As my time went on at WBBZ-TV I had nothing but great experiences. I was able to complete most of my internship over winter break and during that time a lot of restaurants in Western New York were only open for takeout. About 50 restaurants in the Buffalo area came together and sued New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, for the right to open their restaurant. During this case, WBBZ began to travel from restaurant to restaurant and create short stories for each restaurant. We got to interview the workers, see how they made the food, shoot b-roll around the restaurant, and sometimes even take some food back for lunch. These were some of my favorite in the field experiences that I had. The free food was nice but on these shoots, I was able to gain a ton of experience. For a few of them my supervisor, Mr. Di Sciullo was a the station and it would be just me and one of the camera operators. At times, I was in control of the shoot because Mr. Di Sciullo trusted me. I helped set up the lights, microphones, and the set for the shoot as well as assisting with the directing for the overall production. My favorite production was by far the spotlight for “Gabriel’s Gate.” Gabriel’s Gate is one of the best restaurants for chicken wings in Buffalo and their unique decor was interesting to shoot b-roll for. Here’s the link to that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rbvRmOqPJg
One day Mr. Di Sciullo came to me with a project. He wanted me to write scripts for “Black History Month Spotlights.” At first, I was a little nervous. I had never written a script before. I had never researched for scripts. I was new to this. As I began the process I just did what I thought was right. I walked into Mr. Di Sciullo’s office an hour or so later and presented him with the scripts. He was very pleased with the work that I did and after a few minor changes, he said they were ready for the air. A few days later we brought talent in to read the scripts. I was brought into that meeting to learn how the process of audio recording worked. It was little projects like this that Mr. Di Sciullo began to throw my way or wanted me to experience. I really began to learn a ton. (Here’s a link to one of the spotlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DEbKvx2HLA)
One of my final experiences while interning at WBBZ was the live production of the 59th Annual Variety Kid’s Telethon. This was truly one of the best experiences I had at WBBZ-TV. The Variety Kid’s Telethon is a yearly telethon fundraiser that premieres on WGRZ, the NBC Affiliate for Buffalo, and then is picked up the next day by WBBZ-TV. WGRZ and WBBZ-TV work hand in hand to put this event on so I was at both days of the live production. I was also there to help with some of the setups for the event. This was extremely beneficial to me. I learned so much about live production and how complicated live production is. We ran what seemed like millions of tests the day before and the day of the production. We had to check audio levels, the main sound system, each camera (there were five of them), the director’s controls, the communication system we were using, and the graphics that would be placed on television during the event. The event itself went very smoothly and just being there was such a learning experience itself. It should be noted that all COVID-19 protocols were followed and each entity of the production received state approval. Here’s a video from that:
I loved the experience I received at WBBZ-TV and would recommend to any student looking for an internship to contact the station. Everyone at the station is super friendly and always willing to teach a young professional a thing or two. The main point I am trying to get at here is that when you’re an intern at WBBZ-TV, you aren’t just an intern, you are a part of the team. Like I said in my last blog, no matter what cubical you sit at or what title is on your desk, you are respected. When you’re an intern at WBBZ they invested in teaching you the skills necessary to be successful in this competitive industry and invested in you as a person.
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