During this week of my internship my schedule got switched around a little bit. Instead of working the day half in master control and half on production I am now learning audio in the morning for two hours and the rest of the day in master control. The reason is so I can get more hands on experience. In the mornings I am finally in the control room instead of being on the floor, which is nice. I am working with Kyle who is teaching me the ins and outs of the sound board. It is a very complex machine with many different sources coming in going to different groups. The main things I have learned so far though is the process of setting the board up at the beginning of the shift, checking batteries, mixing anchors during the show, and proper breakdown after the show. These are the main processes but next week I hope to dive into sound effects and mixing packages. Over in master control I have been working on prepping more complex shows are running acquisition for the nightly news cast. The shows I have been prepping are more complex because each of them require that you know specific fee spots and commercials to barter. Luckily there is a reference sheet but to help my speed I am working on memorizing it. Running acquisition has been great as well since I am actually shading live shows and calling in microwave trucks that are used for the shows as well. I have been struggling with learning the router used for calling in shots but hopefully after a few more weeks I will have it down. Overall, this new schedule has been getting me more hands on work which has helped me learn even more.
This week of my internship was cut short due to illness. I eat out at some bad chinese restaurant and ended up with some kind of food poisoning. Anyways, I did go into WESH on Thursday and worked both in engineering and on production. While I was in engineering my boss Jim called me to his office and told me I was doing a great job prepping shows that he was now going to let me prep longer shows. So, part of today I spent shadowing acquisition and they also let me call in the live shots and shade the noon news casts. I have shaded cameras before while working for Stetson Broadcasting Productions but this system was different and took some adjusting. The other half I spent prepping shows such as Glee and Whacked Out Sports. These shows were very similar to the shows I was editing before except they have more segments, so its very important that you separate things correctly. On the production side, I finished shadowing floor directing and took some extra notes on tasks that need to be done before and after each newscast. On another note, next week they are changing the distribution of my time between production and engineering. I will now start on production and shadow the noon newscast for two hours then the rest of the time I will be on engineering. The engineering department has taken a liking to me and has more hands on work for me. Overall, even though this was a short week, it seems that I have made some progression.
This week at my internship we spent a lot of time just making some progress on the upcoming deadline on the folder design for the local print shop. The client came back with a few changes and I’ve spent the last few hours trying to finalize this design and get it sent out to print. In addition to that, Lynne set aside some time for us to talk about the creative direction of my senior project . She found it important to discuss and wanted to give me some guidance. I needed some help trying to conceptualize the new images that I would be creating and we worked on coming up with a cohesive theme that could fit with all the images and across the five different posters. In addition to that, she made a suggestion regarding the pledge and giveaways. She mentioned that sometimes incentives help to nudge behavior and get people excited because they see that there’s something in it for them. Instead of the envelope challenge we discussed an idea called the “phone pouch” with a tag attached to the side that challenges whoever takes a free pouch can complete the challenge. It is more permanent then an envelope and can be reused. This can serve as a reminder to keep it safe when you’re behind the wheel. I really appreciate Lynne’s suggestions and I can definitely see myself incorporating this new idea into my theme.
During this week in my internship, things stayed pretty steady on both ends. On the engineering half, I was working in master control for most of the week rather prepping games for other stations. The reason being was that a sister station was coming in next week to learn our master control system because they were getting the same system as we have. Since I spent most of my time in the control room, I took the following list on the main duties of the operator. The main mission of the operator is to keep logs so the station knows if any content is lost and to make sure that every show has closed captions so the station will not get in trouble with the FCC. When keeping track of the logs the operator is also making sure the times are on point so hard breaks can roll as well. Other duties include logging power levels of transmitters, watching volume levels, and also running weekly national emergencies tests. The station also runs monthly ones that are just important. These seem to be all the duties of the operators but there could be some small ones that I have overlooked which I will list in the next upcoming weeks.
During the other half, while I was on production I switched from camera operator to floor manager. While floor managing I learned a couple of different things. The first was the proper signals to give to the anchors, like countdowns and pointing directions to look at each camera. The second was the proper places to put the cameras so the operator can get certain shots. And lastly I learned to properly make my script before and during the news cast to preform these tasks. I did mostly shadow this whole week on this position but next week I will be able to follow the director around and give the signals as well. Overall this week was more repetition but I feel like I am understanding things better then I was before.
What I enjoy most about Lynne’s mentor ship is her ability to keep it real with me. She spends a lot of time discussing the practicality of her business as a graphic designer. She often points out some practical tips for the business side of graphic design. Lynne gets a variety of sized jobs. She has made designs from billboards to business cards. Our most recent job was the small folder design given to us by the local print shop for a small company. The budget was $100. They wanted to purchase a stock photo since (at the time) said they didn’t have access to the original image. This meant that I would have to search for stock photos. I spent a few days trying to compile some good images, only to send them and have them rejected. It was meant to convey a couple purchasing a vacation home–my images focused too much on couple and not enough on house. Granted, they were still good images and would have worked with the ad, but he wanted us to find more. This is where Lynne stepped in…often times when customers become selective and have a low budget to begin with, she has to tell them to pick up some of the slack. Lynne incorporates research time into her total costs…the time it takes her to search and find images and other resources she has to incorporate in her work. The entire project was put on hold because she explained we already exceeded the amount of time it should have taken to pick a photo and when this happens, she does not hesitate to put the responsibility back on the client. Interestingly enough, a few days later they had contacted the last designer who used the photo and they still had it and sent it over to us. I kind of sat there wondering why they didn’t take a few minutes to do this in the first place and why I was sitting there a week later with the picture we thought we were going to use in the first place. It just goes to show me..on a personal level..that clients underestimate our duties. Lynne has even told me stories of her being hired to project manage only to get sent emails of employees of that company who have taken it upon themselves, with no education or knowledge of design to create their marketing materials. This is a big NO NO! As I’ve been working more closely with Lynne, I have realized that what I feared most about my chosen profession is probably true. That most clients assume that we can come up with these designs quick, that these designs are as simple to make as they are to look at. That is probably one of the most frustrating misconceptions because I am well aware of the amount of thought I put into my work. The time I take trying to understand the concept and how to connect it through color, shape, aesthetic and all of those other important design elements with the goal of creating an effective work of art that can SELL. The funny part about it is that I am even more aware when someone HAS NOT taken any of this into consideration. This internship is teaching me a lot so far.
This week in my internship I was working in the same areas that I was discussing my first week. I started out both of my Tuesdays and Thursdays working in master control. For the first hour of my shift I was prepping Family Guy and American Dad episodes getting them ready to go on the air. The process is pretty easy just scrolling though the episodes and marking where the commercials were and also where the segments ended. The next couple of hours I shadowed in master control and took down times that the commercials played so the marketing department has proof for clients that the commercial aired. During this time as well there is a noon news cast where I shaded cameras as well.
After working in the engineering department, I went on the floor where I shadowed the robotic camera person. Just like last week I took notes on the broadcasts on the different camera angles they used. I also learned how to properly test the microphones before the broadcast and how to make sure all of the studio lights look good. Also this week I went in on Saturday to shadow a super bowl special. This was an interesting experience because they used a different part of the set that I have never encountered before. This was the coach set that they used for the morning show. Since I am not there in the mornings I learned the proper way of setting it up and which camera angles to use on it. Overall this week was once again a lot of observation but it was nice to get practice in master control and on the robotic camera.