Kreag: Exploring Your COM Interests

Two years ago, I started school at Boston University with the intention of someday becoming a screenwriter.  I have always written, as far back I can remember, and storytelling has always been one of my greatest passions.  When looking for schools, I focused on the places that seemed to have a strong writing focus, and BU definitely had exactly what I was looking for.

However, as I went through the stages of being a film student here in COM, I realized that screenwriting is not my only passion.  After taking FT201, I realized that production is something else that I truly enjoy working with.  Whether it is lighting, sound, cinematography, I have enjoyed each aspect that I have worked with both in class and for outside projects as well as for BUTV10.  I think this is one of the strongest aspects of COM, the fact that you are able to take a variety of classes and join a variety of clubs that allow you to explore so many different areas of the Film and TV world.

I think that this is one of COM’s greatest assets, the ability to explore your interests in many different areas.  If I was forced to stick to writing classes only, I never would have been able to discover my love for production.  Though COM does have suggested tracks within the Film and TV major, you have the freedom to jump between production, writing, producing, etc which gives so many different chances to explore something that may interest you.  I believe that it is super important to be well rounded in all areas of Film and Television, and being able to take a variety of classes has allowed to me learn about different aspects of film, even if I don’t necessarily want to work with them someday.  For example, I took a class called Film Industry, which was entirely focused on producing films.  Though I don’t necessarily want to produce, I now have the knowledge of how people fund, cast, and promote films, which could be very helpful for me someday if I go into the world of independent filmmaking.

Along the same lines, being able to explore these interests in other areas is something that I believe has made me a stronger storyteller.  Right now, I am taking a class entirely focused on directing.  While this class primarily focuses on how to work with actors in order to get the most effective performance, we also focus on how to make the story come across clearly.  Though we don’t write in this class, it has helped me focus on making sure that the stories I write outside of class are clear and easily interpreted for the screen.

Overall, my advice for your time in COM is to take advantage of the many class options that are offered.  Even if a topic doesn’t necessarily interest you at first, maybe its something important to learn about, and better yet, maybe you’ll grow to love it!

Esra: 4 Movie Recommendations for Your Inner Romantic

I’m almost always in the mood for a rom-com or romance movie. As my brother once pointed out, I’ve probably seen most major, and lesser known, romance movies out there (I begrudgingly admit I even enjoy the insanely cheesy ones).

So here are some of my top picks at the moment.
4 movies that will give you all the feels, but not leave you heartbroken.
Nothing is worse than wanting a feel-good love story only to be left ugly-crying because of something like Nicholas Spark’s The Best of Me (still love you, though, Sparks).

Age of Adaline
I’m no cinematography expert, but I genuinely appreciate the craftsmanship behind this film. Not only is the story line great (although not realistic — fair warning if you’re a stickler for those things), but also the acting is just as wonderful. It’s a bit Benjamin Button-esque in that the plot plays with the concept of age and time.

Love, Rosie
I like to call this one the Avia Approvedchoice. In a nutshell, what this means is even if you hate everything and anything remotely mushy, and would much prefer a great action or superhero movie (like my best friend Avia), you’ll still appreciate AND EVEN enjoy this one. It’s beautiful, and the cast is pretty great: Lily Collins and Sam Claflin aka Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games. Spoiler: they make a great duo.

The Longest Ride
This one is for the Nicholas Sparks fans. Aside from The Notebook, of course, this is probably my favorite of his movies. Scott Eastwood is quite pleasing to the eye if I do say so myself. But aside from that, it’s a beautiful, arguably predictable, love story (which I don’t find to be a bad thing since I’m a sucker for happy endings).

The Holiday
This one is a throwback to the early 2000s. It’s about two women who swap houses during the holiday season. One lives in England and the other lives in LA. The cast? Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, Jude Law, and Eli Wallach aka the type of old man that just makes you smile because he’s so cute. Probably one of my favorite holiday movies out there.

Grab some comfy PJs, some fresh baked cookies, and embrace the beauty of chick-flicks, my friends.

 

Katie: Four Things We Can Learn from Lin-Manuel Miranda

Let me take you back to the days pre-“Hamilton.” I was 14 years old when I first heard Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first big creation, “In the Heights.” I asked for tickets for my 15th birthday, and my mom took my best friend and I to New York to see the show. It was a life changing experience that began my deep admiration for Lin (I’m going to affectionately call him Lin like I know him—just go with it).

I suppose you could say that I now identify has a “Hamilfan.” Is that what they call themselves these days? Anyway, I listen to the soundtrack non-stop (see what I did there?), and I find that it has had deep, meaningful importance in my life over the past year or so. The lyrics get me through my tougher days, and more importantly, the show itself has brought theatre into the lives of so many who wouldn’t otherwise experience it or think to even give it a chance as something they could potentially enjoy. I’m inspired by the work, but I’m also inspired by the man behind the work. Lin-Manuel Miranda has created this sort of empire through “Hamilton,” and in doing so, he has been able to spread positivity and intellect among so many people. I think we can learn a lot from Lin, but here are four things about him that inspire me the most (told via Lin’s tweets):

1. That he generally attempts to see the positive in every situation.https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/796285741789810688 

2. That he inspires others to get out and take action—to fight for what they believe in.https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/795210799107231744

3. That he values his longtime friendships and collaborations.https://twitter.com/Lin_Manuel/status/790620003187863552

4. That he has been able to inspire a new generation of young people to take part in the arts.https://twitter.com/HamiltonMusical/status/789195491837812742

Claire: Studying Abroad Twice? It’s Possible!

Boston University offers loads of incredible study abroad opportunities and the programs offered through COM were one of the main reasons I chose to attend BU. I dreamt about my time in Los Angeles kicking butt at my big studio internship during the day, taking interesting BU classes at night and adventuring in Yosemite on the weekends. However, as senior year approached and more of my non-COM friends started to go abroad I itched for adventure. While I knew I would never give up Los Angeles, I wanted to participate in an overseas study abroad program.  It’s at that point I decided I would just do both! Yes, it’s possible! Here’s how it went…

The main thing that makes choosing a study abroad destination so difficult is making sure you can fit in all your requirements. That’s what makes the COM specific programs so appealing – because you are able to take BU classes that count directly towards your degree. When I was looking at abroad opportunities overseas I looked for programs that would allow me to take liberal arts courses (to knock out those pesky freshman/sophomore requirements).  Fortunately, there are plenty of those programs offered through BU. Planning Tip: I saved three fresh/soph requirements for my senior year, which really opened up the opportunity to study abroad twice. I calculated my requirements down to the T and had space to fit in an internship as well, which I didn’t think would be possible.

After I narrowed down my options, it was a pretty easy decision to choose to do an internship program at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. I am an avid hiker and grew up loving the outdoors but three years in Boston made it difficult for me to hike. New Zealand is one of the adventure capitals of the world and has mountains and forests that literally seem to only exist in the movies. Plus, New Zealand is VERY far away from home and I really didn’t think I would be able to travel there again in my life.

Now, my time in New Zealand is coming to a close and I know choosing to study abroad here was one of the best decisions of my life (even if scheduling my interviews in LA while traveling is a pain).  I took one class through Boston University (which counted as a liberal arts class) and two classes through the University of Auckland. At the University of Auckland, I took Logic and Shakespeare on Screen (which counted as my Philosophy and Writing Course).

I also interned for credit with an incredible local film producer both at a design agency and his private production company. Interning abroad enhanced my experience so much by integrating me in New Zealand culture and giving me the opportunity to make friends with locals. It was also fantastic professional experience that related directly to my career goals. Interning in New Zealand is far less common than in the states so I found that I was given even more responsibility than I was used to. I assisted the producer directly on several commercial productions, short films and the development of several feature films. My boss even took me rock climbing J

While studies and work experience are all fantastic – my favorite part of studying abroad in New Zealand was definitely the endless opportunity to travel. Nearly every weekend my roommates and I ventured out of the city into the mountains. There were even two weekend trips through Boston University (included!). The seasons are reversed here in the Southern Hemisphere…so I got Spring break in August.

Check out some of my travel photos below!

I have more traveling to come! The Auckland program ends November 15, which gives me over a month before packing up for the Los Angeles internship program. In between those programs I am backpacking Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand).

If you are interested in studying abroad twice and have questions/want some guidance…please contact me! clairedorwart@gmail.com

Travel on!

Zach: Losing it Over Loose Leafs

As everyone knows, I love to rank foods at BU. If you know me at all, you know the GSU is incredibly important and near and dear to my heart and stomach. So today, without further adieu… I will rank the THEMES OF LOOSE LEAFS!

 

Pacific Rim

NO! NO! NO! This is so gross! This is not a salad flavor! No one ever asked for MANDARIN ORANGE themed DRESSING! The ONLY good topping is BABY CORN! The teriyaki chicken and salmon are fine additions though.

2/10

 

Flavors of Italy

This is overall fine. It is a boring theme with boring toppings and boring flavors. The pesto chicken is a plus, but the dressings are offensively lackluster.

4/10

Middle East

This is the ugly cousin of Mediterranean week, however, given how attractive mediterranean week is, this is not that bad. I am a big fan of the pita bread that is included and the tahini dressing. The toppings are where this week falls short, but I am a forgiving man.

6/10

Southwest Week

This used to be my favorite week, but I got bored with it fast. It is a bold collection of flavors with bold toppings, but you have to be in the mood, you know? Def a fan of the avocado caesar dressing and the toppings this week. Also obv love cornbread and even more love the flank steak.

8/10

Mediterranean Week 

GRAPES. ON SALAD. LEMON. FETA. DRESSING. I. LOVE. IT. This is ONLY slightly worse because it used to have bowtie pasta but now it is grains but that’s ok. I love the shrimp and I love the chicken. Such a fan. Woohoo!

9.5/10

Thanks for reading see you soon!

Nick: The Beantown Sports Scene

On the heels of the Chicago Cubs shocking the baseball world and clinching their first World Series championship since 1908 (before sliced bread was even a thing), I thought it would be fitting to talk about one of the topics nearest and dearest to my heart – sports.

You’ve heard it before – how Boston is the City of Champions. The Red Sox broke their own 86-year curse in 2004 and went on to win two more titles, the Celtics won it all with the Big Three in 2008, the Patriots have four championships in this millennium, and the Bruins took home the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Whether you’re an avid sports fan like myself, someone who wants to learn more about sports or simply a casual fan, BU has all of that for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get involved with sports at COM, BU and in Boston:

1. Fenway is in our backyard
One of the biggest draws for me as a Boston sports fan was BU’s proximity to Fenway Park. We are minutes away from one of the most historic ballparks in all of sports (cc Wrigley Field), and fans can get cheap student tickets too (Student 9s). I can’t tell you how many games I’ve been to with my friends since coming to BU. Even if you’re not a Red Sox fan or a fan of baseball, taking in a game at Fenway Park is a Boston experience you don’t wanna pass up.

2. The other pro teams here are pretty darn good
Baseball not your thing? That’s fine, because as mentioned above, all four of the major sports teams in Boston are perennial contenders.

The TD Garden where the Bruins and Celtics play is just a T ride away, and Gillette Stadium in Foxboro makes for a great day trip with some friends to watch some football. Tom Brady can only play for so long, right?

3. BU hockey ROCKS
While BU may not have a football team anymore, the BU men’s hockey team is a perennial contender for a national championship. The team is off to a solid start this season, and three of its freshmen were first round picks in last year’s NHL draft.

Also, the atmosphere at Agganis Arena is always raucous. The pep band kills it and the chants are always a good time. There’s something special about coming together as a school and rooting for a common cause. Similar to attending a game at Fenway Park, watching some BU hockey at Agganis is a vital BU experience. #GoTerriers

4. The sports opportunities in COM are second-to-none

As a sports fanatic with a passion for writing, sports journalism seemed like a logical career path for me. While I’ll be in DC next semester exploring the politic scene, many of the activities I’ve gotten involved with at BU have helped me grow journalistically while also exploring my love of sports.

I’m currently the sports editor of the Daily Free Press, where we cover every BU game throughout the year. This has been an incredible opportunity and experience, as I’ve been able to foster relationships with players, coaches and other beat writers. We have a rolling application, and I’d encourage you to apply. There are also opinion, news, features, layout and blog sections.

Since freshman year I’ve also been involved with BU’s only pro sports talk show Offsides. This has been another amazing experience, as I’ve met some of my best friends through BUTV and learned so much about television production. Plus, my friends and I get to have debates about the hottest topics in sports – which we do anyway.

There are also a bunch of sports journalism courses offered at BU – like sports broadcast, sportswriting, and sports talk radio. Just another example that shows COM has something for everyone.

 

Angeli: 4 Things I’ve Learned from Hosting a Radio Show

This semester, my inner Pitch Perfect-loving high school freshman self’s dreams came true when WTBU granted me the privilege of having my own radio show.

Let me clarify. In the 2012 instant cult classic film, Anna Kendrick’s character Beca works for her college radio station and life only goes up from there. And, for anyone who might not be aware, WTBU is *deep radio voice* “the beat of Boston University,” or in other words, BU’s own student-run station. Like Beca, radio was the first extracurricular I wanted to get involved with when I got to college, and joining last fall was probably one of the best decision I’ve ever made. After interning for two different shows my freshman year (shoutout to Pop Cultured and Shrug Emoji) and learning the station ropes from some welcoming upperclassmen-turned-good friends, I could not wait for the opportunity to have a DJ name and programming time slot of my own. I therefore did my very best victory dance when I received an email this summer saying my show application had been approved.

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Now, every Sunday from 10 am to noon, you can catch me on the airwaves as host of On the Verge, the official music and talk show of Verge Campus BU. VCBU is another organization I got involved with last year that centers around an online college lifestyle publication. Our partner site/company, GoodMusicAllDay, focuses on publicizing up-and-coming artists. My show serves as an extension of these two brands, as we talk about everything from world news to everyday college experiences (often inspired by Verge Campus articles) and play the music of underground artists usually from GMAD.On the Verge has been on air for about two months now, and I could not be happier with how it’s going so far. I’ll be honest, every episode hasn’t been flawless. That being said, though, I’ve been grateful for even my most cringe-worthy moments on FM/AM. Having a radio show has frankly taught me a lot about life. Here are some of those cheesy, cliche, painfully unoriginal lessons with a DJ’s twist:

1) Teamwork makes the dream work. If it wasn’t for my amazing co-host and team of interns, On the Verge would be no where near as interesting a show as I think/hope it’s been. Not only do they all contribute to some great talk segments and OTV’s social media presence, but they’ve also helped me find stories to report as well as artists and students to interview each week. We can proudly say we’ve had a guest on-air every episode so far, and I’m more than confident our episodes will only improve.

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2) Hard work pays off. A lot of the artists I’ve interviewed on OTV have been college students, which has been really inspiring in more ways than one. I’ve mainly been so in awe of how individuals my same age and often with my same workload are still managing to pursue music careers and grow as artists. Whether they’re dropping full EPs or shooting industry-caliber music videos, college kids are doing insanely impressive things, regardless of all the hours that may be involved. Sure enough, they’re also getting the recognition on YouTube, SoundCloud, etc that they strive for. I think their successes are testament to the dynamic duo that is passion and persistence, whom other students should befriend, too!

3) Don’t sweat the small stuff. For a third-semester WTBU member, I should really be embarrassed of the amount of times I’ve pressed the wrong button on the mixing board or, better yet, forgot to press one at all. Anything done involving technology just naturally entails the possibility of technological difficulties, and boy do I feel like I’m prone to those. After my second episode as a host, though, I decided that I couldn’t be too hard on myself for my mistakes, especially when I have guests in the studio. I’ve actually become a fan of turning my incompetence into a punchline. Sometimes, laughing at yourself and getting others to do the same makes for great radio. Plus, you’ll look like a confident and composed host (despite the fact that you might be crying on the inside…)

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4) Don’t forget where you came from. Or to whom you owe your existence. Basically just love your mom, everybody!!! I know, just when you thought this blog post couldn’t get any sappier, I just had to throw that one in. Though my mom might just be OTV’s biggest fan (hopefully not our only listener), where I was really going with this one was your family and friends will always be your biggest support system and never forget that. Mine have continually supported my radio endeavors and really helped spread the word about On the Verge. Nothing’s worse than being incredibly proud of a project and having no one to share it with. Of course Facebook likes are always appreciated, too :)

Now, for a final plug: make sure to check out wtburadio.org to listen to and learn more about all of the fun shows fellow Terriers host each week!

Caroline: BUTV10’s The Vote 2016

Tuesday night BUTV10 covered the US Presidential Election. The Vote 2016 was a collaboration between BUTV10, the Journalism Department, the Film and Television Department, BU News Service, WTBU, DC Study Abroad, and London Study Abroad. Students were all over the country reporting from inside the headquarters of presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, insides the headquarters of New Hampshire Senate candidates Maggie Hassan and Kelly Ayotte, and outside of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.. The whole show is the thesis project for journalism graduate student Natalie Robson.

We rehearsed for our two hour show for about a month leading up to Tuesday, but no rehearsal could prepare us for five hours straight of live coverage, three of which were unscripted. We had each bloc on the fly during commercial breaks. There were two anchors, a congressional reporter, an exit polls reporter, a social media reporter from BUNS, and an interviewer for us to integrate, and the five remote reporters. There was a delicate dance between calling states’ results and sticking to the plan we decided just minutes before. The most important thing is to be prepared and have back up plans. Sometimes Skype wouldn’t connect, so we would have to change the format, or a state would be called and we would have to cut out of a break early. It was hard work, but the support system around Natalie and myself allowed us to succeed.

The journalism and film and television professors were instrumental in the production. Their experience reporting and producing news really helped during crunch time. They were able to help us make informed decisions about what was next. The engineers in COM worked countless hours to hame sure the set and control room were ready for this huge production. We were lucky to have two important interview guests who have reported on elections in the past, mass communication professor John Carroll; and Pulitzer-prize winner, Dean Tom Fiedler of COM. We were also lucky enough to interview Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore.

The experience each student working on the election coverage got on Tuesday night is something very unique. No other university did the comprehensive coverage we had with all of our moving parts. This was honestly the most valuable experience I’ve had so far at Boston University. I was able to do Tuesday night essentially what professionals were doing, and I can take everything that I learned into the workplace after I graduate. I’m so grateful COM is full of professors and students willing to push the limits and try something we’ve never done before.

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Joe: Look Back At It

So here we are, just weeks away from the rest of my life. I always have said that Halloween is basically the end point of the semester, with the following weeks acting like one of those moving sidewalks in an airport. The time just seems to jump and everything is coming down to the wire so quickly. So I want to take this time to slow down. Take it all in. Stop and smell the roses, if you will.

Get ready because this blog post is about to get weirdly emotional and feel like you got kicked in the face with emotions.

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I have spent 3.5 years at B.U. and it has been some of the best years of my life. I have met people who have built me up and challenged who I am. I’ve grown and grown and grown some more. I’ve made mistakes and accomplishments and everything in between. I have learned more about the world and it’s people and how I fit in to all of it. What role do I play and how can I make the world a better place for all who inhabit it?

These are the questions I have been asking myself upon my impending graduation. What do I want to do with my life and how can I, Joe Piro, a humble boy from Long Island, make a difference in this big scary place? And will even those small efforts make a difference?

Last week, I sent in my absentee ballot to vote for the first female President of the United States. And while that seemed to have received some backlash from my family members back home, I’ve never felt more sure in my decision.  Yesterday, I cried watching Hilary’s “The Story of this Campaign” video. Even though I supported Bernie Sanders through the primaries, watching her progress made me think of my sisters, nieces, mom, grandmas, and every female friend I’ve ever had as I’ve watched them have to overcome things I as a man do not have to deal with. Yesterday may have been Election Day, but today starts the real work towards progress.

As of writing this blog post, the Presidential election is still undecided. And I just want to remind you all that the world is a wonderful place and we do not live in Medieval Times or during The Christian Crusades. And I feel now more than ever we have the power to shape this world into what we want it to be. I want to live in a place that is filled with optimism and hope and love. Wow, this sounds corny but I’m in rare form from this election and I just want the world to be a happy place.

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Christy: I Still Don’t Feel Like an Adult, and That’s Okay

I am almost half way through my junior year, and I still don’t really feel like an adult. 

Although I may outwardly exhibit signs of being an adult (“legally” of adult age, living in an off-campus apartment, etc.), I actually feel like I am no where close to mastering the art of “adulting” just yet. The initial transition into college was a taste of freedom that I never experienced before, tricking me into thinking I was actually an adult ready to take on the world. But really, everyday I find that I am still learning so much about myself and it makes me question if I am as ready and grown as I thought I was freshman year.

I actually feel less mature than I did freshman year. I think the biggest reason being I talk to my mom almost everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. Sometimes I call just to check in or tell her about my day, and other times I call for advice — both make me feel young. 

Telling my mom about my day seems like I am coming home from elementary school and giving her a full play-by-play. (Yes, sometimes I even tell her what I ate for lunch.) But she takes genuine interest and I love talking to her, so I never see any fault in calling her. But, I probably call my mom more often than my friends talk to their parents. Telling her about the highs and lows of my day not only help me decompress, but also allow me to receive advice when needed. 

Which leads me to what I think is the constant need for advice and approval. More often than not, I call her to help me make decisions. From asking her what I should do for dinner to helping me make more difficult decisions, I always seek her advice and hold her opinion above all else. Always turning to my mom makes me wonder if I am capable of making decisions on my own. Could I be satisfied with making a big decision knowing that my mom was not a part of the decision-making process/I don’t have her seal of approval? There is no shame in seeking advice, though, and especially for an indecisive and anxious person like me, it is in no sense demeaning and childish, but rather comforting.

Through it all, I am still learning. Seeking help and advice from your parents does not necessarily mean you’re a child, but rather means you are on your way to coming into your own as an adult. We have been told time and time again that college is a learning experience; you don’t become an adult the second your parents leave your freshman dorm after move-in day. Being away from your parents for the first time often makes you reach for their support more than ever before because they can no longer come to your aid by calling them from the next room over. So don’t be afraid to call your mom for advice next time you don’t know what to eat for dinner! She will love to help you out.