciding on a photo to use.

Even though my laptop is being repaired (it will return early next week), I did do a little bit of work on the digital Disney guide. I used another laptop from work on Thursday to download new fonts from free font websites to use for the guide’s title, which I want to look whimsical. My boss and I weren’t too impressed with the fonts already provided on Adobe, so we are trying some new ones.

This week I am on vacation in North Carolina with my family and I’ve been enjoying the relaxation, but I will be back to work next week. The first half of the week will be spent in Annapolis and the second half will be spent at Disney.

Rain Rain Go Away…

Well, unfortunately there’s not much to report on this week thanks to the wonderful weather North Carolina’s been having…We’ve gotten numerous days of heavy rain in a row, which ended up cancelling the game we were supposed to have with our big rival on Friday. We’ve gotten so much rain in fact, that I wouldn’t be surprised if our game this Friday gets cancelled as well! Our field doesn’t take well to lots of water unfortunately. I feel like you could go out there and spray the grass with a Windex bottle, and the entire field would flood. We’re definitely in need of a bigger tarp…

I’m just hoping the field and weather stay dry enough for the upcoming week. There are pretty much back to back games, since it’s the last opportunity to play before the playoffs start on the 5th. And unfortunately, because it’s right before the playoffs, any games that get cancelled won’t be rescheduled. So fingers crossed for sunnier skies!

With such a long break in between games though, I’m using this week to focus on organizing my portfolio and finding my best shots from the games. I also came up with a graphic that I hope the League will be able to utilize in the future. Multimedia Interns like myself are in charge of taking videos of the players, fans, etc during the home games. We’re expected to film videos horizontally, but sometimes, we get caught in the moment/habits and film vertically! This leaves two large black bars on either side of the video when the footage is used in the standard aspect ratio.

So then! I’m hoping to fix that problem by creating a graphic that can be overlaid over the video, consequently turning the black bars into a baseball or league-themed graphic. It’ll take some playing around with for sure, but I’m hoping it’ll allow for including vertical videos into the League recaps; it’ll definitely be more aesthetically pleasing if I can get it to work!