So a few weeks ago, I told you my story about some of the worst experiences I’ve ever had at FOX 10. This time, I’m going to share my thoughts with you about some of the best things I’ve come to appreciate as an intern. First and foremost, i treasure being in the news industry. There’s no greater feeling coming into work everyday not knowing what to expect. I love the fact that I can do my job and be informed of the news on a daily basis. Not one newscast is ever the same. Some days I’ll be in the studio floor directing while the anchors profess some of the best news stories I’ve ever heard. So if you ever get a chance to come down to FOX 10, you’ll usually find me with a smile on my face. That’s one of the things I’ve learned and that I’m happy to say about my job. Another great part about my job is that I get to meet interesting people all the time! When I first started my internship, one of the first notable people I got the chance to meet was Jan Brewer, the governor of Arizona. I was completely shocked to experience something like that. I thought to myself ‘I’m only an intern, I’m not supposed to experience things like this.’ Beyond Jan Brewer, I’ve been able to meet a number of athletes and political figures. This was one part of the job that I never expected to see in my days as an intern, but I’m sure glad I’ve met the kinds of people that I have. I’m grateful to have an internship that I enjoy as much as I do because I know there are internships out there that people dread on a day-to-day basis. With that being said, I’d like to know what you enjoy about your internship? What do you get out of being an intern?
It was in April 2011, I walked through the doors of FOX 10. I found my way through the newsroom where I found producers engaged in searching for news, writers typing away at the scripts, and reporters working on their stories. Its these stories that appear on the news each and every day that I become engulfed in. As an intern, I never expected to feel so connected and involved in the news as I am today. I never really was an avid fan of the news on a regular basis, but interning at FOX 10 has really changed my ways. One of the stories that really impacted my perspective of news was the killing of Osama Bin Laden. I had only been interning for a week, and already one of the biggest national news stories happened right before my eyes. It was interesting to see how a TV station handled the news compared to what the rest of the country was feeling. Had I not been interning, I wouldn’t have given the news much thought, but when you’re in the journalism business, it’s your job to give it every thought! It seems as if people only care about the biggest headlines on a day-to-day basis, but in my opinion, the best stories are the ones that aren’t as newsworthy. Just this past week, FOX 10 interviewed a man by the name of George Lindell. Sound familiar? He was involved in a car accident and he had a whole lot to say about it. He gave a colorful, humorous response to the accident. This story wasn’t a hot news story or national headline, but guess what? It ended up attracting national attention after getting stints on FOX News, Glen Beck, etc. There’s always a good story out there worth reading or hearing about. You don’t have to be an intern at a TV station to learn and appreciate great stories out there. So I challenge you, find a great story and tell me about it! It could be anything, from sports to an interesting weather story. Whatever it is that interests you, I want to know about it. There’s news everywhere around you, it’s good for you!
Let’s focus on what goes on inside the studio. As a Floor Director, I’ve experienced a heck of a lot of, to say the least, disasters! I’d like to share with you my top 3 disasters of all time as a Floor Director at FOX 10:
Disaster #1: What’s Going On?
About a month ago, I encountered one of my biggest problems yet. One of my duties is to make sure that all of the microphones and IFBs (the anchors’ earpieces) are in good working condition. I change all the batteries daily and do mic checks. I take pride in making the anchors’ life on the desk as stress free as possible. If they look bad or don’t know what they’re doing on TV, then that means I’m not doing my job. There’s also times where things might happen that are totally out of my control, but still come back to haunt me. This was the case in my very 1st disaster. It was just another typical evening newscast, and before I knew it, things took a turn for the worst! First of all, a few lights went out on me. This can be detrimental because appearance and looks mean everything in a broadcast, especially now with everything being in HD. So a few lights going out is definitely going to show up, so I was able to change and fix everything minutes before the show started. What I’ve learned as an intern is to never let your guard down, once you think the coast is clear, a whole new storm comes crashing down. Once the anchors sat down, we all noticed that it was hotter inside the studio than it was outside. That says a lot when you consider we were going through temperatures exceeding well over 100 degrees! It was my job to check the air and make sure it was working, but it wasn’t and there was nothing I could do. So we had to sit through an entire newscast in unbearable conditions. Then, the next thing hit. The weatherman tried to do his main weather news, and that’s when someone yelled through my headset: “Tell him to turn his mic on!!” That wasn’t a very fun experience, but hey he mentioned me on TV so that didn’t hurt at all. Between lights going out, anchors upset about the hot studio, and the weatherman who forgot to turn his microphone on, this was a newscast to forget!
Disaster #2: What Camera am I on?
So my main responsibility during the newscast is to tell the anchors which camera to look at. I know what you’re saying, “how could anybody screw that up?” Well let me explain to you how I did just that. At FOX 10, the cameras are robotic, meaning that they move on there own and frame the shots automatically. There are no cameraman used during a newscast except for when you see the reporters. These cameras are so sensitive, that if anything hits them in any way, shape, or form, they essentially shut down. On the day of disaster #2, two cameras crashed into each other in the middle of the newscast. This made my job a whole lot harder than it had to be. I quickly had to run 2 cameras and try to reset them at the same time so they would go back to being robotic. In the mean time, I was trying my best to let the anchors know what camera to look at. Being a Floor Director is tough when situations like this happen because when disasters happen, you have to be able to FOCUS and get the job done without freaking out the anchors. In this particular situation, I was too busy multitasking and I told the anchor at the time to look at the wrong camera he was supposed to look at. For someone watching at home, it probably isn’t a big deal at all, but to anchors it makes them look foolish and it upsets them. This particular anchor was quite upset, but understanding since he knew I was juggling a number of tasks. I felt bad, but that wasn’t the end of it. I noticed later on Twitter that this anchor had tweeted about his floor director pointing him to the wrong camera. That’s when I realized this was really a disaster, hence being #2 on the list.
Disaster #3: Lights, Camera, Action… Wait where are the lights??
I told you earlier in Disaster #1 about having a few lights in the studio go out, but a couple weeks ago, I had the unthinkable happen. Let me recap the turn of events that happened during what was supposed to be just another newscast at FOX 10. It was during the weather segment. Everything was going fine, the anchors were happy, everything was working like it was supposed to. The weatherman was standing in front of the green screen doing the weather news when all of a sudden, every single light in the studio shut off. I went from sitting in my chair waiting for the weatherman to finish to having all the lights go out at the same time. It didn’t even really dawn on me that anything had happened until someone yelled in my headset asking what happened to the lights. That’s when I started to freak out. I ran all the way to the back of the studio and looked at the lighting board, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. All the lights were supposed to be on, but they weren’t. The weatherman ended up just not being on camera and talking about the weather news. After that, we went straight to a commercial. When I watch TV at home, I hate commercials, but at this very moment, commercials saved my life. During the commercial, I had 2 minutes and 30 seconds to figure out where we were going to do the news from because clearly, the lights in the studio weren’t going to work. What ended up happening was I moved a camera in the studio next door where they do the morning show. On top of that, I had to make sure the anchors had access to the teleprompter. This was by far the most stressful 2 minutes and 30 seconds of my life. The anchors did a good job cooperating with me and the rest of the show went well. As it turns out, the lighting board had died during the actual newscast which explains why the lights went out.
It was because I had FOCUS and determination to get through some of the things that happened to me in these situations I told you about. People aren’t going to remember you for what you do on a regular basis, they remember and appreciate you even more when they see how you handle situations like these. So now that I’ve told you some of my worst experiences as an intern, let me hear yours!
I’ve started a blog all about being an intern. When people think of interns now-a-days, they seem to think of interns as that lucky person that goes and gets everyone Starbucks or makes copies or runs irritating errands. Well, luckily for me, I’ve been a key piece of the puzzle as an intern at FOX 10 in Phoenix for the past 5 months. I work with the production team who are responsible for directing and making the newscast happen. We are not responsible for coming up with the content, but we program everything you see on live TV. With that being said, you’re probably wondering, well what the heck do you do? Believe it or not, I’m a Floor Director on some days, other days I’m in charge of playing the graphics during the show. As a Floor Director, it’s my job to take care of the studio which i’ll be sure to give you a glimpse of next time. I set up all the equipment and the set so that when the anchors get there, we’re ready to go. During the broadcast, I’m in the studio with the anchors telling them when they’re on camera and making sure everyone knows what they’re doing. Every once in a great while, I get to play the graphics during the show straight from the control. This is an exciting job for me because I’m directly in charge of putting graphics on live TV for the entire audience to see. With that being said, sometimes I feel like there is a lot of pressure behind me, maybe because there really is. In the end, I try not to worry about it because as long as I’m trying my best, everything should turn out fine. Within 5 months, I’ve already been through a couple disasters where something goes wrong and nothing goes right for me. I’ll be sure to ad-lib on those when they come up in later posts. For now, I hope you got a sense of what I do as an intern, but I want to know what you do as an intern? Where do you intern? What are some of the most memorable moments from your internship or past internships? I look forward to hearing from you! Jot down some comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!
Until next time,