Friday, March 8, 2013

Whirlwind!!! - videos for Disney Jan-March 2013

Wow.  This gig has turned full-time.

Not in the legal sense such that I get benefits, retirement, park access, and all that, but I am here 40 hours a week!  Permalancing is great.  I usually get full-time hours, but also the flexibility to take off whenever I need or want to.  The downside is that there is no guarantee of those 40 hrs.  There may be a slow week where there is no work for me to come in and do at all!

Thankfully, January, February and March have been so busy so far that I've gotten to work a lot, and on some projects that were actually broadcasted!  Here are a few of the most interesting pieces I edited....

RunDisney's 20th anniversary marathon weekend - recap of the family 5K and kids races.

A 1-minute sizzle piece highlighting the last 60 years of Disney magic. This one of 6 videos I cut for a live show that aired in Columbia in February. 

A cute promo piece for the 2013 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival (March 6-May 19th) :)

The number of videos I've worked on so far this year is ridiculous I can't believe I get to do this for a living!  Disney really is the place where dreams come true...and sometimes that dream is your job!!  Stay tuned for more behind the scenes stuff soon.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Press Event.

On December 6th, Walt Disney world officially opened its biggest expansion in the history of the parks, New Fantasyland. Now of course, TV stations, websites, radio hosts, etc. all want to come get footage and report on the new section of Magic Kingdom, but we can't just have news crews running around the parks whenever they please!  So, on Dec 6-8th we held a press event! It was nuts.

Thankfully, I wasn't out in the park filming.  I was, however, stationed at the Contemporary Resort Convention Center, where we set up an edit room to assist all the news crews with stuff they needed.  We edited footage together with their reporters to complete video segments that they could air, and even provided a satellite link for them to broadcast live. On top of THAT we provided all the b-roll we have from around the parks of anything they could ever need.  My role was to help run the whole show, making sure producers were matched up with editors, incoming footage got converted, and that final edits made it to the crews on flash drives or through FTP.   Since I worked long nights and early mornings, they actually put me up at the Grand Floridian :-) and every meal was catered!  If it wasn't so chaotic, I'd want to do it all the time :)  Here are a few pics:

Ken Montgomery, Edit Captain, the guy I assisted.  Edit stations in the background

Heck yeah.

You can read all about the expansion of Magic Kingdom here.

I really enjoyed working the press event.  I feel like I learned a lot and was stretched.  I met people in the business and freelance editors who work at different places in Orlando.  One guy I met worked for Universal Studios (park) and worked on the Harry Potter ride, and got to meet the cast when they came to film it!  Very cool. 

Tune in next time for an update on all I've worked on in 2013 so far :)

Ordering Room Service at the Grand Flo!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sorry for the wait :)

I am not a blogger, that's for sure.  How people keep these up, I'll never understand!  My original goal was to post once a week, but it looks like once a month is going to be a more attainable goal for me :)

Since I last posted, I've had the opportunity to work on several video projects for the Disney parks.  Many people ask me when they hear I'm doing video for Disney, "So you're working on movies?" No. I'm not, sadly.  Those elusive jobs all reside out in California, and you have to scratch and claw your entire life to get them.  Most of us aspiring filmmakers end up in the corporate video world, or television.  Now, I'm not saying that couldn't happen one day, because God can do anything :) In fact I would love that! But hopefully, until then, you will find my behind-the-scenes video work at Disney parks to be somewhat interesting.  Here's a few things that happened in November:

Got my official name tag :)

This is what I do most days - edit video from the parks! This was a "holiday greeting" from the princesses for a Canadian TV show. You can see the color correction I did - original footage on the left, corrected on the right.  Since it was shot at sunrise, the image was way too pink.    

Did you know there's a subway at Disney? It's hidden away just for cast members :)

More to come soon!  Come back next time to hear all about the behind the scenes of the big press event for New Fantasyland! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NEW JOB!! Working for the Mouse pt. 1

Well, I've done it again.  I started a blog that I was very diligent about for the first week, then unintentionally abandoned.

Well, now I actually have good reason to write!  As you may or may not know, I started working for Disney this past Monday (Oct. 29th.)  It has been great fun so far, and very overwhelming!  The behind the scenes backstage world of the Disney parks is essentially its own universe; the cast members and employees of Disney are a whole community that goes way beyond anything I ever imagined.  So, I thought it would be a good idea to record all the things I get to do, and all the things I am learning, because you won't find this in any book!

My first day, I arrived very early (7am) at Hollywood Studios (the actual studios on the backlot) for a film shoot.  When I got to the gate, they couldn't find my name in the system as having access (I didn't have a Disney ID card yet.) So, after much deliberation, they decided to send me around to the Television parking lot of the park, where cast members park.  Well, of course my name wasn't there either, so when I finally got in touch with my coworker, Dan, he ended up meeting me at Fantasia mini golf, where he picked me up and we rode over to the shoot.  The shoot was very straightforward - we filmed the President of New Vacation Operations and Disney Cruise Line, Karl Holz, giving an introductory speech to the attendee of an upcoming EcoSummit (to talk about green energy for the company.)  It was super windy and super cold outside so my coworkers and I tried to convince Karl's underlings that we should shoot inside so that we could light him and not have the audio issues of the wind to deal with.  Apparently everyone was too scared to stand up to Mr. Holz to ask him to go inside, so we shot the piece in hurricane winds (literally :)).   After the shoot, I had lunch with other members of Broadcast Production, who have lunch together every day at either Brother Bear in (what used to be) the Animation Building or Take 5 Cafe, a small cafeteria on the backlot that is just for cast members!  It was really neat to step into this area of the park that I've never seen before. 

After lunch, we brought the footage back to the studio at the Roy O. Disney building and set up the project for me to edit the next day.  After lunch it was time for me to go out to Disney U. (Disney University - where all new cast members go to receive Disney 101 training) to get my new ID card.  This area, which I also never knew about, is right behind (north of) the Magic Kingdom. The area  where you get your ID was basically like a less terrible version of the DMV - they even had you take a number and get called up to then get your picture taken and a card made.  For some reason, they had me in the system as Dana I have to get that fixed later.  While we were up there, Dan also showed me an area called Property Control, where cast members can go to buy discontinued or overstocked merchandise for a discount.  There is even a building where they send old furniture from resorts and other areas around the parks and sell it or auction it to cast members!  Part of this building also had a food market with fresh fruit and dairy products that cast members could buy for very cheap.  It's part of Disney's way of helping out their cast members who possibly don't make very much money, and their way of helping to promote healthy living.  It was weird - when I stepped into this building was when I really felt like I had entered a new world.  On the way back I got to see the monorail garage, and the area where all the fireworks are kept for the entire park.  Crazy stuff!!
Last name spelling fail :)

My second day, yesterday, I spent essentially the whole day editing the Karl Holz piece.  What was supposed to be a simple edit ended up being not so simple because of all the wind mixed in with his voice!! What a nightmare! I'm not an audio expert (that's why I stick to video and let the audio team deal with stuff) but for this piece, it was basically up to me to fix, so I spend half the day cleaning up the audio and the other half of the day finding b-roll to go with it and actually editing the video.  When the systems guy came in and listened, he suggested that we send the audio to one of the audio guys here.  Well, when we got it back, it sounded like he hadn't really changed anything...and actually, my supervisors decided they liked my cleanup much better!! (woot.)   
Windy Audio...

Later in the day, we heard the news that Disney bought out Lucasfilm!!!!! So the whole team and I went crazy just talking about all the possibilities that could entail.  Mostly we all think they should open a fifth park that is entirely Star Wars.  Just think about it: there could be Star Wars rides, shows, and even hotels!!  Palpatine's Penthouse, Cloud City Resort, Tatooine Homesteads...ohhh my. But the best news is that they are releasing three more Star Wars films!  Ohhh what a great day yesterday was.

Today I am finishing up the Karl Holz piece.  The client, an executive over at Animal Conservation Programs, really loved it!  She didn't even notice the wind (or at least didn't think it was too bad) and loved the music and b-roll.  Hooray!  It's exporting now, and then I'll begin work on my next piece. 

Earlier today, me and the other TERP (contractor) went over to Team Disney to help two new Disney Ambassadors in training with their media training.  Basically it was a session to help them get comfortable being interviewed on camera by a reporter.  So some of the experienced Disney media people were there coaching them and asking them questions, and making them aware of certain techniques when being interviewed, as well as some bad tics they have that they need to stop doing :) We filmed their interviews and played them back for them so that they could see how they did.  Pretty simple.  Thankfully this was inside in a conference room so there was no wind to worry about!!  It was good for me because it gave me a chance to get familiar with some more of the gear we have here (the Sony EX3, the wireless mics, the tripods, etc.)  Now I am back at the editing station and am going to encode the videos and send them back to the client so they can keep them for teaching purposes. 

I'm learning so much and am really enjoying the job so far.  Even though I'm not technically a full-time Disney employee, and don't get a lot of the perks of a "real" cast member, I actually get a better hourly rate.  As a TERP, I can turn down any job they call me for, and can request more hours at any other area of the park if Broadcast Production doesn't have enough going on to schedule me.  So it's very flexible.  Though, this week and next week they are super slammed with requests, so I am working 40 hours, basically as if I was full-time anyway!  I had a good time talking with James, the other TERP, who has been one for 2 years and actually turned down a full-time position because it would have been a big pay cut after he has just received a raise. 

ANYWHO! I am super excited to continue to work here and be a part of this amazing company.  Stay tuned for more behind the scenes here on my blog very soon :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

AVID certified!

Last week I got to take two classes!! It was an awesome break from my normal day to day work here at FMC.  Having already learned Final Cut and Premiere Pro, I've always wanted to learn AVID.  

AVID is the professional standard of 85% of hollywood films and broadcast TV, and is the most recognized editing program around.  It's been around for 30+ years, and has always had a leg up on other editing software platforms.  

Now that I've learned it I can honestly say that it is better than Final Cut and Premiere.  The only thing it's missing is the dynamic linking that Premiere and After Effects can do.  

Anyway, the good news is that I PASSED the certification exam!!!  I am now an AVID Certified User.  Hopefully this will help me in my professional career as an editor down the road.  Now I just have to decide if I'm going to go after an editing job somewhere here in Orlando, be a freelancer, or take some other job... like going back to Jesus Film.  But more on that another time...

Yay for credentials!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The ethics of business

I've decided after talking with many people that unless something goes drastically wrong, I'm gonna stick out my internship.  I'm now 1/3 of the way done, and next week I actually get to start taking classes!  Woo hoo! I'm excited to finally learn Avid and After Effects.

But, I wanted to get everyone's opinion on the most recent assignment I have been given: to make 10 cold calls per day.  Now, this could be much worse - the other interns have to make 20.  But I have explained to my superiors how much I severely hate cold calls.  I feel like they are an invasion of privacy, and if I wanted to be a telemarketer, I certainly wouldn't be working for video editing classes.

Anyway, the creepy part about it is we have to use this online software called "Genius Tracker" which I have dubbed "Genius Stalker." It shows us when someone is looking at a mass email that we've sent them, and we can even replay their visit to our website.  The owner of our company has decided that we should ideally call them AS they are looking at the email to ask them if they're interested, without letting them know that we can see that they have it open.

The ethics of business....AHHAHHHJRHJGGGHHHH!!!

What do you think?  Ethical or unethical?

Friday, August 31, 2012


I am so glad it's Friday.  The past two weeks of life have just been insane with something going on every night after work.  It's exhausting for an introvert.  I really should learn to balance my time better and cut back on everything I'm trying to do, but it's tough to say no.

But there are many great things about today.  Not only is it Friday, but it is also (in no particular order):

1) The 5-month anniversary of marrying my hottie.
2) Opening night for WOLFPACK FOOTBALL season.
3) The day I actually did something about my flat flat feet.
4) The beginning of a week-long vacation!!!!
5) The first night in two weeks I'm staying home with my hottie to do nothing. YAY!!!!

So excited.  Hopefully the boss lets us leave early today.

my poor feeties.

 Let's hope these things help next week when I'm at DISNEY ALL WEEK WITH MY FAMILY!!! WOOOOOOO!!!!!!!