Thursday, August 2, 2012

10 Weeks Later

Just a recap of this past week: We said goodbye to Tabitha last week and she gave us some tasks to finish- editing Horry County Shoot, researching potential story ideas for other counties, and managing the blog. Well, Meagan and I decided to give us one extra task- we are saying thank you to everyone and making a little something special for Tabitha.

On Tuesday we went to Sumter to help for the last time during this internship. Everyone at Making it Grow is so welcoming and very helpful. I'm really going to miss them!

Now- just ten weeks later, I can't imagine not waking up on weekdays and not heading to ETV. It's going to be a difficult adjustment going back to school, but I know now what I have to look forward to. I'm so thankful to have been given this opportunity and if you ask me- I feel like I received the best experience  out of all of the interns because, unlike most of them, I had someone beside me the entire time helping me or critiquing or just exchanging ideas. Having Meagan this summer made the whole experience so much more worth while because I was able to have someone who was my age, striving for the same success, and pushing me to be better. Tabitha was probably one of the best to intern under as well because we go to travel at least once a week to go out on a shoot, and after the first two weeks, Meagan and I were able to start handling the footage. Not long after that, we were asking the questions during the interview.
This internship allowed me to expand my professional network, and really gain an insight for what this industry does and how they operate. I was able to learn more in Final Cut, and also just how and what to shoot while out at an interview. I've been introduced to a wealth of terminology and softwares which I'm planning to research more into. And the list goes on...

I have high hopes for my future and I know that ETV will be the point that I look back and say, "and that's where it started".

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sharing our Experience

So here it is folks- one of our babies. This is the Video Meagan and I spearheaded and tediously edited to try and get the word out there about the internship.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our last Hoo-Rah

What better place for our last shoot than the beach! We went to Horry County and interviewed The Hammock Man in Pawley's Island, The Shagging Hall of Fame on Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle, and the mayor and a riverwalk keeper along the Waccamaw River. The Hammock man put us to work by allowing us, and any other person who was curious, to go behind the counter and help make the hammocks. He also made Tabitha, Meagan and me our own bracelets which we rocked the rest of the day at the other shoots. Our second stop was SO much fun! We did the interviews at the Ocean Drive Hotel (which already took me out of work mode because it was right by the beach and the setting we interviewed them overlooked the ocean and pool and all of the people having a good time on vacation)- well anyway, we walked next door to one of the bars/clubs where we were able to collect our Shagging B-roll. We got to watch a national champion dance, as well as her two daughters who couldn't have been but 16 years old, who were also so talented! I wanted to grab Meagan and get out there myself haha. It was a lot of fun and they were so cooperative and excited to have us there. I can't wait to get back and start editing :) The third shoot was a score too! The interviews went by so smoothly and they articulated everything so well that I don't even think we'll have to edit too much. Thankfully, we were able to get a tour of the riverwalk via golf cart. So what would have taken half an hour and quarts of sweat, turned into about 15-20 minutes of a nice ride with stops for B-roll.
We ended the day on a sweet note with some slushies from Sonic and headed back to the station. It's hard to believe that this whole internship is almost over and that this was our last shoot. :( Although I am excited to get back to school, I don't really want to leave here. I'm definitely going to make the most of our last few days here at ETV!

The Final Count Down- Horry County Shoot

Cue the music… “It’s the final count downnnnn”!  Today is our final shoot, the grand finale, the finish line, the end of an epic chapter…. Ok so you get the picture. Today is our last day in the field with ETV Shorts. I cannot believe how incredibly fast this internship has flown by. Luckily we ended on a high note with a film shoot in the city notorious for mini golf and dinner theatres: Myrtle Beach/Horry County. However, our stories covered a much different aspect of this neon lit beach town. The goal for ETV Shorts is to highlight stories not well publicized, and we did just that. I was in charge of booking our final shoot and I was ecstatic to do so! After contacting the Conway and Myrtle Beach Chambers I secured two great story ideas. The Waccamaw River in Conway and the Shagger’s Hall of Fame in North Myrtle. The last story was up to me, myself, and I. The trick however is finding something in Myrtle that isn’t plastered on every billboard. Therefore I moved my thinking to the island life, Pawley’s Island to be exact.

Our first stop was Pawley’s Island where we covered The Pawley’s Island Original Rope Hammock Shop! It turns out Pawley’s Island is the birthplace of rope hammocks. Who knew?!? We even had the opportunity to watch craftsmen make traditional cotton hammocks right before our eyes AND try the craft ourselves. I was in charge of conducting the interview, filming the majority of the broll, and I even did a stand up! My true passion is reporting on camera.  I love it but I definitely need more experience. Luckily Tabitha was there to help me out. After shooting b-roll of the hammock maker and families kicking their feet up in these hanging lounge beds, it was time to dance our way to story numero dos: the Shagger’s Hall of Fame!

Honk Honk! Move it people we have places to go and people to interview! Thanks to bumper-to-bumper traffic we were limited to exactly one hour to film two interviews and broll at two locations. But on the bright side, filming the Shagger’s Hall of Fame story gave me the jitterbugs. I absolutely loved it! We captured b-roll at the official Shagger’s Hall of Fame at the Ocean Drive Resort and then headed over to the OD Pavilion to see some shaggers in action! The OD Pavilion is a haven for fast dancing, quickstep shagging, and talented dancers alike.  The owner, H.Lee, gave us a warm welcome over the sound system and then hit the dance floor. I was grinning ear to ear. The combination of the upbeat music, the oceanic back drop, and the room’s energy created an electrifying shoot! Several generations put on their boogie shoes and danced for us as we got footage of their swanky moves. Even with beads of sweat pouring from their smiling faces they never missed a beat.  H. Lee also hooked us up with a shagging NATIONAL CHAMPION! As you can imagine, she was an incredible dancer… a perfect 10 to be exact.  For a girl who has never shagged in her life and knows little about the sport, I was in awe. Like really… what an awesome job we have! We are at the beach filming people doing what they love as we do what we love. Life doesn’t get much better than that. I really wish we could have stayed all day but good things don’t last forever. The hour flew by and before I knew it, it was time to pull myself away from the Pavilion. But mark my words, I WILL learn to shag and I WILL be back OB Pavilion.

So with our gear in tow and feet still tapping to beach music, it was off to Conway we go. Our third and last story EVER was on the stunning Waccamaw River. Upon contacting the Conway Chamber for story ideas, the Chamber repeatedly emphasized just how important the Waccamaw River is to the community. Once we arrived at the Riverfront Park, the river’s importance and beauty was indeed evident. We had the pleasure of interviewing the Mayor of Conway as well as a Waccamaw Riverkeeper. The “pleasure” is actually an understatement. Our interviews with these ladies may have been the best interviews yet. They both answered in complete statements while also including strictly valuable information. Short and sweet, just the way an editor likes it! After I finished asking all of the interview questions, Jenny and I had a great time filming the river’s breath charming scenery. We filmed the eco-tourism aspect first. Fortunately the blazing heat brought out a decent crowd of kayakers, fishermen, boaters, and even teenagers illegally jumping off platforms into the river. We then focused on the river’s beauty and natural importance the River Keeper touched on in her interview. For any aspiring videographer or journalist, it is important to really listen to what the interviewee says during their interview and match their statements with broll shots. After learning this lesson from editing multiple ETV Shorts already, Jenny and I were sure to do just that.  As we cruised along on a golf cart provided by the city of Conway we were able to film the biodiversity of the river. We used both the 16-35mm and 70-200mm lenses to capture a variety of shots. Both Jenny and I took turns filming, but there was one shot of the historic bridge I just had to film before we departed. And little did I know while I was down on the ground trying to capture my “money shot,” the whole golf cart crew was getting their money shots of how ridiculous I looked- haha (can’t wait to see how those turn out… or maybe I can). Even when on a shoot you have to have fun. I’m so glad to work with Jenny and Tabitha for this very reason. No matter how hot and miserable the weather may be or how many production challenges we run into, we are always enjoying our work. That’s when you know you have a great internship… when work doesn’t seem like work at all, but rather an experience you don’t want to end.  But as I said before, all good things do come to an end (sad face). We thanked our Conway interviewees for their graciousness, got directions to the closest Sonic and were on our way back to the ETV mother ship. Yes, I said… Sonic. Of course we had to treat ourselves on the last shoot! So now it’s back to the office to edit our last ETV Shorts and get these stories posted for our dedicated audience!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Abbeville Shoot- 3rd time is a... gem?

To finish up the busy week, we went to Abbeville today. The stops on the agenda for the day were: Swartzentruber's Bakery, The Diamond Hill Mine, and a new local business. The bakery was A-Mazing!! The minute we walked in, the aroma hit me and I was instantly hungry- haha. After the interview, we left with more than just the equipment. They gave us cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and their famous three layered pound cake!! I couldn't believe it! So, after being spoiled, we were off to the second shoot. We went to the diamond mine where our timing couldn't have been more perfect. We showed up just as a family was packing up their car with all their finds. So we were able to get some B-roll of them and then we did the interview and a little digging ourselves. We were able to find a pretty shiny rock, which Gina- the expert- thought could be amethyst. 
So, up to this point I was pretty excited that the shoots had gone so well. Well, I definitely jinxed myself. When we arrived at our third shoot, they were closed- and weren't available for an interview. HUGE BUST! So.. I felt terrible that the interview I was in charge of organizing fell through, but I'm taking it as a learning lesson and next time I will quadruple check and make sure I have voice confirmation from the head honcho just to make sure all signs are a go- otherwise I will book something else. On a better note from that though- we were able to come home a little earlier than expected.

BoOoOoOo… it’s off to the famously haunted Abbeville County! However we aren’t filming any Casper’s or phantoms. In fact we are covering stories on the opposite end of the spectrum… like carb induced treats and sparkly gems. Our first story at Swartzenstruber Bakery will make your mouth water.  As soon as we entered the delectable bakery an overwhelming waft of fresh baked goods pervaded the air. After a few deep inhales it was time to get to this story cooking. The bakery is unique because of its Mennonite traditions and the variety of baked goods offered. From Swartzenstruber’s famous three-layer pound cake to their loaves of fresh bread, the bakery has treats so yummy they’re worth breaking any diet… ten times over… and I did… oops. What makes these treats even more scrumptious is the love that goes into baking them. The bakery hangs a sign reading “Our business it to serve the Lord. We bake cakes to meet our expenses.” Even if you aren’t religious or even if you practice a different religion, the message is still powerful: to work for the good of others and not just yourself. That’s my future mission in this career field. I really want my journalism work to serve the good of others. And speaking of good deeds, the ladies of Swartzenstruber’s sent us away with some goodies of our own. I was thrilled when they packed us a 3-layer pound cake, a glazed cinnamon roll cake, and a plate of dinner rolls BUT I was not so thrilled to sit next to them the rest of the trip. Talk about temptation!! I started the game “count the calories” in attempt to deter myself from practically inhaling them. But even when Tabitha guessed the cinnamon rolls had about 5,000 calories I was the first to dive in. So much for will power… At least my not so decent lunch made up for it. Only because I left half of the cartilage filled chicken on my plate. Appetizing, right? Well after our meal… it was time to dig up some blang blang at the Diamond Hill Mine.

As soon as we whipped the van into the parking lot we immediately started filming. There was one family still at the mine and we needed to catch them before they left. It’s so important to get people in the b-roll because let’s face it, you can only watch so many still images of inanimate objects and stay entertained. The family was great! They showed us all of the treasures they dug up and WOWZA! Talk about finding a diamond in the ruff. Ok… so maybe not quite a diamond, but a gem for sure. In fact even though the mine is called “Diamond Hill” there are no diamonds on the property.  The owner told us this during the interview but that doesn’t depreciate the value of an experience to find other sparkling treasures like smoky quartz and amethyst. Gina, the owner, even let us get down and dirty in the dig. But we were more interested in filming all of these shiny rocks for b roll. The sunlight hit the rocks perfectly adding a shimmer to the shots. We had to veer away from using the tripod in some shots and make lower props. It’s important not to limit your shots to only where the tripod can work. However it is equally important to ensure the shot is stabilized. – So after we finished filming at the gem mine, it was off to story three. Or should I say, the story that will never be.

The clock strikes 3:00 (the normal time for the 3rd story) and a “closed” sign is taunting us on the door of the story’s location. Come to find out, the owner of the local business we scheduled to film is on a 2-month vacation. How INconvenient. But hey, that’s life and you have to roll with the punches. We did learn a valuable lesson as interns though. If an interviewee does not sound interested in taking part in a story and is consistently hard to contact… move on. There are more enthusiastic people and equally good stories out there. Words of wisdom for the future officially noted! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Beeing" Careful in the "Village"

This is the day that is just for Meagan and me. We are going to be in charge of directing, producing, editing, and posting these stories from start to finish. Our first stop is the "Bee City" in Cottageville. Second stop- The Oyotunji Tribe in Seabrooke. So when we arrived at Bee City we were given the grand tour and then staged the set for the interview near some of their on site honeybee hives. Meagan- who is allergic to bees by the way- took on the bees head on. She got suited up and stood directly next to the hive while Scott opened it up and started dissecting it for us (and the camera), while Tabitha and I- logically, kept our distance. :) We were able to see all the different animals, ways honey is used, and have a little fun from time to time- holding snakes, touching alligators, and feeding lemurs- you know, everyday stuff.

Second stop was at the Oyotunji Village (which surprisingly enough is like 20 minutes from my home in Beaufort). It was so interesting! We got to meet a King!! I didn't exactly know how to address him or know what was or was not appropriate, so I tiptoed, bowed, and always asked permission before doing things. It was a little awkward- but incredibly worth it. Only downfall was that there was no Air Conditioning. I'm glad I had the reflector, because I used it to cover up the huge puddles in my clothing after the shoot (gross I know). But it definitely gives me a bigger appreciation for all of the movie directors/actresses who have to put themselves in weather extremes in order to get the right shot. 

All in all, the shoots went well and I can't wait to get back and start editing them. :)

The day we’ve been buzzing about is here! Today we are filming two stories at the beat of our own drum. (Yes, these are both clues!) Tabitha allowed Jenny and I to cover 2 stories of our choice anywhere in SC for our “intern shoot”.  So what was our final verdict?? Drum roll please… Bee-City in Cottageville, SC and Oyotunji African Village in Sheldon, SC!

So with my epi-pen in tow, it was off to Bee City we go!  Before we arrived, all we really knew about this City of Bees was… well, that there was a “City of Bees”, population: 1.26 million. Oh and that I’m allergic to honey bees. So with that said, we were in for quite an unexpected surprizzzzze.  Turns out the actual “Bee City,” a city with beehives that resemble a small town, is under construction for renovations. However we were still able to see some busy bee hives up close and personal. We filmed the interview with the owner first and then it was time to capture these little workers for some “bee”-roll. I elected myself for the job and suited up in protective gear. I’m not sure how protective it was though with my legs and hands exposed, but I was determined to get the tight shots anyways.  I held the camera as steady as possibly, while the owner “smoked” the bees out of the hive. Soon the bees began swarming. A steady “ZZZZZ” was all I could hear as well as myself thinking “buzz off” repeatedly in my head. But I DID IT! I conquered my fear and did it. I also reported a stand-up while I was suited up so I’m excited to see how that turned out!

Filming b-roll was awesome. There is a nature center with reptiles galore, a petting zoo with farm animals to exotic animals like ring tailed lemurs, and a classroom to educate children about the benefit of honeybees. Jenny even had the guts to hold an albino snake while filming. We definitely had a blast at this shoot, until I misplaced one of the lens’ caps (UH-OH!). I was positive I handed the lens to Jenny because I had no pockets. But sure enough I found it on me after searching the whole place top to bottom.  Whew! So after dodging that sting, it was off to Oyotunji African Village!

(Insert traditional Yoruba music hear)
As we slowly crept down the rocky road to the Yoruba Village, signs read, “You are now leaving North America”.  That is exactly what it seemed liked as we pulled up to the elaborate gate entrance.  Entering the village felt like stepping into continental Africa. There were several occupants roaming around in traditional African garb and a lady selling traditional African jewelry in the marketplace. I was so tempted to purchase one of the glimmering silver pieces but it was time to get to work. A chief took us on a personal tour of the entire village so we could collect b-roll.  It is hard to put into words how traditional the village looked, with all of the beautiful statues and shrines, a full marketplace, and an area for festivals. To give the place justice, you’ll have to see it for yourself in our ETV “Short”. After our tour it was time to meet the village’s King, or “Oba”. 

We were instructed to remove our shoes before entering his home, setting the precedent that we were in fact interviewing someone of esteemed importance. When the Oba entered the room all of the villagers knelt down, as well as Jenny. It was pretty funny at the time but we really didn’t know how we were supposed to act in front of a King. He positioned himself on his thrown (yes, THROWN) and it was time to conduct the interview. I was in charge of the questions this round. I swallowed my butterflies, whipped the sweat from my eyes, and began. During the interview we learned Oyotunji African Village is the only Yoruba Village in North America with a King, Kings’ wives, chiefs, a school, etc. He went on to tell us that the village is always open to the public and their goal is to teach others about their history and spiritual findings. The interview lasted over 15 minutes, and the only issue throughout it all was the audio. You see, the King insisted on fanning himself the whole time he spoke. This posed a little sound quality issue but I’m sure we can work through it with our talented editing skills J. We wrapped up the interview with the KING (sorry, can’t get over that), and decided to get a little extra b-roll before we hit the road. The Oba wasn’t kidding when he said, “the heat from the sun at the village is reminiscent of Africa.” We were completely drenched when we finally packed up the equipment. But even through the heat wave in Oyotunji and the swarm of honeybees at Bee-City, today was a very successful shoot! I can’t wait for Jenny and I to edit these stories for everyone to see! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cherokee Shoot

(Fingers Crossed, Deep Breaths, Hope for the Best)
I contacted everyone to double check and make sure they were ready for the shoots, so today was the day we got to test it out and see how it went. Our first stop was Strawberry Hill. When we got there, we shot the B-roll and introduced ourselves to one of the most outgoing and considerate people I've met so far- Brandi Cooley. On top of her awesome personality, she was great behind the camera. I don't even think we'll have to spend more than 5 minutes editing her video because she made it so easy with the way she would answer questions. If there was one downfall to the shoot, I guess it would have to be that we lost our lunch appetite after being treated to their delicious, yet filling, home made peach ice cream. We left with our bellies full, and then they made sure we didn't leave empty handed. They gave us a peach cobbler which-OMG!! sooo good! And we each got a bag full of fresh peaches, which I'll definitely be taking with me to work and enjoying for late night munchies.

Since we still had so much time in between shoots, we stopped off for a little shopping at one of the outlets- tell me this isn't the best internship?! 

Our second stop was at Starfields- Gaffney Embroidery, where we interviewed Patrick Cox. He was so accommodating and gave us the full tour of the factory. All of the employees were great and cooperated with the camera. It was so intriguing from the moment we walked in the door. There were huge machines all over the place just pumping out fabric with stars all over them, then the workers were busy sewing the stars as well.

The third stop was also so overwhelming. We went to Parkdale Mills which is a yarn factory in Gaffney that creates enough yarn each day to go to the moon and back several times. They too gave us a tour of the whole facility. It was so huge and the B-roll, I feel, was so cool. 

So after one successful day of shoots, I am still crossing my fingers and hoping that we got everything we needed in order to edit successfully. 

Today started off just “peachy” as we headed to the home of the notorious giant peach, Cherokee County. Jenny was in charge of organizing today’s shoot and she did muy bein! First up was a business with employees as sweet as the fruit they sell. Strawberry Hill USA is a local farm that sells their fruits in a variety of ways. From peach salsa to blackberry ice cream, the fruitful shop had it all. While there we filmed two interviews that both went great. We then parted ways with a few goodies. The owner of Strawberry Hill gave us each a free homemade ice cream, a bag of peaches, and a peach cobbler to share.  I know my parent’s are going to be just as excited when I bring them some (daughter of the year, check!).  (*Side note: every time we get anything free from the people we film, we ALWAYS make sure to send a little thank you note telling them how much we appreciated their parting gift and their time! This is a great way to say thanks and keep in touch).

Next we went to a factory that puts the “stars” on the star spangled banner, Gaffney Embroidery. This star field factory runs 24/7 to produce the 50 gleaming stars on the American Flag.  I never knew the stars and stripes were made separately so I learned something new about Old Glory.  The only challenge for this shoot was the interview’s sound quality. We wanted a shot of the equipment behind the interviewee but also had to make sure the humming of the machines didn’t hurt the sound. We did our best to fix this issue and shot a variety of b-roll of the workers, the machines, and the final product. It was powerful to hear stories from some of the workers telling us about what an honor it is to be a part of making such a symbolic product.  Many of the flags are used for the burial of fallen soldiers so I can only imagine how emotional yet honorable that must be.  

Last but not least we filmed at Parkdale Mills. Parkdale Mills is a relatively new textile manufacturing plant that turns raw cotton into thread.  We did a quick interview with one of the executives in charge of the plant and then went on a tour for broll. With earplugs securely fastened in our ears it was pretty difficult to communicate about what shots to get but we managed. The best way to explain what this state of the art facility looked like is the Willy Wonka factory in the new Charley and the Chocolate movie. The factory was pristinely kept with minimal workers buzzing around. When finished, the thread rolls were lifted into the air and transported along the ceiling, which also reminded me of the movie Wall-E. Needless to say the technology was mind blowing. And also mind blowing was our little “oopsie”. The executives warned us not to take any flash photographer because the flash could set off the fire alarm, mistaking the flash for a small fire. Naturally we did take a picture thinking the flash was off… and wouldn’t you have it, the flash was on. Luckily nothing happened but boy was that a little terrifying. Talk about millions of dollars potentially down the drain… Ok, ok let’s not think about that anymore. Overall the day went “seam”ingly well. Yet another successful shoot in the bag!