Jimmy: Producer Tales From Prod III: Part Two

In my last post, I outlined what I had learned from my first few shoots as a producer for Prod III. Now that my two films have wrapped, here’s some more knowledge I’ve picked up along the way!

Films cost $$$$$$

For Prod III films, production budgets will likely be anywhere between $2,000-$5,000. The school doesn’t provide any funds, so it’s up to the filmmaker (and the producer) to make a money plan. Some directors in my class decided to self fund; others reached out to family to make big donations. However, most turned to a crowdfunding platform. To be completely honest, It feels weird to ask people for money. I personally was a bit uncomfortable with it. However, once you reach out you’d be surprised to see who will support you. Old teachers, professors, second cousins will blast you from the past with their generosity when they see that their filmmaker friend is back at it.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two different platforms

One of my films used Kickstarter and the other used Indiegogo, and for different reasons. With Kickstarter, you risk losing all of your funds if you don’t reach your goal by the project deadline. With Indiegogo, you can still keep your funds if you don’t make it. While the “all or nothing” approach to Kickstarter is terrifying, it’s a good motivator. To be honest, I was kind of scared that we wouldn’t make the money two days before my deadline. However, I think that people I talked to about the film were more scared about us losing the money than I was – which made them donate even more to the project!

There’s an easier way to make call sheets!

It’s a producer’s responsibility to plan the shoots and send out call sheets for each shoot. Studiobinder is an app that streamlines the process (I swear I’m not sponsored) . For their $30 a month package, the application will help you with breaking down the script, scheduling shoots, and keeping organized. Once you enter cast and crew contact information, you can import your schedule in and it will automatically make a call sheet based on all of the location, schedule, and other information needed for a particular day. It will then send out a message via email and text and ask everyone to “confirm the message,” so you can make tabs on who gets the memo and who doesn’t. It’s really a breeze!

You will learn to love driving UHaul Vans

Someone is going to have to move the film equipment back and forth from sets to FPS, and you’ll likely be a part of the moving effort. When I moved into Boston, I swore I would never bring a car here. Now, I can say that I’ve parallel parked a UHaul Van in Cambridge during rush hour. I am a fearless driver now, thanks to Prod III

Find someone who owns a car

There will be so many moments when you will have to move groceries or lug equipment half a mile. Having a friend with a car makes those moments so much easier. For half of my shoots I didn’t have a car. They were some of the most difficult shoots. It’s especially good to have around sets in case of emergencies.

Know first aid!
I didn’t have to use it, but I got a certification just in case something were to happen. It’s the producer’s job to make sure the set is safe. It will totally throw you off schedule if someone breaks their arm.

Make your set the set that everyone wants to be on

When you have deadlines to make, it’s easy to get swept away with simply completing everything. However, storytelling is a collaborative process, and everyone should have a good time contributing to the effort. If you’re filming in the cold for 6 hours, take the extra effort to get handwarmers and pizza bagels. Bring blankets and extra jackets so no one freezes. Make sure the food is on time and that there’s something warm for people to drink. Crack jokes. Play music while you wrap and dance around. Take fun pictures to look back on. That type of stuff will do wonders for morale, and that type of energy will be reflected in the quality of work.

Grace: Preparing for Study Abroad: Tips and Tricks from an Organization Fanatic

Boston University’s study abroad program is one of the primary reasons why I decided to attend the College of Communication. Our unique program of study and internship is a truly unique experience I know I will cherish for the rest of my life. Next semester, I will be interning in advertising and taking classes in advertising and international relations while I study abroad in London, England.

Applying for abroad is easy, but the procedure once you are accepted may seem a little daunting. Read on for my tips and tricks on how to stay on top of your responsibilities and make the most of your abroad experience:

1. Make a checklist of items you need to complete before going abroad.

The hub page of your abroad program will list preparation details for you, but sometimes it’s easier to also make a list for yourself. Include key dates and event reminders, and cross off items once you complete them. I even ranked my to-do list in order of importance.

2. Plan excursion destinations with your friends.

If you know some peers in the same program, get together and make a list of countries or cities you want to visit. Wait to buy flights and train tickets until after you’ve received your class schedule, but at least have an idea of where you’d like to go.

3. Stock up on American items you might not find abroad.

Sounds silly, but I know it might be hard to find my favorite eye makeup remover abroad. To avoid these issues, bring along key items you can’t live without.

4. Avoid over packing.

Easier said than done, I know. But honestly, you will most definitely buy more souvenirs than you think. Account for this ahead, and avoid having to buy an extra suitcase for the flight back.

5. Adopt an open mind.

Abroad is all about meeting new people, visiting new sites, and experiencing new cultures. Read about the culture of wherever you plan to study, and challenge yourself to try new things when you’re abroad.

Safe travels, friends. You’re about to start an adventure of a lifetime

Sydney: Things I Wish I Knew Before Coming to College

  Although your high school and family members will try to prepare you for college, it’s impossible to actually be prepared for all the experiences coming your way. I had no idea what to expect coming into BU my freshman year. I only knew one person from my high school attending BU with me, so I came in eager to meet new people, but nervous about the unknown. Here are some things I have learned since coming to BU:

1.     You won’t meet all your best friends freshman year.

o   I met a lot of students my freshman year, from orientation, to FYSOP, to people on my floor, as well as through other extra-curricular activities. However, I didn’t meet some of my closest friends until my sophomore, and even junior year. Although I do have some good friendships from freshman year, I strongly encourage you to be open-minded and meet as many people as you can. Don’t stick to the same group you meet in the first few weeks of classes. BU is such a big school that you might miss out on some great friendships.  

2.     Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t as scary as you think.

o   Although it’s frightening, sometimes the best experiences come from putting yourself out there and stepping out of your comfort zone. For example, I was pretty shy growing up. I never thought I would be so comfortable giving tours for the Admissions Office at BU, with group sizes ranging from 20-40 prospective students and parents. However, I wanted to share my experiences and my passion for BU, and applied to be an Admissions Ambassador freshman year. The Admissions Ambassador role has been one of my most rewarding experiences, significantly improving my public speaking and communication skills. This experience gave me the confidence to apply to be a COM Ambassador sophomore year. I am so glad I did not let fear or nerves cause me to miss out on these amazing opportunities.

3.     Time management is difficult but possible.

o   If you’re in COM, chances are you will have a lot going on. Between balancing classes, internships, jobs, clubs, and other extracurricular activities, time management is imperative. Although everyone has different organizational skills, you will learn that you can manage your time and fit in the activities that are important to you.

4.     Prioritize making time for yourself.

o   It’s easy to get caught up in your school work, making sure you have a job or internship, or trying to improve friendships. However, sometimes you really need to devote time to yourself. I personally enjoy taking walks on the Esplanade, on campus, or somewhere downtown. It’s really easy to get caught up in college life and trying to make other people happy, but taking time to relax and focus on yourself will positively benefit all aspects of your life.

These are just a few of the many things I have learned since arriving at BU. I still have some time left, and know there is a lot more learning and experiences to go!

Kate: Taking Advantage of your Sophomore Year

As a freshman, everything is new and exciting. New city, new people, new freedom. Junior year is another exciting year often with study abroad and classes relating to what you actually want to do. Senior year is nostalgic as you get closer to graduation. But then there’s that year in the middle of it all, sophomore year. Sophomores are known for getting the “sophomore slump” where everything feels boring and dreary, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
As opposed to a year in desolation and bleakness, look at sophomore year as a time for opportunity and trial. Sophomore year is the time when you can start figuring out what you really want to do. You can take that random Intro to PR class because maybe you want to change your major to public relations. Or, even if you have a major picked out, maybe you can add a double major or a minor. It’s also the perfect time to try out new classes and take that archaeology class that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to. There’s an endless list of classes at BU, so why not take advantage and find something that sounds really interesting.
Sophomore year is also a great time to get really involved. Many juniors and seniors are off interning or studying abroad, so now’s the time to get into clubs and extracurriculars. If you’ve always wanted to be a DJ on a radio show, join WTBU. If you’ve always wanted to write about cool places you’ve visited or any number of lifestyle topics, join The Buzz. If you’ve always wanted to write your own tv show, pitch a show to BUTV10. There are so many opportunities to try whatever you have always wanted to do, and there will never be a better time to take those risks. You can also get more involved with the clubs you are already in. Clubs and activities are great ways to meet more people and find your place which always seems much harder after freshman year.
It takes time to find your way after the excitement of freshman year, but looking at all the opportunities to take advantage of is a great way to stay positive and happy. It’s a stressful time, but doing activities purely for enjoyment is a great way to stay level-headed. Even if your classes aren’t what you expected or something isn’t working out, giving yourself this thing to look forward to will keep your head up. Take advantage of the “sophomore slump” and use it as your opportunity to have an amazing year.

Laura: What Can Happen in a Semester?

Every semester at BU is just as memorable as the next, but something about this semester felt different from the other two I have experienced. As a sophomore, I admittedly did a lot of reflecting on how much has changed since my first ever semester here last fall. I came to Boston this year reminiscing on memories of last year, recognizing that it was no longer going to be my first time doing everything. Woah I actually know how to get around the city, and how to use my dining points efficiently, and where the quietest study spots are (during finals do not go to Mugar- try finding a classroom in the law building!) I adjusted more quickly and looking back on all of the amazing memories a lot did happen this semester!

Here is a quick peek into what my life was like this fall: 

  • I got a library card at the Coolidge Corner Library and definitely recommend it.  
  • I fell getting out of the shower (Yup! Just slipped right out!)
  • I lived with seven friends. Very fun but equally loud and crazy.
  • I went to the synagogue in Brookline with my family for the Jewish high holidays.
  • I got offered my dream internship for the spring 2018 semester at an advertising agency. 
  • I witnessed not one, not two, but THREE weddings in front of the Boston Public Library.
  • I worked on two projects in Ad Club, one as an account executive where we worked on rebranding and one as a copywriter where I made mail templates to be sent out to students.
  • I saw Bleachers in concert at the House of Blues!
  • I started watching This is Us…. all the tears, I know, I asked for this. 
  • I celebrated the one year anniversary of when I met my boyfriend.
  • I went to Dry Bar for the first time and did not like it!!! 
  • I participated in a dance marathon for the Boston Children’s Hospital.
  • I tried oysters for the first time and discovered my favorite new restaurant: Saltie Girl.
  • I lost connections with a few of my good friends from freshman year but formed deep connections with the ones that I still had. I also formed deeper relationships with people who were just acquaintances in the past. 
  • I took my favorite class: Introduction to Creative Writing (CAS EN 202) where my professor always encouraged us to push ourselves in our writing and try new things.
  • I thought my friend Lexi broke my funny bone. She didn’t I am okay people.
  • I went to the Waterfront and Seaport for the first time.
  • I invented a new product for S’well for my COM 331 class. Shark tank here I come?

But as fun as all of these moments were, I noticed an over-arching theme this semester. 

I think I really grew up (woah, what, what is happening). 

Even when I would call my mom on the phone she would mention, “You have matured so much in these past few months! How did that happen?”

I honestly have no clue, but I think it has something to do with it being my second year and not my first. The pressure of making friends is no longer a worry of mine, I understand what it takes to get good grades and I have a lot of practice in time management and balancing everything I want to accomplish. Maybe something that made me become “more adult” is the way that I prioritized finding an internship and using my go-getter attitude to go for, and ultimately accept, my dream internship. I think any nerves I had about networking or simply talking to super-adulty (Laura, c’mon you’re telling us you’re an adult and you’re using the word “adulty”) professional people have evaporated, because I have realized for once that I’ve got this! 

And you do too. It might take time, but I cannot believe how much growth I have accomplished in just one semester and I think that I can only continue to grow if I keep pushing myself here at BU.

Daera: The Best Study Spots on Campus

With finals coming up, I wanted to take the time to share some of my favorite study spots around campus. Just make sure you leave a seat for me if you decide to check them out!

5. Kilachand First Floor Lounge
This is one of my favorite spots on campus for lots of reasons. First off, it’s a very clean cut and modern space. Sometimes, getting into the mindset of studying just takes being in the right spot. For me, that means the right temperature and a plethora of comfortable seating and table spaces. This lounge has couches, a fake fireplace, lots of tables, and a plethora of outlets. Plus, Kilachand is the honors college, so there’s definitely lots of brain power floating around the
room.

8/27/13 -- Boston, MA Kilachand Hall August 27, 2013. Photo by Cydney Scott for Boston University Photography

4. Marciano Commons
I know what you’re thinking, food is the ultimate distraction, but hear me out on this one. Marciano is one of the greatest dining halls in the nation and has great atmosphere. I don’t know about you guys, but I need to snack while I do work and there’s an abundance of food (which is healthy at that) at your fingertips in the dining hall. Another plus: outlets everywhere. Usually, you’ll find me camped out towards the back of the first floor if you want to stop by and say hello.

marciano-commons

3. Mugar 4th Floor
This isn’t exactly a secret spot by any measure, but I think it’s often overlooked. A lot of people hype up the second or third floor, but the fourth floor is by far the best. As you go higher up, the library gets quieter and for me the fourth floor has just enough noise to function. My favorite feature about this floor has to be the long communal tables! Not only do they have lots of outlets and chairs, but having other people in such close proximity helps you feel like you’re all holding each other accountable for doing work.
2. COM Lounge
Before I get into the benefits of COM lounge, let me give you all a strong piece of advice: get swipe access to COM the moment you matriculate. It gives you access to COM ~after hours~ (aka nights and weekends). Especially around finals season, the lounge empties out because most COM students have projects instead of finals. The lounge is not just great during finals; all the amenities are still there during the normal semester, but they’re a little more crowded than usual.
1. Theology Library
I don’t even remember when I found out about this spot, but I’m glad I did. Not only are there cubicles throughout, but in the back there’s lots of tables and tons of natural light. It’s in a great spot on campus, too, because of how central it is. When I was taking my religion class, it was a great space to focus on the topics at hand. It’s a very warm and inviting space and the tables and cubicles are both large enough to comfortably spread it. It’s a little more quiet than some of the
other places on the list, but even if you don’t like quiet, you should give the space a try.

giphy

(footage of me putting in work in these spaces for the next few weeks)

Eliza: Get in the holiday spirit, even when finals are getting you down

Well Terriers, ‘tis the season and that refers to two things: finals and the holiday season. When I was younger, my parents always started playing Christmas music as soon as they could, and now it’s become a part of my usual routine every December. But with finals on the mind two, it’s important that the songs I’m listening to fit into my usual ~Mugar vibes~ playlist on Spotify. Below, I’ve listed ten of the songs I add every year. Because if I’m going to be studying, at least I can do my best to get a little holiday spirit into it.

White Christmas – Bing Crosby: There are countless versions of this holiday classic, but this one is my favorite. Most people don’t know the song debuted in the film Holiday Inn, which starred Crosby alongside Fred Astaire, before the film White Christmas made it so popular.

Home for the Holidays – Perry Como: Another classic, but this time I choose Como’s version because I grew up listening to this album on LOOP all of December. It’s also a great motivator to get my work done so I can be closer to being home for the holidays.

Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby and David Bowie: Who would’ve thought these two would be able to get together and make such a great song?

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Jack Johnson: Jack Johnson is a staple on any of my studying playlists, and his cute version of this song lets Rudolph stand up for himself in the end, which is (I believe) a totally valid update to the original.

Silver and Gold (Instrumental) – Decca Concert Orchestra: This is from the very old school animated Rudolph film and I will never stop loving it.

Carol of the Bells – Mannheim Steamroller: What do these guys do when it’s not the holiday season?

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Mariah Carey: Gotta include one from the holiday queen herself, but I resist All I Want for Christmas is you because it’s too much of a certified BOP for the library.

The Bells of Christmas (Greensleeves) – Frank Sinatra: I’m always surprised by this song, and I have a soft spot for Sinatra, so this one always works.

These are just some of the songs that make my finals cram sessions and late nights in the library seem a little more festive. What songs do you listen to during the holidays?

Zach: How to ease the pre-grad dread

Graduating is a very very very very very daunting event coming up for a lot of people (some even sooner than me… sorry December grads) and it is easy to get caught up in the fear of this pending doom. I have been overthinking ways to avoid these thoughts or turn them into positive ones and here are some tips!

1: Stay Busy

This semester I was the Vice President of Liquid Fun, Producer for Hothouse Productions, and I directed Spring Awakening for BU on Broadway… so I barely had time to think about how I was going to ripped away from all the things I love to start completely fresh and alone in 6 months.

2: Keep in Touch with Potential Employers

The most exciting part of graduating is putting your degree to work, so especially after your most crucial internships summer before senior year, it’s good to keep in touch with them and remind them you exist during senior year! Let them know what projects you are working on so you can carry a solid relationship with them post-diploma.

3: Start Saving

One of my biggest fears about graduating is that I have no life-skills to be able to live on my own with no family or college network, so I started a savings account on an app called Digit that rounds up all my purchases and quietly takes money from my checking and puts it into a savings account. I am trying to save for 3 months rent in New York City… wish me luck!

4: Focus on things that aren’t beholden to college

I was really scared recently that graduating meant I lost my identity because I am so involved at BU. I had to take a night to really think about all the things I am and CAN BE without my activities and friends here. Focus on things you love that transcend location: for me that was improv and theatre. I can still see and participate in both of those things once I am graduated and living in a major city!

5: ENJOY!

Take your last chances to get caught up in all the college stupid things because soon real things will be your worries! Let yourself get lost in roommate drama! It’s stupid and pointless but so is being young!

Kreag: THE FAREWELL BLOG POST

Well everyone, this is it, my final blog post as a COM Ambassador and as a college student!  As of this Friday, December 1st, I will officially be done with college, which is an absolutely crazy thought.  It feels like just yesterday I was driving into Boston to move in for freshman year.  But here I am, three and half years later, in Los Angeles, where I always hoped to end up, preparing for my final class of college!

My time in Boston provided me with some of the best moments of my life.  I met some of my best friends and took advantage of some amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have had anywhere else.  Boston became my home and I am terribly sad to leave it behind for the huge metropolis that is Los Angeles, but I know some day I’ll find my way back to Beantown!

For my final blog post, I decided to compile a list of my favorite places/things in Boston, and a list of the things I wish I had done during my time in the city.  For any incoming or current students: check these places out; four (or 3.5) years flies by quicker than expected.  Make the most of your time in Boston!

FAVORITE PLACES/THING I DID IN BOSTON

The North End, specifically all of the pastry places, like Modern Pastry.  (Honestly, I think Modern is better than Mike’s, plus it’s cheaper.)  There’s a lot of history in this part of town, lot’s of old buildings and churches, etc.  It’s the perfect place to just walk around and absorb the city.  

Relatedly, I love Faneuil Hall, mainly because it was where my family would always take me when we would visit Boston when I was younger.  I just think it’s such a cool place, with plenty of different dining and shopping options.  There are always performers there as well, and you’ll be only a few minutes away from the harbor, another fantastic place!

Coolidge Corner is another one of my favorite places in Boston.  There is so much to do there: shopping, eating, seeing a movie.  The Coolidge Corner Theater is an absolutely beautiful theater and always shows smaller indie films that might not show at Regal or AMC, which is great.  Brookline Booksmith, right across from the theater, is also another great place to visit.  They have a whole basement full of used books for great prices, and the store consistently brings in authors for a variety of events!

Illuminus, an art festival held on Landsdowne Street: The last time this festival happened was my sophomore year, and I’m so sad they didn’t bring it back until this fall while I was away in LA.  During Illuminus, Landsdowne street was shut down and filled with a variety of art installations, most of which involved amazing lights.  It was quite a amazing to behold and I would totally recommend attending the next time it comes to Boston!

Spectacle Island– When I worked as a program assistant for the AMP high school program, I was able to bring my students on a trip through the harbor to Spectacle Island.  Not only was the boat ride beautiful, but the island itself is magnificent, with plenty of walking trails and beaches made almost entirely out of sea glass.  I guess it really was a spectacle.

THINGS I WISH I HAD DONE

Boston may not be the biggest city, but there is still so much to do both there and in the surrounding areas.  One of my biggest regrets was failing to go to nearby places such as the Bunker Hill Monument or the USS Constitution Museum.  The USS Constitution was one of my parents’ favorite places to bring me and my siblings when we would visit Boston as kids, so its a shame I never had the chance to see it while actually living nearby!

The Institute of Contemporary Art

This museum is on the water!  You probably see your friends there on Snapchat and realize that it’s a super cool museum and wish you took the time to visit!  Or maybe that’s just me…

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

I’m noticing a trend here with museums.  Again, I lived about ten minutes away from this museum over the past three years and somehow never managed to visit it.  Fun fact, it’s free to get in with a student ID or if your name is Isabella (I only qualify for one of those), so I really had no excuse not to stop by!

Well everyone, this was just a short list of the things I did and wish I had done while in Boston.  I think it serves as a way to commemorate the many great memories I made while visiting these places, with friends or on my own, all while learning the city and growing to call it home.  I’m sad that my time as a student at Boston University has come to a conclusion so soon, but I am beyond excited to see what the future has to offer me.  I’m so thankful for the many opportunities I have been offered during my time in Boston, especially those offered to me via COM.  Being a COM Ambassador is one of my favorite memories of all, and I’m so happy I was able to spend the better part of my time at BU helping welcome in new students. 

Lilah: Some Thoughts about Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving break brings many mixed emotions. Kids are thankful that they get to escape school at the apex of stress, aside from finals week. However, some dread going home to confront their odd families. This is especially stressful when you are a film and television major. I do not know what to do when family friends say, “So what are you planning to do with that degree?”  I was at a restaurant, and I ran into an old family friend and his parents. When my parents asked what his major was, he said business management. “None of that art nonsense in this family, no,” said his dad. “Zoinks,” I thought to myself. He then asked, “What’s your major?” to which I sheepishly responded, “Film and television.” He looked embarrassed, and so did I.

Personally, my family is entirely in the entertainment business, so they cannot judge my decisions like a third party. However, they can scrutinize every little decision I make because “they know best.” I am not completely sure what is best. I will say that, whenever someone criticizes your decision to pursue a communications degree, you must remember that you get what you put in. Like that man, a lot of people view the arts as nonsense. Sure, if I was a parent, I would love for my child to pursue something that had a stable income. Instead of instilling a sense of financial stability into my mind, my parents have always taught me to be headstrong and hard working. I have found that, with the qualities they gave me, success follows. As does happiness. On the other hand, I think the world would be way worse off if the arts weren’t there to distract from mundane activities or bad times.

On the subject of family, I must write a little love letter to mine. Everyone that knows me knows that my family is the heart of everything I do. As I grow older, I see that my family is morphing into a stereotype of itself. Our activities include singing around the piano and dance parties, exclusively. We are loud and obnoxious, but our bond grows tighter every year. As I left to return back to school, I realized how much I needed my family – especially during sophomore year, during which the “sophomore slump” can easily overwhelm you. When things are difficult at school, your family will always be there to support you. For me, calling my mother every day is the only way I can survive.

Overall, Thanksgiving brings you together with those you love, or those you dread to see. Just remember to defend yourself when someone says, “Oh…” judgmentally when you say what your major is. You are working hard here at BU, and you cannot let anyone invalidate your work. Also, cherish your family, because you do not know how often you will see them in the future. ALSO, despite how exciting or busy college life is, CALL YOUR MOTHERS!