Intern Log: May 16 - May 22

Thursday, May 20

I was photography today, but I did more in-house stuff.

KCCI News Director Dave Busiek and Kevin Cooney looked at the stories Addison and I had edited the night before. It’s amazing how much is learned from listening to Dave for five minutes (he’s been a news director for a long time).

For my story about Angie’s Cantina, I could have used several more interviews, and Dave suggested I set up the interview in a more interesting location (rather than up against a wall). All good points. I could have used more B-roll, too.

Hopefully more opportunities arise to work with Dave and Kevin on making my stories better.

Later, I worked with Jon Lemons (a recent ISU grad and tape editor for KCCI) to learn more tape-to-tape editing. I’m starting to get the hang of it - I just need a little bit more practice and then I can work on speed increase.

Linear, or tape-to-tape, editing is what has been used until computers hit the editing scene a few years ago. It’s basically like an advanced dubbing rack - you can pick time codes, in points, and out points. And that’s it. As old as it may seem, the basics of video storytelling and editing are the same - so my practice on Final Cut Pro and Premiere does, in fact, pay off when I edit on linear systems.

I’m done for the week. I may go film a story about the Girl Scout Camp Lakota’s nostalgic closing ceremony on Friday night and see if anything good comes of that.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 19

Producing again today - but I didn't do a whole lot with that.

Instead, Addison and I decided to go shoot a package about Angie’s Cantina, a newly renovated restaurant in Campustown Ames.

We interviewed the owner and shot B-roll, followed by several hours of editing. Addison edited and narrated the Iowa Thunder women’s football team story we shot last weekend, and I edited and narrated the story about the Cantina.

I really enjoy enterprising and writing my own stories, though it’s sometimes frustrating coming up with all the resources (and dealing with the problems) that I encounter while shooting and editing on my own.

I’ll try to do more with field tape that is shot while reporters are out doing stories by editing it and narrating it a day later on my own.

I also did quite a bit of story idea work today, made some contacts, and planned for the coming weekend.

Tuesday, May 18

Today was the first day being on the Assignment Editor/Executive Producer track.

I came in at 8am (1.5 hours earlier than normal) and watched Tom Torpy, the AE, do his job. He acts as the “hub” of the news room; taking in press releases, making contacts outside of the newsroom.

He also acts as the reporter/photog scheduler. There is a board with each reporter, photographer, his or her assignment for the day, and when that assignment is due.

It seems like it would require having connections with business owners and public officials to make this job run smoothly. From what I overhear, it sounds like the majority of people he calls already know or know of him, which helps reduce the amount of time and effort it takes to get information for a story.

I talked with Heidi G, the executive producer. She acts as the go-to for reporters and producers when they need help with various things. She’s also in charge of making sure shows are “advertising” features like the “Day in the Life” special we’ve been doing.

Definitely an interesting position. It seems like it would take a few years as a producer to handle the responsibilities of the executive producer well.

Monday, May 17

I was on the reporting track again today. I went out with Todd Magel who was doing the story on Governor Culver's little traffic stop. I learned some lessons regarding talking to stubborn sources and making the most you can out of what may be a crappy situation

Sunday, May 16

The Midnight Shift!

I came in at midnight to help produce the 6-8am Sunday morning show. There are no other local stations doing a news show at this time, so it was not as fast-paced and news filled.

I learned that quite a few of the things are pre-recorded (including “Newsmaker” series interviews by Kevin Cooney and several Mollie Cooney features). I mean, what else can you do with no reporter at 2am?

I got to write a few stories to accompany VOs and SOTs, and I learned how to navigate the CBS Newspath and CNN Oasis online video servers. Basically, content can be downloaded to a tape from a satellite. All we have to do is set up a playlist through the online interface. Then, a tape editor will find the clips requested by the producer and put them onto a format that is used by the tape operator during the newscast.

I got to “booth,” which entails sitting in the control room with a headset and communicating with people like the show director, anchors through IFB, and master control. I had master control set up different skycam shots, and I inserted the skycam shot commands into the rundown for the show.

It’s amazing to see how quickly graphic and video changes can be made through the ENPS rundown - if I wanted to change a lower third or a skycam input, all I’d have to do is change it in ENPS and the switcher would pull up the updated version when it came in the rundown. This is something that would require a full edit-resave-transfer in an older newsroom (not to mention a crew member to do so).

I hope to do more morning shifts (probably during the week), so I’ll keep you updated as they come.