My last blog post was a love letter to Boston. Now, for my last blog post on campus (catch my abroad post from LA next semester), I have to write about the most important thing in my life: BUTV10.
I first heard about BUTV10 when I was researching colleges in my sophomore year of high school. I liked BU because I could take lots of classes, I didn’t have to be hyper focused and decide as a 17 year old that I wanted to do, say, screenwriting for the rest of my life. There was flexibility. There was also this great television station where students could produce their own shows. Other schools had that, sure, but something about BUTV10 got me really interested. The website was cool, the content was fun, and I could see myself working on their shows.
Next step was when I went to the Academy of Media Production (check out their website). It’s a high school program at BU for students interested in production. After I determined that I liked BU from my online research and a quick campus visit with a friend, I found out about AMP online and decided I had to go. I had such an incredible experience there. I fell in love with BU and I got to work on projects that were just like what BUTV10 was making. Plus, I got to learn from the faculty advisor for BUTV10 (the academic director of AMP) AND the general manager of BUTV10, who was a teaching assistant at AMP. I used the same studios BUTV10 shows like Good Morning BU and Bay State are filmed in. I also met two of my future best friends and roommates at AMP, but I tell everyone that so I’m sure you know already. I remember lying on the COM lawn late one afternoon and I decided I was going to apply early decision to Boston University.
Fast forward through an awesome senior year—its September and I’m in Boston. I take a video every day, and here is the a screenshot from the video I took when I went to the BUTV10 general interest meeting as a wee freshman (so young and naive about filming vertically instead of horizontally).
Like most students at that meeting, I was full of excitement and absolutely in awe of the Paper Trail presentation and wanted to work on it. Luckily for me, the producer and cinematographer taught me at AMP, so I had an inside man. After a few weeks of general BUTV10 training and some Paper Trail training I was on set working on a real college television show, learning how to work on a set for the first time. I remember getting the call sheet for the first shoot and I was listed as “grip/electric” and I had no idea what that was. But I showed up to set anyway and soon learned I would be helping to rig the lights and diffusion and set up the dolly track for the camera. That was such a fun set to work on. The whole crew was organized and professional, but we also had a lot of fun. I learned a lot about filmmaking from the producers and crew that helped me a lot in my production classes. I didn’t even know you needed to use a sandbag until I had to be a human sand bag because we ran out one day, holding on to a C-stand with a flag (a type of light shaping tool) so it wouldn’t blow over. Not only did I learn, but I was a part of something special. Paper Trail was nominated twice for the Emmy Foundation’s College Television Awards and won two NATAS Boston/New England College Awards and two Telly Awards.
Freshman year brought many other exciting opportunities within BUTV10. I got to film soccer games for the Athletics department. I operated Chyron (graphics) for 2014 Midterm election coverage. I was chosen to work on the basketball crew where I operated graphics. Later on in the spring semester, I was able to technical direct some basketball games and I eventually made my way to the director’s chair. I’ll never forget—the first time I ever directed a basketball game. I was so nervous and something was going wrong—they wouldn’t start the game. We were live, but the referees were just fidgeting with the ball. I find out in the first break there was a problem with the ball, one play complained it was overinflated. ESPN got word of this, and a clip from the game, and played it on SportsCenter that night. Why, you ask? This came just weeks after the Patriots’ deflate gate fiasco. “They’ve got a problem with their ball inflation up there in Boston,” the anchor mused. That was pretty cool, but the story overshadows the fact that I was very nervous that game and needed a lot of help. I was doing something I’d never really done before. I directed the morning announcements in high school and I got to direct a little at AMP. But this was a basketball game. Anything could happen at any point. I got through it with the help of the crew and staff.
Sophomore year I was able to branch out more. Paper Trail was over and I needed a new show to work on. I signed up for a developing show BU Late Night that didn’t end up getting on to BUTV10. I filmed more soccer games, did some women’s ice hockey and field hockey too. I joined the Student Management Board as Show Liaison-in-training to help communicate with all of the producers. After the Show Liaison left to go to Los Angeles, I took over. I joined Good Morning BU, the live weekly morning news show as technical director. I got better at directing basketball games. Through my experience with BUTV10, I learned valuable skills that I was able leverage to get summer internships. At LAX Sports Network I was able to jump right into production running the teleprompter, cutting highlight reels, and wrapping cables—all skills I learned through BUTV10. Professor Cavalieri, our faculty advisor, helped me get my second internship researching for a PBS American Experience Documentary.
Junior year was by far my most important with BUTV10. I assumed the role of General Manger. I directed Good Morning BU. I directed our election coverage (see my blog post from last year ). I directed more basketball games and developed. I helped film One on One interviews with people like Larry Charles (producer/director for Seinfeld, Borat, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more), Stephen Schiff (executive producer of my favorite TV show The Americans), and comedian Demetri Martin. I got interviewed by BU Today twice about BUTV10. I took on a lot of responsibility this year and it was challenging at times. I had to plan my time meticulously and stay organized. I had to learn how to manage people and delegate tasks. I had to assume responsibility—for successes and failures. I got to lead the General Interest Meeting in the same room I sat just two years earlier.
Now I’m in my last semester with BUTV10. While I have handed off some of my responsibilities to underclassmen now, just as it was handed to me, I’m still working hard with BUTV10. I’m training a new general manager and setting up more organizational structure to ensure the organization will continue to grow. We’re also training a new director for basketball. My time is winding down and I’m very sad about it. It’s hard to have a conversation with me without me talking about BUTV10. It has been the most rewarding, challenging, and valuable thing I’ve done at BU and that alone was worth the BU tuition. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of incredible classes at BU as well, but the practical experience I got from BUTV10 will be the most valuable for me when striving to achieve my career goals.
I can’t leave out all of the amazing friends I’ve made while working with BUTV10. One quick shoutout to my BUTV10 partner in crime Justin who lived and breathed BUTV10 with me. And I can’t finish this post without giving my sincere thanks to Professor Cavalieri for being an incredible faculty advisor (he even won an award for it from the university). Without Professor Cavalieri’s support my time spent with BUTV10 and my contributions to the organization would have been minimal. Meeting him is yet another reason BUTV10 was the best thing I did at BU. I can honestly say I am the person I am today because of BUTV10, and I know whatever success comes to me in the future, I can thank BUTV10 for getting me started and giving me the tools to succeed.