- Christy Oldham wrote, produced, and stars in Barracuda.
- Oldham wrote the script after working as a phone sex operator herself for 3-months from her home.
- Shane Woodson, producer and co-owner of Mercury Rising Films directed the film.
- Barracuda was shot in 29 days and was filmed in Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, and Los Angeles, California.
- Barracuda won several film festival awards including “Best Feature Film.”
This vengeance themed film stars Christy Oldham as Summer, a portrait artist who works as a phone sex operator to supplement her income. The movie focuses on how one woman takes matters into her own hand to expose the pedophelia life these so called normal upstanding citizens lead and exposes their dirty little secrets at their homes.
Check out Barracudamovie.tv for more information.
It’s hard to believe that I only have one more day left at my internship. This semester went by so quickly and graduation is just around the corner.
I have learned so much at my internship this semester from working in a fast paced environment to dealing with tough situations. Before the start of the internship, I wasn’t sure of what to expect and I was excited for the challenge. There have been different problems that needed to be dealt with at my internship that I was able to see how television stations deal with problems that arise unexpectedly. In this environment if something goes wrong you need to have several backup plans on the fly. I was able to see how different issues are dealt with so that it doesn’t affect the production of the show.
Not only did I love the experience I gained from this internship, I was also part of a family. I have built lifelong friendships and professional relationships. Through my internship I gained professional experience as well as several lessons on life, which I can take with me to any job that I may hold in the future.
Today at my internship, I had the opportunity to take part in a mini intern news cast. We were paired in groups of two to read an already prepared script from the prompter while sitting at the news desk. Doing the newscast gave me a real sense of what it takes to sit behind the chair. It’s one thing to see it being done, but actually sitting behind the desk and reporting, you get a real sense of the responsibility of the job.
Some of the things I learned while doing the newscast was that, you have to be seated according to the markers so that if there are any graphics that needs to go over the shoulder, they can insert that. Also, you have to be very attentive and alert and look at the correct camera and prompter. Also, I learned that you have to look at the prompter the entire time even though you have a hard copy of the script in front of you. You have to not only look at the prompter but also pay attention to the floor director so you can get the right cues and know when to speak and which camera to look at.
I learned that even if you mess up you have to keep reading and continue on as if there was no mistake because there is no do-over while you are live on the air.
Earlier this week I got the opportunity to go out on a remote shoot with a reporter. Before leaving to go do the live shot, we found out that the live feed wasn’t working so we had to come up with a back up plan which was to bring back footage and air it from the studio rather than doing a live shot. After deciding on a plan b, I was briefed on what to do incase the live feed didn’t get back up.
I asked the reporter how the morning news was covered at my internship with the live feeds down. I was told that only one reporter was sent to do a remote shoot and that the reporter had to bring footage back to the station and have it be aired from the studio. Also, the weather and traffic report didn’t have any live feeds so they had to be covered with maps instead of the usual live shot for the allotted time.
After getting to the remote location, we were still waiting on word from the studio about how the day would pan out. Luckily live feed went back up in time. The way that was determined was the control room was able to get live feed from the remote camera as well as get audio feedback to the studio.
I was able to observe what it takes to broadcast live from a location outside the studio. I was able to observe how quickly the photographer and reporter got ready for the live shot. Also, how quick and easy it was to talk back to the studio. Also, I learned about the importance of preparing for a live shoot. The reporter knew exactly what to say, where to go and who to interview. I can see how catastrophic it would have been had the reporter not known what to do or hadn’t done the research. Also, had the events of the day been different I can see how chaotic it would have been.I also learned that the type of news van being used depends on the amount of equipments needed out in the field.
I learned that in the Television business you can always expect the unexpected. I also learned that you always have to have not just plan A, but plan B & C as well.
I also, got to do a stand up while we were at the remote location. After looking at the reporters notes and getting a look at the location, I had practiced what say. When the camera was rolling, I got a little nervous but once the camera started rolling I was fine and actually did pretty well.
I learned that I have to face the camera the entire time and be energetic and let my personality come out on camera.
The reporter and photographer gave me some great feedback. They said I did really well. They said that I have what it takes to be on camera and that I just have to work on training my eyes to look directly into the light. They said at first it almost looked like my eyes were kind of wandering but then I was fine.
Today at my internship, I got the opportunity to sit in with a producer and observe in the control room during the 11 a.m. news. I learned today that the 11 o’ clock news at my internship is geared towards a female audience. I observed how the producer makes sure to stay on track of time. I learned how crucial it is to stay on track of time because if they fall behind on time, the producer has to make a quick decision on what portion of a segment to kill so that they don’t go over the alloted time. I learned that depending on the anchor often times if they read through fast enough they are good on time and will not have to cut anything out.
I learned that certain producers have an entire day to plan out their show while others only have a half a day. I learned that if any changes need to be made for a days shoot the producer has to make those decisions upon arriving into work. The producer decides whether or not to keep an assigned reporter to go out on a remote shoot or to change assignments and send someone else out based on where their strengths lie.
While in the control room, the producer stays in communication with the studio anchors and remote anchors through an Interruptible feedback (IFB) system to give them standby cues. The IFB sends a program feed to earpiece worn by the anchors.
The producer also has to be able to multi task and still stay on track. He or she has to stay in contact with the studio anchors as well as the remote anchors, pay close attention to the rundown and look for any messages that might be sent, especially if there is any breaking news that comes in that the news team relays to the producer while on air so that last minute add-ons can take place immediately and message can be relayed to the anchors appropriately.
Today, I also learned how to cut multiple clips from the clean feed, which means the clips exclude chyrons, rather than cutting clips from FIFO (first-in-first-out) in Dalet. Placing multiple clips on the timeline takes a specific step-by-step process. After cutting each clip and placing them all on the timeline, I learned had to add a transition to the clip so that it flowed more smoothly. Once it was ready to be uploaded to the web, I had to target it to specific lists to make sure it gets placed in the proper section.
One thing I learned this week at my internship is the importance of keeping track of audience booking. I learned how important it is to input the information on the rundown and more specifically where on the rundown this information goes. There is a “holds” section of the rundown where information for future shows go in and audience information is one of the additions that gets placed there. This is how the producers and the floor director keeps track of the number of audience there are each day. This information gives them an idea of whether or not to book more people to be in the live audience. It also gives them an idea of how many items they need for giveaways.
I learned how to create a new story to add this information in the rundown if this section isn’t already there. I also learned the format that is used to input the information and how to properly name the section on the rundown so that it is easily identified. I learned how important it is to update this list daily and how important it is to email the list to everyone on the production team at the end of each day. I also learned that additional information that goes on the audience info in the rundown include, whether or not a particular day is booked for some specific reason and if there is a big group of people coming then I have to include in the rundown the number of people coming in a group, where they are coming from and how they are getting there so that there is no confusion.
I also learned a few tricks to doing the host cards. Although there is no right or wrong way to do this, the line producer showed me a few of her tricks. Usually one page of notes go on a card but some of the notes, if they are for the same segment and if the host will be reading it one one after the other, can go on the same card. in this instance, the segment number and name only needs to be available from the first page. The producer showed me her way of pasting them on the card so that if need be more info can go on the same card.
My project for the next few weeks is to work with the talent coordinator who is also in charge of social media to slightly revamp the Facebook page and to help bring more followers to the Facebook page.
One of the things I recently learned at my internship is how to say “No” but in a nicer way. Lately at my internship a lot of requests have been coming in asking to be on-air guests and with very little air time to begin with, it’s hard to say yes to everyone.
I had to make several phone calls and one of the things I learned is how to handle difficult clients. Although I am talking to these individuals on the phone, I still need to stay composed. At times I have to deal with those difficult individuals who don’t want to hear “No” and gets very defensive by repeatedly stating why they need to be considered. I learned how to explain to them why it is that we can’t take them on at this time and if they still don’t accept that then how to calmly and in a professional manner ask them to send us a CD and press kit to be forwarded to the right person.
This experience has definitely taught me how to handle difficult situations while still maintaining professionalism.
So today was my first day as an intern at NBC10. Last night I couldn’t sleep much thinking about the internship and what it would be like. When I woke up this morning, those nerves still seem to have stayed with me until I got to the station sitting and waiting for this new adventure to start.
Everyone at the station is really nice. On my first day one of the employees who signed me in took me up to the floor and gave me a quick tour. She works for the 10! show, the department I will be interning for with two other girls. Everybody at NBC10 is really polite and helpful. I also met with my supervisor who gave a brief introduction and put me with another intern to learn the ropes from. Another person I saw was Bill Henley who came to welcome me aboard, he recognized me the minute he saw me.
I was mainly observing today since It was my first day as an intern. I didn’t go through the formal orientation all the other inters had to do.
Around 9 O’ clock the other interns and I went to the kitchen and put in a pot of coffee to brew and, no I don’t bring coffee to anyone, then the green room to make sure everything is tidy. We then had to go to the back enterance to greet an assistant to one of the guests ogn the show for the day and brought up the items she would be using for her demonstration. After that one of the interns went to check-in the audiences while other intern and I went to greet the audience and the security pitched the idea, “let’s have the newbie announce the show.” Everyone in the control room loved the idea so then I went backstage with my script to practice a few times.
After all the audience were seated, my supervisor explained what to do. We did a rehearsal first and then after the teasers were recorded it was my time to shine in front of the camera. After announcing the show, I went backstage and one of the interns told me I was born for the camera. After the taping of the show then we got into the more nitty-gritty part of the day.
Needless to say, just from one day of being at NBC10 I feel I like I learned a lot just by observing. My brain was on an information overload today, but I still enjoyed every minute of it and Can’t wait to go back tomorrow.
An Alumna from Cabrini College bid on and won a tour of WABC studio at her children’s school, after which, she donated the winning prize to the college. Also, my professor was able to get in touch with an alumnus who works at ABC’s operations studio so that we can meet up while in NY. I had the opportunity to visit the WABC (New York’s local TV station), as well as ABC’s operations studio and the Times Square studio along with a few other students.
Craig Vagell, Cabrini Alumnus, who is the day of air operations manager at ABC studios also got to take advantage of this great opportunity at the WABC studio.
First, we met up with Emmy Award winner, Jeff Pegues who is a reporter for New York’s local TV station WABC. Pegues describes the WABC studio as a news factory which, was truly evident in the employees at the station, always on the run to get things done. He gave us a tour of the studios behind the scene operations such as control rooms, edit bays, assignment desk. We also got the opportunity to sit in during the live streaming of the Eyewitness News at noon with Lori Stokes, Ken Rosato and meteorologist Jeff Smith. We also got to see the set of Live with Regis and Kelly, housed at WABC and gave us a bit of the history behind the station as well.
After the tour Pegues, sat down with us to answer questions we had and to also give us advice on what would help us to pursue our career.
Our next stop was the ABC studio in Times Square to the set of Good Morning America. We met up with the tech manager, Robert Agnello, a former musician, who gave us a tour of the studio. It was truly a jaw dropping experience to see all the equipments being used in the studio. Agnello shared his experiences of working at the studio, the changes the studio went through while switching to high-definition and the re-designing and re-building of different ares of the facility. Agnello also gave us great advice and welcomed us to come back and visit at any time.
Our final stop, was the operations studio, which basically is the heart of ABC studios nationwide. The operations studio generates programming for the east coast, west coast and mountain areas. The way the network operates is, everything that gets played on the east coast gets recorded on a server which, is then played back on a delay to the other two areas. When the network does not air something to an affiliate station a color bar is sent out to the stations so that they know the signal is not lost to the network.
All the shows get delivered to the operations studio and the studio does their own branding for the station using several edit bays. Operations make sure that the station does not go black. There are several layers of protection features that go into the network to make sure it doesn’t go black.
There are several HD release studios at the station which can be used as an on-air studio or as a control room. A technical director stays in the HD studio to make sure the programs are aired correctly and the captions and other items are being transmitted correctly to the different time zones.
Next stop, network release. When the network was running in standard definition, this area was three separate studios but with the upgrade to HD, it has expanded and opened to one large group. There are three separate areas, currently it is separated as the right side, left side and day of air operations. Right side is responsible for creating all the list for commercials and adding the different triggers for logos. When that’s done the left side makes sure there is no problems with the list with everything at the network being automated, the list needs to be checked to make sure everything is correct. Also, this side is responsible for special report list.
At day of air, the responsibilities include monitoring different feeds and making sure closed captioning and ratings go out. Another responsibility is communicating with affiliate stations using a network alert system in case a special report needs to air because no one other than the New York studio knows initially. Some of the information sent out include timings, special report information, commercial break information etc. A log is kept to check off everyday to make sure all the right information are sent out to air. The logs are color coded for the different feeds so that it is easier to decipher. At operations, they are responsible for catching any mistakes before the studio so that everything runs smoothly.
At the network control center, they are responsible for making sure that everything that airs is in sync. They have to make sure there is audio and video and they are correct, the lips are in sync with the sound, captioning are correct etc. They watch every feed that leaves the studio and comes back in through the satellite, so that in case something needs to be troubleshooted it can be fixed right away.
A special reports room or studio is also a part of the network, this was our final stop of the tour. This news studio is used to tape promos, news briefs and to air any special report that the station needs to air on TV.
This was truly an amazing experience, especially to be able to see how things work on a network level and to see everything that goes on behind the scenes to make sure all the shows are aired properly and promptly.
Some Helpful tips from Jeff Pegues, reporter at WABC:
- Do what you have to, to get to where you want to be.
- To do this job you have to be able to do well under pressure because it is a very stressful job.
- To do well in this business, you have to be a goal setter.
- Know your value, capability and comfort for the job.
- Don’t settle for the sure thing, go for what you dream of rather than letting others discourage you and talk you out of it.
- Be nice to everyone and make the right contacts