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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Tebow the “Savior,” Orton the “Scapegoat”

I told myself that I would just focus on writing my blog for my DCI internship, since I didn’t have a lot of time to write. But this was just too important.

So, as you all know, the NFL lockout was lifted Monday, leading to a frantic week of agreeing with free agents, and make trades to better your team. The Patriots, Panthers, and the New York teams have made a big splash in the league, making trades and signing some big name players.

Then, you have the Denver Broncos.

They have remained relatively quiet this week. They trades away Jadar Gaffney for the defensive tackle from Washington, but besides that, they haven’t done much. The big news out of Colorado Springs, Colorado this week were that they were shopping around Kyle Orton, the starting quarterback from last season.

Now, this didn’t surprise me at all. Kyle Orton and Kevin Kolb, who recently went to the Arizona Cardinals, were the two quarterbacks who were reported to be finding new homes this offseason. With Kolb signing with the Cardinals, oration was a hot commodity. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks were looking for a veteran quarterback to lead their team, while they get their young gun ready to play.

Kyle Orton would be a stop-gap.

Talks picked up around Orton when a proposed trade would send him to Miami, in exchange for a couple mid-to-late draft picks. Denver wanted more for Orton, and Miami didn’t feel that he was worth that much.

My question: Why? Why do the Broncos want to trade Orton? Why do the Dolphins think that Orton isn’t worth that much?

Why in the world are the Broncos trying to trade Kyle Orton? He is been succeeding expectations ever since he took the reigns over from Jay Cutler, who whined his way to the Windy City at the beginning of the “McFailures-era.” Last year, he was one of the top-5 passers in the league, with 3100+ yards, 20 TD’s, and 9 INT’s, before being benched for the “Broncos savior” Tim Tebow, who was less than impressive in his three starts.

If you ask me, I think the Broncos should hold on to him. He is being used as the Broncos scapegoat for the failed, and miserable, season in 2011. As a quarterback, you live and die by your teams performance. I understand that. But it wasn’t directly Orton’s fault. For one, he didn’t have a consistent running game to back him up. Denver went through five or six different running backs last season. The defense also couldn’t stop a nose-bleed, giving up leads and not able to stop a high school football team. Because of these factors, the Broncos were 4-12.

Is Kyle Orton the best in the league? No. Is he going to be able to put the team on his back? No. Is he able to win a Super Bowl. Yes.

Kyle Orton is a game-manager. He can’t throw the long ball, but he is effective leading an offense down the field. The reason the TEAM did so bad wasn’t because of Orton. It was the team as a whole. He did his part, but no one else did. He has never gotten the chance on a decent team to shine. And he is a whole lot better than TimTebow, who ran more than he threw the ball in his first game.

Which brings me to my next point. Why is Tim Tebow being labeled the ‘savior’ of the Denver Broncos? Just because he SAYS he work harder? That may be true, but if you have the natural talent at quarterback, you just won’t succeed. Now, I am not saying he isn’t talented. He is incredibly talented. I just think he isn’t a starter in the NFL. If he was a versatile TE, who could throw the ball, he could be extremely valuable weapon. If John Elway comes out and says that he isn’t comfortable with Tebow, something must be wrong. He is being labeled a ‘savior,’ but he was 1-2 last year. Just because you were a QB-stud in college, doesn’t mean it will all transfer to the pro-level. You can’t run over people in the NFL like you can in the college level. And I don’t think he knows that. Before you know it, he will be on the DL, and Orton will be starting once again.

In a rebuilding phase, like the Broncos are, they need someone who is a solid, stable quarterback, who can lead the team while the young ones behind him mature and grow. If Denver was smart, they would keep Kyle Orton for the next two to three years.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2011 in NFL

 

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DCI Southwest

DCI Southwest

The ride to San Antonio consisted of traffic getting out of Houston, a lot of SiriusXM, and a stop at Buc-ee’s. It is a HUGE truckstop off of I-10, between Houston and San Antonio. David had told us so much about it, and we had to stop there. It was a necessary bathroom and snack-food break. As we were leaving, I snapped this picture of the mascot of Buc-ee’s. Cute, isn’t it.

We got to the Alamodome around 11:30. I power-walked back to the hotel for a quick shower. I wasn’t able to shower in the morning, and nothing is worse than filming a 9 hour show when you already feel disgusting. When I got back to the dome, we finished set up. I tried taking a quick cat-nap in the press box, but that ended up not working.

The closer we got to the show, the higher the stress level went up. When the live stream went live a 2 p.m., David, who was doing quality-control, realized that there was no left-channel audio coming through. After a discovery of a bad connection from the DA to the canopus box, we switched out some cables, used some duct tape to keep it in place, and it worked perfectly.

I went down on the field to capture some b-roll. There were three Open Class corps, and 22 World Class corps. After the Open Class corps went on, I went into the lot. I have to give it up for the members. It was hot, and there was minimal shade. I didn’t stay out there long at all. Before I knew it, the first 13 corps were done, and it was time for an hour intermission, which could’t have come soon enough. All that lack-of-sleep and hunger caught up with me. I hit a wall.

During intermission, I met up with my mom. She flew out for the show, and to do a little sight-seeing. It had been close to two months since I had seen her, so it was very nice to see her. I brought her up into the press box to show her what it was, what we did, etc… While I was talking to her, Jeff came in and told me it was time to go up on the catwalk.

You heard me, the catwalk.

We had gotten permission to go up there and do a time lapse video from up there. We met up with Logan, one of the Blue Devils videographers, who also wanted to go up there as well. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself scared of heights, but that was scary. The walkways were all grates, so you could see all the way down to the field.

Once we got in the middle, Jeff got the GoPro camera ready, and had to leave to continue with the live stream. It was just Logan and I up there. I was up there for the rest of intermission, and beginning of the Blue Knights performance.

Talk about an adrenaline rush.

After that, I was wide awake. I got my second, or third, or fourth wind. I was down on the field for the rest of the show, getting some awesome footage. Now that I am comfortable with the shows, I am starting to feel out where everything happens, and the different nuances to all the shows. That gives me more time to focus more on my shot composition, and less on what is happening on the field.

By the third to last performance, I started losing faith that the show was going to end. At 10:55, the last corps, Carolina Crown, went on. At that point, I was just making sure I got a couple shots I could use, and use my energy to stay awake. They finished up around 11:10. After a quick break, the drum majors came on the field for awards. I got all of the different salutes from the different drum majors. Once Dan Potter, the announce, said “Goodnight, and drive safe,” it was done!

Breakdown was relaxed, but hurried since everyone was tired. Jeff, David and I went up on the catwalk again to retrieve the GoPro. David was a little freaked out of heights, but went up anyways. It was a lot better the second time. Since I wasn’t that scared anymore, I was able to enjoy the scenes. Once we got to the middle, David decided to take a planking picture. He lay, face down and eyes open, on the catwalk. I couldn’t do that.

Best planking picture ever? I think so.

Once we got down, breakdown was pretty much complete. We headed off to the hotel. Pizza was waiting for us, per the usual pizza party we the DCI staff have after all of the shows.  Mat, Jeff and I went out for drinks at Mi Tierra, by the Riverwalk. Time flew by. Before we knew it, it was already 2:30. We went back to the hotel, and by 3, I was in bed passed out.

I met Mat down in the lobby at 8:45 to go to the airport. Jeff and Zongwei were staying behind to go to I and E, and David was staying behind to visit with Taylor and some of his friends. At the airport, I got a set of headphones, that were really needed. The ones I had from Christmas were only coming out from one ear bud, and the free ones AirTran passed out sounded like garbage. I got really good headphones, that came with a case to protect them. Mat helped me get some good ones. He knows audio, and which ones were the best.

In a nutshell, that is was happened in the “…heart of Texas…” this weekend. Time to watch some Community and sleep.

Totals from the Trip:

Miles: 3,000 miles (est.)

Performance Times: 13 hrs

Footage: 5 hrs

Sleep: 15 hrs

Total: One awesome weekend

Schedule for the coming week:

Murfreesboro, TN: 7/28-7/29

Atlanta, GA: 7/30-7/31*

*Going to try and make it to the race at the Indy Motor Speedway Sunday once I land)

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

San Antonio to Houston

Half-way through.

I had the privilege to be able to travel to San Antonio this weekend for DCI Southwest at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. I know this sounds crazy, but I was actually EXCITED to get out of Indianapolis and go to Texas because of the weather. I had heard there wasn’t a lot of humidity in Texas, so I was excited to get out of the lake called Indy.

Travel started on Thursday. Jeff told me I would be going to Houston on Friday with him for the Tournament of Champions (TOC) show. I was really pumped to hear this. Through reading Drum Corps Planet (DCP), I had only heard positive things. I was surely ready to get my face melted off by 600+ brass players.

Jeff, Zongwei, and I left the office around 5 p.m. for the airport. There was a lot of traffic, but we got to the airport with plenty of time. As soon as we parked, there was a shuttle that pulled up in front of us, asking for a ride. Indianapolis Airport was sending around more shuttles around the parking lots, to keep people out of the heat.

Getting through security was a breeze. We got to our gate with plenty of time to waste. In the gate area we spotted a Coldstone Creamery. After doing the math (ice cream + hot day = perfect), we got some ice cream for dinner. Unfortunately, the whole time I was standing there, all I could think of was Aziz Ansari’s comedy bit about Coldstone, so I couldn’t help from laughing.

We boarded the plane around 7 p.m. When I got on, I discovered that AirTran offered free SiriusXM Radio. Perfect! That way, I was able to keep abreast of the NFL lockout shenanigans. When I boarded the plane, I knew that the owners were still in their meeting, waiting to vote. As soon as the plane took off, I plugged my headphones in to listen. Luckily, I turned it on at the very beginning of a ‘SportsCenter Break.” The first words I heard: “The NFL Owners have voted 31-0 to ratify the new CBA.” And, to no one’s surprise, the Oakland Raiders didn’t vote. Shocking.

I was elated! Finally, there will be football.

But wait, there’s more.

The opening of the Brian Penny Show came on next on ESPN Radio. All the elation I felt was thrown out the window during his opening monologue. He was saying that the players didn’t like the changes made to the CBA before the owners voted on it. So, when I heard the players weren’t going to vote, I knew there wouldn’t be one tonight. Bummercitytown.

We landed in Atlanta, and had a quick connection on the San Antonio. I am not exaggerating when I say that Jeff, Mat, and I got off our plane, walked to the gate, and walked right on to the other plane. Atlanta was PACKED with people. Getting to the gate was a hassle in-and-of itself.

Finally, we landed in San Antonio 11. I ended up watching my new favorite show, ‘Community,’ the entire ride. The whole CBA-negotiating thing was just to frustrating. But with the awesome paintball episodes, which I will probably watch after I am done writing this, how could I not be entertained? Once everyone got their luggage, Mat stayed back to grab Zongwei from his 11:45 flight, while Jeff and I got our rental car and went to the hotel. We got to pick out the car we wanted for the weekend, and it needed space. I saw the Nissan Cube, and joking said we should get that. Jeff always wanted to say he drove one, so we decided on that one.

We got to the hotel a little after midnight. Check-in was a piece-of-cake, and went to the room to drop our stuff off. Since we hadn’t had an actual dinner, we walked about a mile to a Denny’s. BreakfAst food is always so good late at night. After we walked back to the hotel, I decided to put on TV. I don’t think I would ever say this, but I couldn’t watch ESPN. I have been going through withdrawals from it all summer, but I couldn’t stand to listen to Roger Goodall or DeMaurice Smith anymore. I found Alaska State Troopers on NatGeo, which has a lot of very good shows. I fell asleep shortly after.

Friday was jammed packed of activities. We went to the Alamodome after breakfast. It was right in the backyard of our hotel, so it was nice not having to drive there. We set up the internet, canopus boxes, and the basic layout for the next day. Jeff and I left the stadium at 1 p.m., and got in our Cube, bound for Houston. The drive was nice. A lot of wide open areas, cattles, and nothingness. We stopped at What-a-burger for some lunch. The fry container says “There is one near you!” False. There is not one in Connecticut. They are only in the south. Work on that.

We got to the stadium around 5 p.m., as the Cadets were wrapping up rehearsal. The security at the stadium rivaled Fort Knox. I have never been asked to see my badge so many times. Usually, they see it, it registers with them, and I can go on my merry way. I was questioned twice from the time I got to the gate and up into the press box.

The set-up was pretty straight forward, since we were only doing VOD’s and it was getting to the point where we had done it so many times, it was old hat. Around 6:30, the evenings “activities” began. Before the show, small ensembles performed while the crowd was moseying around. The kids from the different corps also intermingled with the spectators, as a way to get the crowd and performers closer. Very awesome. I got some B-roll of all of the pre-show festivities. I love it when there is so much stuff going on. Makes my job a whole lot easier.

The show started at 7:30, with the Blue Stars. After each corps performance, they would do what is called an “Instant Encore.” They would all get close together, and play one song for the crowd.  All 8 corps did this. The spectators were eating that stuff up, really enjoying the show the corps were putting on.

After the last corps, they did what was called the “Mass Finale.” The 600+ brass players who marched in those corps would come on the field and play altogether. I was able to go on the field, in-between the performers to get footage. I almost got caught in the form too. I didn’t know all of the arcs collapsed, but good thing I caught it out of the corner of my eye. I was able to run and sneak between two trumpets, and avoid everything. But being in that arc, I can tell you that it was loud. I got goosebumps while walking around.

After the brass was done playing, there was awards. After the usual awards ceremony, all of the drumlins gathered by the gate to “play out the crowd.” I use that term loosely. Basically, all the drummers just started playing at the same time. it sounded like 100 shoes rolling around a dryer, and my head was right in the middle of it. I walked around and got footage of the kids drumming, interacting with the different corps, and all-around tom foolery. Between that, and the Mass Finale, my hearing was shot.

Once we got to our hotel, the work began. We had to trim all of the VOD’s down to put them on Brightcove, as well as make some commercials. We ended up working until 2:30 in the morning, finishing up around then. After a “nap,” we got up at 7 to hit the road. We had to make the three-hour drive back to San Antonio, and the show started at 2:30. At breakfast, we caught up with the other DCI employees who were also making the trek. We set off around 8:30, on the road again, to San Antonio.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

Swimming Through Minneapolis

I wanted to write a blog every couple of days or so, to keep everyone updated. But while doing that, I realized that it would be easier for me, and better for you, to talk about my travels instead. During the week, I am spending most of my time editing video, and getting prepared for the weekend. If you are doing it, it is exciting. If you are reading about it, not so much.

But I digress.

And so begins the meat of the drum corps season.

This past weekend, I made the trip up to the great state of Minnesota for DCI Minnesota, the first Regional competition of the Drum Corps International season.

The trip started on Thursday. Zongwei, David, and I were planning on going in to the office a little later than usual. We were going to leave the apartment around 9:45, and make our way in. But David got a call from Mat around 8:45, and we hastily made our way into the office.

During the morning, I continued work on my big project in preparation for the weekend. I had to put together a 45-minute video of different drum corps moments to be played during hour-long intermission of the show. After talking with Jeff, I realized I had made a couple of mistakes when ripping the portions of shows from 2008 and 2010. I quickly re-burned those parts before having to load the truck with all the equipment needed for this weekend. After that, I made sure I had all of the parts off of the DVD’s, so I could finish it up on the plane.

We left the office around 1 p.m. David, Zongwei and I made our way to Indianapolis International Airport. Upon arriving, we discovered our plane was 40-minutes due to weather in the east. I thought, “Man, this can’t happen to me AGAIN this weekend!” We got through security easily, and went to the gate. Before long, Jeff, Mat, and Rich joined us. We created our own little workspace in the airport, to do some “work.”

The flight was uneventful. I was able to get the majority of the project finished, but had to stop because my hand started to hurt. Of course, the guy in front of me HAD to put his seat back, so I had zero room to work. I had to contort my hand awkwardly to do anything. Eventually, I gave up, and just listened to music until we landed.

After we got our bags and rental cars, Jeff and I went to the hotel, while the IT guys went to try and get tickets to the Royals/Twins game. It was a good thing we went to the hotel first. There was a mix-up in our reservation, and the hotel actually didn’t have us checking in that night. Jeff was able to get it squared away, and we were able to check-in, as well as save rooms for Mat/David and Rich/Zongwei.

Once we were settled in, we met up with the guys at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Minneapolis. After a great dinner filled with laughs, we ended up going back to the hotel. I was able to get my project finished, and let it render FOREVER (because FCP 6 doesn’t have background rendering. Lame.).

In the morning, we got up around 8 to head to the stadium. It started to drizzle, and we knew it wouldn’t be good from there. After trying to find an IHOP, but instead, being led to a residential neighborhood, we headed to the stadium. We ended up stopping by a McDonald’s for breakfast. I guess I like hash browns now.

We got to the stadium around 10 a.m. I started compressing, while the internet and set-up started. Mat was making fun of me because I said I was working on compressing, while watching ‘Community.’ I love compressing a 45-minute movie, more time to watch the show.

Over the course of the late-morning/early-afternoon, the rain started picking up. I was glad I was in a press box. The storm was really weird, bringing many waves of rain over the stadium.

The Blue Devils were putting on a System Blue clinic in the stadium that day. They were constantly off-and-on the field during that time. Eventually, it started to downpour with thunder and lightning, so they retreated inside. It rained constantly for a good portion of time. The field looked in bad shape. (I later found out that there was between 5-7″ of rainfall in Minneapolis. INSANE!)

I don’t if you can tell, but the field was severely soaked, and started to puddle. But fortunately, the rain stopped around 2 p.m., in time to go to lunch. As always there is a BWW near the stadium, so naturally, we went there.

After lunch, we finished up the set-up. We got all of the computers hooked up, tested, and tested again. Since we were doing a live broadcast, everything had to be set-up right. How many computers does it take to put on a live-stream and capture VOD”s?

Hint: 

We were done with set-up around 7 p.m. Jeff and I went back to the hotel to drop Ed off at the hotel close to us. We met up with the IT guys at the Mall of America. We played some pool, had a great time. After pool, we went to T.G.I. Fridays to grab some dinner, since we had such a late lunch. We ended up getting back to the hotel around midnight. And with my luck, Independence Day was on HBO, so I had to watch it. It ended up being closer to 1:00 a.m. by the time I got to sleep.

Wake-up came a lot faster, and suddenly, then I had expected. We were supposed to leave around 7:30, to meet up with the audio guys. But the funny thing was, Jeff and I both woke up at 7:54. Oops. And the funny part was, I got a text from David two minutes before I woke up saying they just had as well. After a hurried gathering of things, we headed to the stadium. When we got there, everything was good, and we started getting things ready. We had a short time, since the show started at 1:30 p.m.  David and Zongwei ordered pizza, so at least we had something to eat before the show.

The show kicked off at 1:30, with the Blue Saints, then Racine Scouts. I stayed in the press box for them. I went down on the field to get footage of the Colt Cadets and Legends.After their performances, I went back up during the two DCA corps.

I met Ryan, who was one of the interns at DCI last year, and was helping Chris with photography for this show. It was awesome getting to see what his internship was like, and swapping intern stories.

I just needed to get off the field. Man, it was hot. Definitely brought me back to the good ‘ole days of all-day rehearsals. It was around 90-degrees, with 85/90% humidity. It honestly felt like I was walking in a swimming pool all day. It was nasty out there. I was fortunate to be in shorts and polo though. Those kids must of been dying in those uniforms!

After the DCA corps, the world-class corps started. There were 18 of them at this regional. After the first six, there was an hour long intermission. It was awesome seeing my project on the Jumbo-tron during intermission. I definitely felt accomplished.

After intermission, I went to get interviews of fans, asking if/why they were going to Finals in Indianapolis. I couldn’t find anyone who was going, and wanted to be on camera. Everyone looked miserable. The heat was definitely affecting the audience.

I was on the field for the rest of the night. I brought the battery-charger down to the field, because I was going through camera batteries like it was my job [insert pun here]. 8-hours of performances definitely makes you go through batteries. I was able to give a passing ‘Hey!’ to Mike Woodall as he was wheeling his pit equipment off the field. Boston had gone on right before the last intermission, so they were taking their time getting off the field. I hadn’t seen him in forever, so it was nice saying hi.

The top six went on after intermission. Man, have the shows changed since I first saw them in Texas. I love seeing the different shows evolve over the course of the season. My favorite show of the night was Phantom (maybe a little bias there), along with the Cadets and Carolina Crown. Since I becoming more familiar with the shows, I am able to spend less mental energy on where my shot is, and able to listen to the shows a little more.

Finally, once the Blue Devils finished, the show was over. I went back up to the press box to grab a microphone, and went back to interview the winning drum majors. Brittni was able to help me, and hold the mic, which was a big help. After waiting around for 24 scores to be announced, we finally got our chance to interview the Cavaliers drum majors. I had interviewed them in Michigan City a few weeks back, so I felt a lot more comfortable asking questions and such.

After break-down, the IT and video department blew off some steam by trying to throw a blueberry muffin into the trash can from across the room. We were all tired, dehydrated, and felt nasty, and it was a form of cheap and quick entertainment.

After Mat finally got it in after 10-minutes, we headed down with all the equipment. We left it by the truck, and started walking. While walking to the cars, we stopped by the field. You could tell how hazy it was by just looking at the lights.

David, Zongwei, Jeff and I had some fun on the field. The four of us tested our 8-to-5 steps. David had a perfect one, while the rest of us were a little big. After, we tried going backward. As you could imagine, all of us had WAY too big of a step. After a quick 40-yard race between David, Zongwei and I, we headed to the cars, and headed to the hotel.

Jeff was able to stop at Wendy’s so I could get some food. During the show, I don’t really have time/a chance to eat, so it had been a long time since I had eaten anything. When we got back to the room, I scarfed down my food, and took a nice cool shower. I learned from drum corps that warm showers don’t feel good after you have been out in the hot sun sweating. Cool showers, now that is where it is at.

After my shower, Mat came over and we started compressing the VOD’s for the Fan Network. I set my 8 corps to compress, and passed right out. I was dehydrated and tired, which wasn’t a good mix, especially for an early morning.

Jeff and I left for the airport around 8 a.m., which was 15-minutes later than we wanted to, but still made it to the airport with plenty of time. Brittni, Allison, and Whitney were all on the flight, so it was a mini-DCI office party on the plane. We got back to the apartment around 1:15, with plenty of time until the start of the Women’s World Cup final. I was able to watch all of the first half, but fell asleep at halftime, until the 63-ish minute of the game. It was a nail-biting game, and after a lot of yelling, screaming, and agony, the game ended with a Japanese win.

After the game, we all took a quick nap, then went to Chili’s to celebrate Brittni’s 21st birthday. Chili’s was definitely a nice way to end a long weekend.

It is almost 1 a.m., and I need some sleep. Check back for what happens in San Antonio!

This weeks schedule:

San Antonio, Texas:7/21- 7/24

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

Destination Denver

Greetings from 35,000 feet! (even though when I post this I will be back on the ground)

As I type, I am on my flight from Denver to Indianapolis, with an hour layover in Minneapolis. Even though I was only in Denver for around 24 hours, and it was hectic getting out there, I had an amazing time.

But lets recap the last 48 hours.

When I last left off, I had just gotten back to Indianapolis. After a quick stop to the office, and a Verizon store for a phone charger, David and I got back to the apartment around 4:05. Unfortunately, the miniUSB cord that I got from Verizon didn’t charge my phone, so it was still dead. After making some chicken, and doing some last minute packing, I was on my way to the airport.

Then things got interesting.

The way to the airport was uneventful, Until I realized all my travel stuff was on my phone, and I didn’t have a computer to check in with. But I figured “Hey, as long as I have my last name and ID, I should be fine right?”

When I got to the airport, an hour+ before my flight, I checked the departure board and didn’t see my flight on there. That is when the pit started to grow in my stomach. The lady for Delta helped me check in, and when I said I was going to Minneapolis, she told me how my flight was delayed two hours because of bad weather in the Northeast. She told me I wouldn’t make my connecting flight. She had me wait in line, and gave me a number to call in the meantime, which added insult to injury since, you know, I didn’t have a phone.

After waiting in line for 10 minutes, I got up to the travel desk. It wasn’t as painful as I thought. Within five minutes, I had another flight out of Indy at 6:50 am, which worked. I tried to be as nice as possible since you could tell that they had had a long day.

David got me from the airport, and we had a fun night. James, David and I went to Target and Chili’s for a charger, then some food. When we got back to the apartment, Brittni and Zongwei were there. It was the first night that all five of us got to hang out. After a lot of fun and laughs, I got to bed around 2 am, making it a very short nights sleep.

I had to was up at 4:45 to take a shower and get ready. Brittni took me to the airport, and I got on my without any trouble. I was a little worried going through security with a camera, two computers, and a lot of wires and cables. But nonetheless, everything went fine. After a couple hours of sleep on the plane, and I was finally in Denver.

Even though we arrived into Denver, we had to wait on the tarmac because our gate still had a plane there. After waiting 10 minutes, we finally got to our gate. ALl of my luggage made it to Denver (even though I was really only worried about the box with all the equipment). Mat got me from the airport, and showed me around Denver a little bit. We stopped for Chipotle for lunch. It was my first experience there, and it was really good! When we were done with lunch, the fun really started.

We got to Invesco Field around 1 pm. We were shown up to the ‘Thundervision’ room, where all of the games video production equipment was. The view was impeccable.

When we got there, I finished up a lot of the tap archiving that I had been putting off. Around 4 pm, the production guys started to trickle in, and before we knew it, it was time to set-up for the show. Mat walked to through what went on during a live broadcast, and how to set it up.

The stress-level ratcheted up around 5, when the Windows machine wasn’t working well enough for the primary broadcast. We were able to use my computer, using the software called Wirecast, to stream the show out. It worked fine on my machine, and the back-up worked well on Mat’s machine. Crisis #1 averted.

Things got even tenser around 6, when we weren’t getting audio from the field mics. The announcers mics were working fine, but not the ones picking up the corps. After running around for a half hour, we finally decided to use the shotgun mic on my camera as a band-aid, to pick up audio until the field micas worked. Eventually, the sound worked through the live broadcast. Crisis #2 averted.

A third of the way into the show, it started to sprinkle. A minute after it started to sprinkle, there was lightning. The Cascades, who were performing, were rushed off the field. As this point, I was on the field, so I quickly went under the stadium. It clicked to me to start getting B-roll of kids waiting under the stadium. When I went close to the tunnel outside, I heard people warming-up. After a minute of thiking, I went for it.

In the pouring rain, I was running around the lot outside Invesco Field to get footage of what corps were doing during the delay. Under a tent, the color guards from Blue Devils, Blue Knights, and the Cadets were having a dance party. Further away, the SCV and Phantom hornlines were warming up under the freeway, while the drumlines just stood around talking. I spent 10 to 15 minutes filming the happenings in the lot. I had footage for another piece for the Fan Network. Crisis #3 averted.

Eventually, the storm passed, and the show went on. The Cascades, whose show was interrupted, got to start over from the beginning. From then, The Academy, SCV, Phantom, the Cadets, Blue Devils, and the Blue Knights performed without any rain hampering their performance. I got a lot of good footage from the field, and experimented with different angles, framing, and trying to give the audience a unique perspective of being up-close to the performers while their are performing.

It didn’t take that long after the show to take-down everything. Mat and I were out of the stadium by 11:30. We stopped by the bar Brooklyn, which was right by the stadium. After a drink, we headed to the hotel. By the time I got into bed, I had been up for 22-straight hours, because of the time change. Needless to say, I passed right out.

This morning, I hit the snooze button a few too many times. I wanted to catch the 7:25 shuttle to the airport so I had plenty of time through the airport to catch my 9:20 flight. I, instead, had to wait for the 7:55 shuttle. I didn’t get to Delta’s check-in until 8:33. I made it within two minutes of the “45-minute minimum time” to get your bags on the flight. Running through the airport, I got to security by 8:40, and was done by 8:45. In my pocket of my shorts, I found my ‘good luck’ Ironman toy I got the night before my Comm Theory final in the fall. Then, I knew I was making my flight.

Quickly, I hoped on the tram and took it all the way to Terminal C. I got to the gate at around 8:50, and they were only boarding zones 1 and 2. I took a HUGE sigh of relief.

The captain just said we are landing in Minneapolis in 15 minutes. Then, it is a 55-minute layover, where I can hopefully grab some food since I hadn’t eaten anything more than 3 bags of airline peanuts and one bag os airplane pretzels. I should be arriving into Indy around 3:30 pm. I already planned what I am doing when I get back. I am going to take a shower, and sleep till tomorrow morning.

These last 72 hours have been insane. I have been to four different states, two different time zones, and travelled close to 2,000 miles. But would I do it all again? You know it. It has been amazingly fun, and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.

This weeks schedule:

Minneapolis, MN: 7/14-7/17

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

Adventures around Akron

The DCI season is in full swing, and it is starting to get exciting. WIth one month left until finals week, it is starting to get down to crunch time, and things are ratcheting up in the office.

This past Thursday, David and I took a little adventure to Akron to film the VOD’s and do the Dropbox recordings for the Bluecoats home show in Akron, Ohio. We left Indy at 10:20, which put us at the hotel around 3:30. After we dropped off some clothes, we went to the stadium. Man, was that stadium amazing. For a Division I-AA school, it had impressive facilities.

This was my station during the show. I was capturing the Video On Demand (VOD) performances for the Fan Network. 1080i/30p baby! And you can’t beat that view.

And you can’t beat that view!

The show ended around 10:00-ish, and once I got all the equipment packed up, it was around 10:30. I was able to meet up with Jani and Max after the show. They did amazing, and it was cool being able to see them while they were on tour.

After that, David and I hit up the local Buffalo Wild Wings right across the street from the stadium. There were a lot of staff members from different corps there, and it didn’t lack entertainment and excitement. At midnight, Brittni met up with us after her friends from Bluecoats left. We stopped for the Burger King, and then headed back to the hotel. When we got back, I started compressing all the shows, which took a looooong time. Around that same time I realized I had left my phone charger in the press box. Awesome, right?

Before I knew it, I was passed out on the bed.

In the morning, we had to get out of the hotel by 10. David and I woke up at around 9:30, and hit the road. It was a pretty uneventful trip back, making two pit stops during the 5 hour drive.

We got back into Indy at 3:30 in the afternoon. I had to stop by the office to drop off all the VOD performances to Jeff so they could be uploaded to Brightcove. After that, we stopped by Verizon Wireless to grab a charger before I went out to Denver, so I could have a phone.

The second half of my eventful Friday will come tomorrow, after the Denver show.

[teaser}: As I am typing this blog, this is my view.

More coming tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in DCI Internship

 

Last Weekend of Freedom

The meat of the drum corps is upon us. From now on, it is 40-straight days of work for me. Starting in Denver this weekend, I will be travellling to Minneapolis, San Antonio, Murfressboro/Atlanta, and Allentown, before finishing up in Indiana for finals week, ending on August 14th.

This past weekend, you can say, was my last glimpse of freedom til the middle of August. And I made sure to take advantage of it.

It all started on Friday night. We were finally able to get all six interns together for dinner (except Sara had to leave a little early). We went to Buca di Beppo, a family-style Italian place. For the six of us, we got two large orders of fettucini alfredo and chicken parmesan, along with a small order of rigotoni. Man, there was so much food. I don’t know how, but we were able to finish it all.

On Saturday, we actually got to sleep-in for a change. Even though my body told me to wake up at 7:20 a.m., I hit my biological snooze button and slept until 11:30-ish. Then, it was the three-hour trip up to Michigan City, Indiana. It was cool driving through all of the wind farms. Seeing all of those windmills was trippy.

After losing a hour we didn’t know we were going to lose, we were able to get to Ames Field early enough to see some of the Cavaliers rehearsal. For their run-through, Jeff was able to put his GoPro camera on the tenors to film it. For those of you who didn’t know, half of the tenors play their solo upside down. Needless to say, we got some pretty awesome footage.

The show itself was “meh.” I got some footage of Legends on the field, and got interviews with their drum majors on how it felt being on the same field for Open Class finals. After that, I got some footage from the field of the corps performing. I don’t know whether it was from a little dehydration, or the massive amounts of speakers and the volume the corps were putting out, but my head was throbbing. After the show, i interviewed the Cavaliers drum majors, and got video of them saying “Happy 4th of July” and all that jazz. I never thought I would say this, but I was glad the show was done.

But, of course, that is when it got interesting.

The initial plan was to go to Chicago on Sunday for a game and enjoy the city. And since Michigan City was only an hour outside of Chicago, we would stay there then head over. But come to find out, every hotel between Michigan City and Chicago was booked. After some brainstorming and discussion, we just decided to head home. At around 12:15 am, after a pit stop at Buffalo Wild WIngs, we headed home.

It wasn’t until 4 a.m. until we got back to the apartment (because coming back, we gained an hour). After a quick change of clothes, I was out like a light.

I didn’t wake up until 2 p.m. the next afternoon. It was an awesome sleep. After laying around the house for a bit, James, David and I headed to Sara’s for a bar-b-que. After moving a hot tub (yes, a full-sized hot tub), watching the first Harry Potter and shooting some pool, we headed home.

Today, the 4th of July, we didn’t have any concrete plans. At 3:45 p.m., we headed into Indianapolis with the plan of mexican food and a baseball game. We thought there were standing room-only seats available for $9, but we didn’t know we would get them, so we went out on a limb (more to follow).

After parking, we walked around the city, exploring more of the city than we had before. We found this Mexican restaurant, Acapulco Joes, and got some dinner. After a couple Margaritas and chicken tenders, which I know aren’t mexican, but still were good, we walked to the stadium.

We got to the stadium around 5:15, with plenty of time to wait in line for standing room only tickets. But we thought, for fun, to approach a scalper for some tickets. He had second row seats for $30 (which were originally $15). David and I were able to talk him down to $20 for each ticket, which wasn’t bad at all. We discussed that a $20 second-row ticket was MUCH BETTER than a hypothetical $9 standing-room only ticket. After a quick trip to the ATM, we got some cash, got the tickets, and went into the stadium.

The game itself was boring. The Indianapolis Indians lost 2-1 to the Toldeo Mud Hens. The seat definitely made the game bearable though. We were in the shade the whole game, right down the line, and right in front of the bullpen. But the best perks of the night were after the game. The Indians had their own fireworks display after the game. They launched them off right in the outfield. Let’s just say we had one of the best seats in the house.

But wait, there was more. After the Indians fireworks, the city of Indianapolis had their own display. Two fireworks shows in one night. Pretty amazing. And even after the fireworks displays, the entertainment kept coming.

As usual, the traffic out of the city was a mess. But it lead to some good entertainment. There were people launching fireworks right from their cars in traffic, up into the air. After seeing a near-fight, a number of almost-accidents, and a boatload of laughs, we finally made it home safe and sound.

Sorry for such the long post. Couldn’t leave anything out. Hope you enjoyed!

This weeks schedule:

Akron, Ohio: 7/7 – 7/8

Denver, Colorado, 7/8-7/10.

More posts to follow.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in DCI Internship