GOOD MORNING, AMERICA - Internship reaction paper

The experience I gained from interning this semester, was a great preparation for my future. It informed me on how many opportunities there are out there, having an education from St. John's University with a major in Communication. I thought it was going to be very difficult to find an internship position but that was not the case in my situation. Choosing which internship I wanted to except was the difficult part. It was a choice between All My Children, As the World Turns, CBS Casting, One Life to live, Metrovision Production Services and Good Morning America. I chose the internship position at Good Morning America.

Starting with the interview I know Good Morning America was a company that I could picture myself working at. The interview took three hours. I first meet with Ruth Anne, who ask me a few basic questions what I was interested in. Ruth Anne then gave me an intern appointment's sheet with eleven possible departments I could intern at and the names of the people I could talk to. My first stop was the PA Department. After the PA I went around interviewing and talking to the Production Managers, Home Improvement/Home Design, Producers Section, Tape, Graphics, and On-Air Promotions. I was amazed that so many people took the time out to talk to me and explain what they do and what I would be doing in the company. I got to meet with their current intern and ask them questions how they like the position. I decided to work in the PA (Production Assistant) Department. This Department interested me the most.

There are three different shifts in the PA Department. The morning shift is from 4:00 A.M. till 12:00 P.M. The day shift is from 12:00 P.M. till 8:00 P.M. and the night shift is from 5:00 P.M. till 3:00 A.M. All ofthese shifts included different types of work. The morning shift includes two PA'S in the control room and one PA in graphics. In the control room one PA does back timing and the other PA would prepare the script for the director. In graphics, on the 8 floor this PA would assist with the graphics and the chyron machine. During the day there is one PA the attends the two production meetings. The first meeting is at 12:00 P.M. the second meeting is at 5:00 P.M. These meetings are preparation for the next days show. The PA is responsible for choosing music for the Intro., Bumper shots, and Closing of the show. They are also responsible for putting in locations on the run down for talent. The PA chooses what to tease for the week and also the Coming Ups in the show. The night PA which I never observed, prepares the script for the show. They work closely with the Tape Department, Graphics Department, Producers, and Head Writers.

When I interned during the morning in the control room I got the most knowledge and experience of how a live show is produced. The control room is absolutely crazy. I would sit between the two PA'S and observe what they do. Towards the end of my intern I was preparing the script for the director, with the assistance of the PA. What you would have to do is get the VTR rundown from tape. This would tell you were all the (SOT) sound on tape or VT/SIL will play from what machine. Next to the tape pieces you put the number of the machine in red ink. For music you would put a music note in pink ink.

You would highlight all the mates (the correct term is lower third) in yellow. If there are changes to the script a pink page would come and you would replace the old page with the pink page and make up the new page. They divide the script up in to four half hours. At 7:00 you give the director the first half hour, at 7:30 the second half hour, at 8:00 third halfhour and at 8:30 the fourth halfhour.

Back timing is a little more difficult. I understand the whole logic and how it works, but when they start flipping segments, that is were I get confused. One morning I observed tape which they refer to as beta land. In beta land there are two AD'S (Assistant Directors) about eight tape operators, and one AP (Assistant Producer). Before the show and for the first half hour of the show there is a lot going on in beta land. After they select what footage they are going to run and from what machine then it gets a little boring down there. A few days I got to observe the Floor Managers. I liked this job the best. I got to wear a head set and be on the floor with talent and the camera operator, right in the middle of the action. Did not get to have responsibilities but I observed and learned how important the Floor Managers are in the production. Two times I went up to graphics and observed the PA. I got a full tour of the Graphics Department, which is fairly large. This department is also used by ABC World News, and 20/20. This is where they build all the animated graphics, and maps using the Hal machine. Using the still store or over the shoulder shot they call them 6030's and use the program called Paintbox. In the Graphics Department they have three channels attached to the switcher in the control room. One channel for chyron, one for the Hal machine, and the other channel is for Paintbox. The graphics operator puts up the next graphic on one of the channels that will be aired by the switcher. The PA sits along side the operator in case there is a problem.

When I worked during the day I would attend the two meetings one at 12:00 and the other at 5:00. We would talk about the show that would air the next day. I got to pick out the music for the show. This was very exciting to me. I would wake up early the next day to watch the show and listen for the music that I choose. I was proud of myself knowing that I picked-out the music and it was airing all across America. I got to enter the locations of talent into the scripts run down. I actually just typed them in, the PA would tell me their locations.

When I was working with the PA, I loved going to my internship position. I would look forward to interning every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This work interested me greatly. All the PA'S were nice and encouraged me to ask question whenever I did not understand something. I took advantage of this asking may questions to enhance my knowledge. They would use varies "TV biz" lingo that I was unfan~iliar with and explain it in regular terms.

This internship was a great opportunity for my future. Working with the PA'S exposed me to behind the scenes of a live television show. It gave me and idea what goes on in the "TV biz" world. I learn a great deal of information working along side the PA'S. I learned how an idea is developed into a finished spot. Most of all I learned that making connections and friends will take you places. When I was interning I talked to everybody I could possibly talk too. Asking them question about there experiences in the industry. I would talk to people in the control room, elevator, the kitchen, bathroom or just passing them in the hall. I am glad I interned this semester and even more excited that I got a full time job out of it. This internship did not only provide me with experience,knowledge in my field, and a job but with many connections for the future.