I just had my last day of classes at school: All of my assignments are now complete, and I have one exam left before my second year is officially over.
I had a radio broadcast class this semester, and my final project was to create a five to seven minute radio documentary.
The title of the feature is “My Addiction,” and you can listen to it here. Here’s a brief intro:
By day, she’s a businesswoman, a wife and a mom. By night, she gives in to her addiction, and escapes her regular life by becoming someone else.
“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
— Auguste Rodin
After interning for two weeks with Citytv, I’ve finally completed my work experience, and am heading towards the end of my semester.
It was a great last week. I did everything from research, to watching the live show from the floor, to going out with a reporter and cameraman to my first crime scene.
Unlike my experience with 24 Hours, I wasn’t put to work right away, and most days I felt like dead weight because there weren’t any opportunities to contribute. But by the end of my two weeks, I had put together two weeks worth of celebrity birthday questions and answers for the entertainment segment, I had researched the names, ridings and photos of the current MPs in the lower mainland and I had spent hours and hours researching archival footage and photos relating to the history of Vancouver.
I had also met my goal of somehow getting on TV. In fact, I did it thrice.
The first time was by accident: I was at a live-eye shoot, completely distracted by my horse allergies, and was too slow to move out of the shot. All that was seen was me, in my bright red coat, running out of the frame.
My second appearance was on Thursday. I was downtown at the Burrard skytrain station, waiting for an annoucement about the new transit fare card. It was just me and a camera, so I was filmed holding up a card replica, and was in the background of an interview holding a giant sign. Apparently, one of the hosts congratulated me on air afterwards, saying something along the lines of: “Give it up for our intern Hayley, she did a great job of holding that sign…”
My final appearance as an intern was on April Fool’s.
JackFM’s Larry and Willie have a contest going on, where 50 or so people have been given big cutouts of them, and have a list of things they need to do with the cardboard radio hosts for a chance to win $10,000. For example, they needed to get on TV.
During my two weeks, the station was bombarded with requests. I was asked to take a photo of a contestant with Dawn, and someone took a photo of me taking the photo. As a prank, Dawn rushed the JackFM station on Friday with an almost life-size cutout of her and Riaz. Leading up to the “attack,” BT showed clips and photos of the hosts posing with various contestants: My back was in one of them as the photo of me taking a photo was shown on air.
All in all, I learned a lot from watching professionals at work. I picked up interviewing techniques, and more subtler things like how to carry yourself on air, and how to emphasize your read.
Apart from being on camera, the closest I came to actually reporting was when I went out with two cameramen to get streeters. After watching for a bit, I was given the mic and allowed to ask people questions. I had done streeters before for classes, but the experience with BT was far better: People are much more willing to talk to you when you’re standing beside a Citytv van with a camera in tow.
I have five days of school left plus a final exam and then I’m done my second year of journalism studies. And in 22 days, I fly off to Alberta for my three-week military practicum.
Oh how time flies…
“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.”
— Henry James
This week will be my last at Breakfast Television, as I am now just over two weeks away from finishing my second year at Kwantlen.
Last week was great: I went to two live-eye events, meaning I was on location and away from the station for two of the shows. I spent Wednesday morning with Dawn, who reported from Florence Nightingale elementary school in Vancouver where mayor Gregor Robertson was flipping pancakes for the KidSafe Project Society “Heroes Among us” breakfast.
On Thursday, I went to Kwantlen’s Cloverdale campus with Greg to learn about the school’s farrier program.
I learned a lot from being on location. Not only are you constantly faced with the challenges of broadcasting live (timing, changes, etc.), but you also have to make each segment different, visually and content-wise.
After three hours in a barn on Thursday (dying of allergies), I headed off to Cavalia for a pre-tape. Again, it was good to see how much planning and effort goes into making each clip unique and interesting.
Friday was a calmer day, and I was given an election project to work on.
I spent this weekend catching up on sleep, working on school projects and packing away my life. Having lived in a house with no tables and only two patio chairs, an air mattress and a baby grand piano on the main floor for what seems like ages, I’m looking forward to getting the move over with.
This headline sums up my past couple of days on the job at 24 Hours. And despite how it appears, both parts of the title are completely unrelated.
First, the bed bugs.
Several days ago I wrote an article for the paper on a woman who has been living in a bed bug-infested apartment for two years.
The next day, I got a phone call at work from someone who said he has been living in a rented suite with bed bugs for almost a year, and his landlord has done nothing about. Somebody else emailed the general news address to report a similar problem.
Not only are people reading my articles, but they are responding, and that’s pretty cool.
I wrote an article about the man and his landlord, which didn’t make it to the print edition, and may or may not be lurking online somewhere at vancouver.24hrs.com.
It’s safe to say that I am the go-to girl for all things bed bug: I’m on the bed bug beat.
And on an unrelated note: My adventure in the DTES.
My editor assigned me to a story about a food bank barbecue at Oppenheimer Park. But instead of just filing a story, I also got the opportunity to shoot the event for the website, and do some on-camera work.
It was a challenge: I was in charge of setting up all of the equipment, filming B-roll, interviewing people and doing my own reporting (which was weird at first because I was standing in front of my tripod talking to no one in particular, but I eventually got used to it).
I was very gung-ho, because broadcasting is my ultimate career goal.
And to add to my excitement, it just so happens that Sarah McLachlan was there, at Oppenheimer Park, flipping burgers for the cause. (Her appearance wasn’t mentioned in the press release.)
I immediately got footage of her behind the grill, and interviewed her when she took a minute to mingle with the crowd. She was very gracious and down-to-earth. That’s another person to add to my list of famous interviewees!
Eventually, CBC, Shaw, CTV and GlobalBC all showed up with their big fancy cameras and I decided to get on with my day.
My “bodyguard,” a photographer who accompanied me to the site, left halfway through shooting. So I walked from 400 Powell St. to 554 E 15th. That is a very long walk, and right through Main and Hastings too.
But I lived, and got some exercise, and had a great day.
Look for the video online, which should be up soon. The article can be read here as well as in tomorrow’s paper.
For this week’s Kwantlen Chronicle submission, @JSaggau and I decided to put together a video on student parking.
Last year, it cost students $95 per semester to park at one of the four campuses: this year, it costs students $125.
Like true journalists, we did the math and found out why there was a $30 parking pass increase from 2009-2010.
Putting the video together was a lot of fun: we took turns reporting facts on camera, and caught students’ reactions to the price increase on tape.
The fruits of our labour were not, however, acheived without difficulty, or should I say, difficulties.
The majority of the audio from our first day of filming wasn’t recorded. We still have no idea why, but we figured it was due to some mechanical incompatibility between the mic and the camera.
On the only other day we had to re-shoot the video, the weather was terrible, which meant that we would have a lighting inconsistancy between the first day we shot (which was bright and sunny) and the second.
Finally, in our first shoot, I had done all of the reporter on-camera work. Since half of the clips didn’t have any audio, they needed to be re-shot. But I was wearing different outfits on both days, which would have made for a lot of wardrobe changes back and forth in a two minute video.
The project was a great learning experience, as we had to really work together as a team to overcome the many obstacles thrown our way.
You can check out the parking video, which marks my first broadcast debut, at the Kwantlen Chronicle online.