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Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Longest Week

Sorry I haven’t been able to keep up with posting this week. By far, this has been the busiest week so far this summer.

The week all started Monday, when Jeff and I flew from Austin to Indianapolis. We had, what we thought, was a short layover at Chicago/O’Hare airport. But when we landed, we discovered that our flight was delayed 50 minutes because of a late arriving plane. When we realized we would get in the same time if we rented a car and drove, we stayed at the airport and waited out the delay.

It was madhouse. Tons of flights were getting delayed, and there were a bunch of people trying to get out of the airport. After two hours of waiting, and a changed gate, we were able to get back into Indianapolis at around midnight.

Tuesday morning came very fast indeed. I met Zongwei, the last intern, Tuesday morning when we both got up. After a quick shower, we headed to the office. I started transferring all of the footage off of the compact flash drive, and into Finals Cut Pro, around 16 GB’s worth of video. The rest of the day was spent editing footage for a couple projects. At 4 p.m., we left the office for a small show in Indianapolis, about five minutes away from our apartment.

It was a relatively small show. Pioneer, Crossmen, Troopers, and the Madison Scouts were there, debuting their show. All of the IT interns and myself were there to learn how to record the Video On Demands. The show was delayed a half-hour due to weather, but eventually it started. The weather held off, and all the corps were able to go on. A quick breakdown, and we were home by 10 p.m.

Going in to the office on Wednesay, we knew it was going to be a long day. Turned out, it was. We left the office around 1:30 for Fairfield, Ohio, which around two hours away. We got there around 4:30, after a lunch stop. After flashing our badges, we were able to get a spot close to the stadium (which will be important to the story later).

It was a quick set-up for the VOD’s for the show. We had to compete with the local cable company for a spot in the press box, but we had a decent shot on the 50. There were a couple sound issues that arose, but after some tinkering, I was able to get everything ready. Right before the show, I went to the marketplace to get some B-roll of the marketplace, and interview a couple of the souvie guys, seeing what it is like being on tour with the corps.

Once the show started, the weather got worse. When CIncinnati Tradition went on, it started pouring rain. There was a brief 10 minute delay until Pioneer went on. Once Pioneer got on, the show went on as normal until intermission. At 8:50, intermission started. at 9:00, the show was on an indefinite delay because of lightening. After a couple rounds of torrential downpour, the show was eventually called around 10. After quick break-down, and short walk to the car, we were able to get somewhere dry. A quick pit stop to Waffle House, and we were on the road, getting home right around 1 a.m.

The next morning, everyone was running late. I didnt get up until 8, and we didn’t leave until 8:30-ish. I was exhausted all day, struggling to stay up. I was able to put some stuff together for the Fan Network. I can’t remember anything else from work that day. After work, I got some work done while Britni, David, and Zongwei did Insanity. After, we went to La Hasienda for some Mexican and Margaritas. After food, I passed out.

Friday was an incredibly short day in the office. We were only there for a couple hours. Around 11:30, Jeff and I left to get some drum-cam footage before going to Muncie. We hit up the Scouts and Blue Stars rehearsals. Blue Stars were putting out sound. Aside from the hornline, they had 15 speakers on the front sideline. They were loud, and their drumline was jammin’.

We got to the stadium at 4:30, and met up with David and Zongwei up in the pressbox. We had a really good view of the field from our spot. We were able to enjoy the last hour of Crown’s rehearsal. I shot some of their run-through from the sideline. They were putting out more sound than the Blue Stars, and without the added speakers.

Right before the show, I went to the lot to get some footage of people warming-up. It was sprinkling on and off, so it was difficult to shoot. After intermission, I got on the field, to shoot footage of the show. Unfortunately, I had to see the Glassmen from up-close. Man, that was waste of 20 minutes. After them, it was Madison, Blue Stars, Crown, and the Cavaliers. Not a bad lineup.

After the show, the BOA kids performed with Crown on the field. After the performance, we got some interviews from the kids, Crown drum majors, and the directors of the BOA Symposium. Those kids were so excited to perform with Crown. it was really cool to see.

After, I went back to the apartment, while everyone else went on to Grand Rapids. I really wish I could have gone on with them. The apartment was really quiet when I got back there. But as soon as I got home, I passed right out.

I ended up waking up at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The entire day was spend doing absolutely nothing. It was a nice change of pace. At 9:45, I was able to watch the Live Stream from the Stanford show. It was awesome seeing the Cadets, Phantom, SCV, and the Blue Devils. Once again, Phantom ripped off a phenomenal show, making me even prouder of Bobby.

After the show was over (around 2 am), I went to bed. I woke up around 11:45 this morning, and picked Brittni, David, and Zongwei up from the office, and came back to the apartment. Tonight will be spent getting ready for the week, and the live show from Michigan City, Indiana.

More information coming later this week.

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Posted by on June 26, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

DCI Austin

Yesterday, the second event of the Drum Corps International season was held in Round Rock, Texas, which is just outside of Austin. And although things were kind of rough in the morning, it all worked out in the end.

The day started with the three-hour car ride from Dallas to Austin. Going through the middle of Texas, there was nothing. Just bare farmland with an occasional town. Before going to the hotel we stopped by the stadium. The GPS took us on a weird route from the highway, so it took a while. After a quick look at the stadium, we took the trek to the hotel, which was a good half-hour away from the stadium.

When we got to the hotel, there weren’t any doubles available. After talking to the guy at the front desk, who wasn’t the nicest person in the world, some people were able to get rooms switched to singles, so the people without rooms had a place to put their stuff. After that, we were able to get a quick lunch, and head back to the stadium to set up the show.

The set up part was easy for us this show. Tom Blair, who runs his own production company, was there to film the show for the DCI theaters (which everyone should go to: http://www.fathomevents.com/sports/event/dci_premiere2011.aspx?CFID=12718409&CFTOKEN=d44eafe73cdf90bd-138F02B7-1EC9-FE95-694BBFBC21023B87&jsessionid=84304bd2dd8d3e2ff1757707175207a1b4b6). We didn’t have to set up a camera, run cable, or any of that. I was able to throw together some of the stuff that I had shot yesterday, and get that ready for upload. And before I knew it, the show had started.

The Blue Devils were up first, while the sun was in the sky. It was very weird seeing them on the field when the sun was out to say the least. After the Cavaliers and Bluecoats went on, I went to get some footage of the production crew doing their jobs in the press box and on the field. After intermission, I went into the TV truck while Jeff was shooting some B-roll of the truck. Holy crap that was cool! It was amazing seeing all that stuff in action. I was geeking out to say the least.

After the Cadets were on, I was able to sit in the stands and watch Phantom Regiments show. Wow. That is all I have to say. They sounded amazing. I was so proud of Bobby for all the hard work he is putting in, along with the rest of the kids in Phantom Regiment. They are looking to be going places this year.

After Phantom, I went back up into the press box to continue working. After twenty minutes, the show was done. It was nice not having to coil up hundreds of feet of cable. Nice change of pace.

Break-down wasn’t bad at all either. A bunch of the kids from the local high school band volunteered to help, so most of the loading was taken care of. Unfortunately though, we were one of the last ones to leave the stadium. We got back to the hotel around 1215, and decided to grab some food. We ended up going to Denny’s for the some night grub, which was a lot of fun. We got back to the hotel at 200, and I ended up passing out shortly after.

Today, Jeff and I have a flight out of Austin at 4:25, getting into Indianapolis at around 10:30 This is going to be a busy week, with three shows to go to in Indy, Fairfield, Ohio, and Muncie, Indiana. New blog post at the end of the week.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

It’s Not All About Wal-Mart at The First Show Of The Season

First show of the season!

As I type this, some of the DCI staff and I are in the midle of the three hour car ride from Dallas/Ft. Worth to ROund ROck, Texas (by Austin) for the second show of the season, DCI Austin.

Last night, in Saginaw, Texas, the drum corps season kicked off, in a big way.

During the late morning/early afternoon, Jeff and I had to set up the camera and stuff to capture the VOD’s of the show. As you all know, it is not all about Wal-Mart, setup was a pain. The camera had to be setup in the judges area, which was the only outside place in the pressbox. After running hundreds of yards of cables, we were finally set up for the show.

I reallly didn’t care about laying all the cable, because at least we were in the AC. I know it is Texas, but it was wicked hot outside. The thermometer in the car topped out at 104-degrees yesterday.The wind was whipping around as well, blowing hard all day. It was a hot wind, so on top of the heat, it was like an oven on the field.

After lunch, we stopped to watch the last of SCV’s ensemble block before the show. Jeff had a GoPro camera, so we attached it to the center tenor for the rest of rehearsal. During the run-through, we attached it to a snare drum, and I got footage of the battery from the sideline. Pretty awesome experience.

Around 5:30, I headed out to the lot to get some lot shots for a montage on ‘Opening Day’ in the drum corps season. Once Phantom got on to the field, being the third corps on, I went to sideline and started getting some sideline footage. It was amazing being on the sideline during those shows. I wasn’t able to pay attention to the show as much, but I was able to practice shooting, using less auto-focus and more manual-focus. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I got some pretty damn good footage (but we will see once I import everything).

After the Blue Devils went on (20 minutes late because there was too much wind), I started to break down. After the show, the wind really started to whip around. It was gusting around 40 m.p.h. The lights at the stadium were sway a good 2 to 3 feet to either side. It was an adventure taking down all the tents with all the wind. At midnight, everything was finally broken down. After a quick shower, everyone met up in the lobby to hang out. We ended getting 5 pizzas from Dominos around 12:30. It was nice hanging out with everyone and unwinding.

So all-in-all, the first show of the season was a success! Every corps came out strong, and the event went off without a hitch, even with the rain and wind. I am hoping everything stays calm. I have a bunch of videos to edit for this weekend. I am going to post all the videos I make either on Facebook on here, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Peace out from the flat-state of Texas.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

DCI Week 2

So it has been a while since I have logged about what I have done out here in Indianapolis. I have told myself that I was going to write more frequently, but you know, things happen. What can you do?

Now, let’s see if I remember everything.

So last weekend, Brittni, David and I decided to take up Insanity. Since we will be here until mid-August, it will be perfect. Let me tell you, it’s been tough. In the month of May, I wasn’t able to work out a lot due to allergies kicking by butt, and finals. The most I was able to do was the week of landscaping I was able to fit in before I left. Even though it’s been hard, it’s been a lot of fun. I can already tell I am getting in better shape.

I have been able to go shoot a couple of stories so far (and the season hasn’t even started!). Last Saturday, the four of us took a trip down to Bloomington, IN to visit the Madison Scouts. I was able to bring along a camera, and was permitted to shoot rehearsal footage. Since they were in visual sectionals, there wasn’t a lot to shoot. After rehearsal was done, I interviewed the drum major, and walked around Starr Hall, where Blast! was formed. You could see the grid still painted in the parking lot. It was a piece of history!

That night, we ventured into Downtown Indy for the night. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, which was cool because I had never been. While we were there, 6 bachelorette parties came in and out of the restaurant! After dinner, we went to Jillians to shoot some pool. Unfortunately, it started pouring out. After running back to the car, and me almost busting my head open, we were able to get back to the car. We took a quick car ride to the IMAX Theatre, and saw Pirates of the Caribbean 4. It was pretty awesome.

The next week, during my internship, was interesting. I was able to put together a news package previewing the Madison Scouts. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to publish it. The other time in the office was categorizing prior videos, packaging up some gift bags, and setting up to shoot commercials for DCI. I was also able to book almost all of my flights for the summer. This weekend, I will be traveling to Texas for the first two shows of the season. I will also be going to the local shows around Indianapolis, Denver, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Murfreesboro and Atlanta, and Allentown, before staying for Finals Week.

On Friday, I had my first sushi experience. After work, we stopped by one of the places downtown. I mustered up the courage to try one piece. Needless to say, I won’t be trying sushi anymore. After that, we hiked it to a movie theatre to see the Hangover 2. it was still funny the second time around.

Saturday was an adventure. After getting up early to so Insanity, David, James and I headed up to Fishers, IN to Conner Praire to videotape the Troopers perform, and get a little footage of the park. It is an Interactive Historical Park, we there are different areas with different time periods. People were dressed up and in character, which was pretty need. Not my cup of tea, but still pretty cool.

After that, we went to Fry’s Electronics. It was impressive. It is just a huge electronics store, but it was new to me, so there was some novelty in the place. After getting some blu-rays, we headed over to the Steak ‘N Shake for my first time ever. That night was pretty low-key, except for a late-night CVS trip. The three of us went for Ora-jel and toenail clippers, but came out with a lot of junk food.

The only interesting thing that happened on Sunday was our trip to Buffalo Wind Wings for the NBA Finals game (more on that in another blog some time soon). Even though the waitress was slow, and didn’t get a lot to drink, the wings were good, and the Mavs won, so it wasn’t that bad.

Today, I compiled a bunch of footage of the American flag in drum corps shows and put them into a little montage. It is going to be published tomorrow for Flag Day. At 2:00, we had a meeting for everyone who was going to Texas for the first two shows. It didn’t hit me the first show was this weekend. So excited to fly out on Friday. After the meeting, I started editing the Troopers footage. Hopefully it will be done tomorrow!

For those of you who read this far, thank you. A lot more happened, but I am too tired to try and remember and put in everything that has happened so far. Hopefully I will have time to write more this week.

The DCI season starts Saturday in Saginaw, Texas. Are you excited? I sure as hell am.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

Playoffs? We’re talking about Playoffs? Playoffs?

So I know I haven’t written a sports blog in a while. But the happenings in the NBA Finals this past week can not go without writing about.

I really haven’t been a basketball fan all season. Just casually following it here and there. But there past games have really been what thee finals are all about. Before the finals, I didn’t think that it would be close. As much as I hated to say it, I thought the Heat were the better team. Lebron and Company had been on a tare, beating the Celtics, and Bulls in convincing fashion.

But this series, wow. That is really all I have to say. I saw an interesting stat, that pretty much some up the entire series. Out of ten halves of basketball, eight of those halves have been decided by two points or less.Just think about that. That’s ridiculously close.

The first two games in Miami drew an even 1-1 series tie. Both teams flexed their muscles, with Dallas coming from 15 points down with 6 minutes left in the fourth to win.  The ‘Dirk Show’ came out of the gate strong for Dallas, carrying Dallas to split the two games with the Heat.

The last three games in Dallas have proven to be a momentum shifter. Miami wasn’t too worried going in to Dallas. They knew the last two games of the series were to be in Miami, so as long as they won at least one game in Dallas, they would be set up for success. But what happened to the Heat was the opposite of what they wanted.

Game three seemed to be a turning point. The Heat were up by two as time ran out. Dirk Nowitzki, who had been clutch all game, missed the game-tying jumper as time expired, which took the entire air out of the arena in Dallas. After the game, Nowitzki called out Jason Terry for not pulling his weight. The Mavs seemed to be on the ropes, giving the Heat the 2-1 series lead.

But the Mavs came out with vengeance in game four. Dirk, who was suffering from a sinus infection, had a relatively quiet game up until the fourth quarter. Once again, with the game going back and forth, the Heat had a lead in the fourth. After the Mavs took acceptation to a little excessive celebration by the Heat with five minutes remaining, the Mavs went off. Nowitzki shined, scoring 39 for the game, and leading Dallas to a win in Game 4. The overlying storyline of Game 4 was Lebron’s poor fourth quarter play. He had zero points in the fourth, not helping the Heat at all.

Even with the loss, the Heat remained cocky. The Heat joked around about Nowitzki’s illness, saying it was blown out of proportion, and started mocking him.

Game 5 started off slow, but ramped up quick. It was the most offensive game of the series, with both teams scoring more than 100, for the first time in the Finals.

It was the Jason Terry show in Game 5. Circus shots after clutch shots kept the Mavs ahead of the Heat. An injury of Dwayne Wade in the first half left the Heat at a severe disadvantage. But to my surprise, Lebron James took over the Heat. He kept them in the game.

But in the fourth quarter, like the game before, Lebron went cold. This time, he only had two points in the fourth. But with five minutes left, the Heat were up by one point. After a timeout called by the Mavs, they came out swinging. Terry’s took over the Mavs, instead of Dirk. After the game was tied, Terry hit a huge three to push the Mavs out in front. On their next possession, Terry hit a long three OVER James to widen the lead. This time, Dallas was able to hold, and expand, their lead, winning Game 5, and going to Miami with a 3-2 series lead over the Heat.

Unfortunately, the Mavs winning is being overshadowed by Lebrons failure to show up in the fourth quarter. Before Game 5, he called this game “…the biggest of his career.” But the last two games, he scored a total of 2 points over the last 24 minutes.

For someone who was supposed to be “The Chosen One,” and the next MJ, he is definitely not living up to the billing. These playoffs have shown two flaws in James’s games. One, he doesn’t do well against a tough defense. Just put bodies on him, and it will shut him down (sort of like Tom Brady). And two, he doesn’t perform in clutch situations.

Game 6 is on Sunday. Me, and every other NBA fan, are waiting on pins and needles, waiting to see if Lebron lives up to the hype, or whether the Mavs can smother the Heat once again, and clinch the Finals where Lebron took his talents to, South Beach.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in NBA

 

Feet First

This past weekend, I said “Goodbye” to Connecticut, and “Hellllooo” to Indiana.

After a flight to Chicago, then Indianapolis (if someone could tell me how that is logical, I would love it), I was finally in Indianapolis for my internship. Except for a rough final approach in Indy, I was finally there. It was weird not flying in for a vacation, or flying home from one. This time, it was for business.

Sunday night and Monday were uneventful. After catching up on rest from travel Sunday night, Monday was a day of rest for me (my first day of actual rest in two weeks). James and I managed to blow through the entire 6th season of ‘The Office.’ After nine hours, and finally getting to meet David and Brittni in person, it was time for bed.

Tuesday was just a whirlwind adventure. After getting to the office around 8:45, I went right into orientation. After getting to know all about Drum Corps International, I went around meeting everyone who works there. After that, Jeff gave me all the software I needed. I loaded up my computer with FInal Cut Studio, Photoshop, Cinematize Pro, MPEG Streamclip, and a bunch of other software.

I felt bad though. My computer wouldn’t connect to the wireless internet at the office at all. I kept having to bug IT to get it fixed. Rich was awesome enough to get it to work, but unfortunately the settings didn’t save when I closed my computer. But the kicker was, I found out the next morning that I actually had the password wrong. Go figure.

After lunch, we hashed out a rough outline of the travel schedule for the summer (It is going to be a fun summer). After that meeting, I was able to sit down with Jeff and started going over stuff. After that hour talk, my mind was hurting. On top of meeting everyone, along with all the information and new software I received, I was in “information overload.”

After work, I was able to unwind. David, Brittni and I checked out a local high school to stadium to see if we could do some filming there. After Brittni and I took David’s car for a ride when he ran to the stadium, we went for a run. We ran to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Northwest High School. After running through the grass parking lots that were still littered with trash, we made it. It was really hot and humid, and decided to walk back.

Then, we made a quick trip to Wal-Mart to get a digital antennae to watch the NBA and NHL Finals. I was finally able to get an air mattress, sleeping bag, and some food supplies, which were mucho-needed. A funny ride home, including an entertaining pit stop at Taco Bell, we finally got home to watch the game, and get some sleep.

It was a little harder getting up this morning, even though I did manage to get more sleep than the night before. But once I took a shower and got some breakfast, I was rearin’ to go. The day started off doing some research on aspect ratios and pixelation, Jeff H. (the guy who I am working with the summer) showed me how to rip stuff from DVD to a Quicktime. I was then tasked to taking all of BD’s shows from DVD’s to the computer. After some slow goings, it was lunchtime.

The first business meeting was after lunch. It was Jeff H., myself, and the rest of the marketing team, with a few on video conferencing. After the meeting, I continued to rip BD shows. I was only able to get a couple, so I know what I will be doing tomorrow.

So for an overview, the first two days of my internship have been AWESOME! From meeting a whole lot of new people, to being exposed to a bunch of new software, to finding out where I will be going this summer, the first couple days have been amazing. What is on tap for the rest of the week, I have no idea. All I know is that this short week has been perfect to ease me in.

More to come.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in DCI Internship