Jon: Game On: PAX East Invades Boston

Jon ImageHi all! Spring is in the air, and you know what that means: time for PAX East. What is PAX you ask? Well, for those of you who don’t know, Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX, is a three-day gaming convention created by the writers of the Web Comic Penny Arcade. The convention, originally launched in 2004, was created as a celebration of everything gamer culture-related. From Halo to Ski-Ball, PAX had a niche for every type of gamer.

Unfortunately for us east-coasters, the original PAX, now known as PAX Prime, is held on the west coast. However, in 2010 the creators of PAX launched a brand new event: PAX East. Held in Boston, PAX east was to be a chance for Atlantic fans of video games to enjoy the pure awesomeness that PAX had to offer, and it lived up to that ideal, with more attendees in its first year than the 6-year-old PAX Prime.

Since 2010, PAX East has flourished, and from April 6th to April 8th, it invades the massive Boston Convention and Exhibition Center(BCEC) with music, lectures, Q&A’s, slammin’ dance parties, and, of course, a massive dose of gaming.

PAX is going to be a great experience, both personally and professionally. For anyone interested in the entertainment business, there will be something relevant to your chosen career field going on. For me, this is the Star Power in Marketing lecture, which will discuss the role and effect of celebrities in video game marketing campaigns (an issue that is certainly relevant with the recent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 trailer featuring Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill). For others it might be Video Games Aren’t Just for Playing panel on pro gaming and e-sports broadcasting/spectating. Or maybe it’s even the Community Management 2012 talk by a group of P.R. professionals working for major gaming studios and developers. These amazing opportunities are not your average industry panels. This is all without mentioning the plentiful opportunities to network with professionals in the gaming business.

PAX East is going to be chaotic and amazing. The weekend-long gaming-oriented event will be a chance to party up, groove out, and game on. It’s going to be a weekend to remember. And of course, I’ll be live-tweeting the whole thing from @JonMayer249.

Until Next Time,

~Jon

Steph: Big City, Big Opportunities

Steph ImageOne of the biggest factors I considered when looking for the perfect school was location. Early on in my search, I was convinced that I wanted a secluded campus with lots of lawns, brick, and vines. However, that quickly changed once I arrived on Boston University’s campus. For me, BU was the perfect combination: it had that collegiate, campus feeling while being in the middle of a big, exciting city. Once I walked down Comm Ave for the first time, I decided that with my eyes set on a degree in Communication, I couldn’t pass up all the amazing opportunities being in a big city would offer me.

Almost a year later (I can’t believe its gone by so fast), I’m absolutely positive that my decision was the right one. The fact is, through BU, COM, and the prime location, I have had so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had if I had chosen a different school in a different location.

Last night, my friend Anneliese and I hopped on the T right outside of our dorm and rode over the river to Cambridge. We were on our way to see a special screening of the movie Boy, a New Zealand film by director Taika Waititi, who also wrote and starred in it. Immediately following the screening, Waititi was there to do a Q&A. This was no ordinary night for Anneliese. Waititi is her favorite filmmaker, and inspired her love for the tiny country of New Zealand. Through the COM Study Abroad program, Anneliese plans on studying abroad there while having an internship in Film and TV. Because Boston is such a major city in the US, many filmmakers set their eyes on it for screenings and to help get the word out. Anneliese never thought that in her first year at college, she’d get the change to interview her favorite filmmaker from New Zealand. After contacting Waititi through Twitter, Anneliese was promised an interview with him after the screening for the profile she is writing on him for The Buzz, BU’s magazine.

Putting her COM 201 Writing for Communication skills to work, Anneliese dominated the Q&A and impressed Waititi with her professional questions. The producer of the film was also there, and approached us after the session. “Are you doing an article?” he asked her, clearly noticing the preparation and care had gone into her questions. She explained that she’s writing a profile for BU, and the producer instantly offered to give Anneliese Waititi’s contact information so that she could get the rest of her questions answered. While we were calm, collected, and professional on the outside, on the inside, we were BURSTING with excitement. She even got a kiss on the cheek from Waititi!

This is just one example of the incredible opportunities that come with studying in a major city. One more quick one: this past week, there was a pilot for a new ABC show filming—right on campus! Especially as a COM student, getting the chance to really put yourself out there and gain hands on experience in what you are studying is essential. COM encourages it, and so do I!

Come see for yourself how awesome it is to go to school in Boston—our COM Open Houses for admitted students are April 14th and 21st. Hope to see you there!

Taylor: BUTV10

Taylor ImageIf someone were to tell me that beginning freshmen year of college I would have the option of working the camera, switchboard, and interviewing worldly acclaimed journalists and icons I would have said they were crazy…. BUT THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED.  Boston University’s television channel, BUTV10, has various student-run shows- ranging from sports to soaps -that welcomes Terrier involvement beginning freshmen year. BUTV10 allows for students to gain hands-on-experience and fosters a community of varied thoughts and opinions.

At the beginning of the school year I attended an information session, which supplied me with tons of information about the various shows produced by BUTV10.  I knew immediately knew from the show descriptions, that “The Wire” and “On that Point” compelled more to my aspirations of being a broadcast journalist. I signed up for the shows thinking that as a freshman I would be given mediocre jobs and have to competitively climb my way up the ladder. I could not have thought more wrong.

Within my first day of shooting for The Wire – BUTV10s morning news show- I expected to straggle my way into Studio West, sit, and merely watch the crewmembers as they record. WRONG.  Upon entering the studio I was delegated as cameraman, shown the proper way of positioning the camera, taught camera vocabulary, and shot for both the national and campus segments. I was terrified of the camera after the first shoot. However, after practice and healthy criticism from other crewmembers I began to become attuned with the equipment, or “a natural” so to speak. After a few weeks of becoming acclimated to working the teleprompter, sound, camera, and even directing here and there I began to be assigned national and campus stories to report.

BUTV10 welcomes students without a second of hesitation.  Professor Cavalieri, the BUTV10 faculty advisor, encourages students to become involved in shows regardless of major or enrollment in COM. Many crewmembers within On that Point- BUTV10s political talk show- are enrolled in other colleges at BU.

Due to my involvement with BUTV10 many cool and exclusive opportunities have arisen. For instance, early this semester, Mad Men director Jennifer Getzinger stopped by Studio West and agreed to a short interview which I stage-managed. During Super Tuesday I joined a crew, mostly consisting of freshmen, and assisted the Graduate Program’s Newsroom Class as they conducted live coverage of the days results.

BUTV10 is offering me a jump-start on understanding and handling broadcast technology, forming scripts, and tweaking on camera bumps before I begin my major focused classes.  I have formed great friendships with crewmembers within my shows of involvement. In fact after pitch meetings and episode shoots the crew of On that Point often eats dinner at Warren Towers.

To read more information about all of the BUTV10 shows along with watching recent segments visit www.butv10.com .

CONGRATS ON ADMITTANCE! 🙂

Taylor W.

Kaitlin: Unleashed PR

Kaitlin ImageInternship.  The ten-letter word has the power to totally freak out college kids.  Thoughts of how to land a dream internship causes students to panic and lay awake at night, because sometimes it’s hard to get your start and find hearty experience to put on your resume.  Luckily, the Boston University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (BU PRSSA) realized this and created Unleashed PR in response.

Unleashed PR is the BU PRSSA student-run public relations firm, which provides students with real-world experience. Students have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real clients, gaining hands-on experience to build their resumes and portfolios, which in turn, sets them up for internships and jobs.

I had the opportunity of experiencing two completely different sides of Unleashed PR- being an Account Executive for a client, and running the show.

Last year, I was happy to be placed on the Sweat and Soul Yoga account.  I worked on a team with four other students, and we spent the Spring semester brainstorming ways to increase the yoga studio’s clientele through fun and creative campaigns and events.  I learned so much about writing press releases, pitching to clients, and creating campaigns, all before I even took my first Public Relations class.  And the best part? I was able to put all of this on my resume.  After all, it was real-life work for a real-life client.

This year, my experience with Unleashed PR was entirely different.  With my friend Ellen Cohn, I decided to step up to be the Agency Director, or in fancier terms, the Vice President of Public Relations.  Although it was tough, this was the perfect opportunity to see exactly how a firm runs from the top.  I managed the student teams for clients like Inside Films, Project Mailbox, Sweat and Soul Yoga, Zaarly, Of Rags, and NYC rapper Hassan Salaam.  The wide range of clients allowed me to see inside the fashion, non-profit, technology, consumer, and entertainment PR fields.

Working with Unleashed PR as an Account Executive as well as an Agency Director has been invaluable.  Taking that first step into the public relations world can be terrifying, but I did it with ease through this internship-like experience.  So if you didn’t know where to start, now you do! Any member of BU PRSSA is more than welcome to join the team! Email me or visit buprssa.com for more information.

Alexa: Spring is Here!

Alexa ImageI had hoped to spend my Spring Break in a warm, sunny California.  However, the weather wasn’t exactly what I had expected. It rained 3 out of the 5 days but I kept thinking to myself, “the weather is better than Boston, the weather is better than Boston.” Well, according to weather.com it wasn’t. In fact, as soon as I left, Boston shot up to 70 degrees. I thought I had lost my chance. One of the few sunny days I was guaranteed in Boston I spent on a plane ride back to California. My spirit was shot but not destroyed. Then, the unthinkable happened. The weather stayed the same. In fact, it was better. From the Sunday I returned all the way to Friday, Boston weather acted like summer. From 7 AM in the morning to late at night, the temperature stayed at 70 degree and even rose. I was confused as to what to do with myself since no one prepared me for sunshine in March. Luckily, I’ve learned and I am here to tell you all exactly where to go and what to do!

The COM lawn: I know everyone says they hang out on the COM lawn on a sunny day, but really, this is one of the top places to go. You can sit next to the fountain and catch up on your COM reading or you can throw the football around to pass the time. The COM lawn is really convenient since it is an easy place to hang out in between COM classes. My teammates and I were preparing for a softball game and decided to play catch on one side of the lawn to warm up. (Fun fact: We won our first game!)

The BU Beach: The Beach is a lot like the COM lawn only it’s much bigger. From the beach you can see the Charles River and hang out with your friends in between classes. I saw a lot of kids taking naps and tanning and just enjoying the sunshine. It’s a really relaxing place to gather yourself before your next class.

The Boston Common: The great thing about BU is that you are immersed in the city so you don’t just have to stay on campus to find entertaining things to do! Boston Common is a happening place when the weather gets warm and there are benches and a lot of grassy areas to just relax, or my personal favorite, people watch.

Another useful tip I learned about the warm Boston weather is that it’s important to stay hydrated! Of course Starbucks have wonderful iced drinks but another great place is Angora Café. Angora is right near the intersection of Babcock Street and Commonwealth Avenue and is delicious. You can try of their amazing fruit smoothies but what they are most popular for is their unique frozen yogurt. My personal favorite is the raspberry yogurt, but trust me once you see all the flavors you won’t know what to choose.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t stick and I am forced to once again pull out my winter jacket. However, the good news is that since I finally got a taste of springtime in Boston I am completely ready for it again! Next time the temperature reaches above 70 degrees, you’ll find me at the BU beach with a raspberry frozen yogurt in my hand.

Until next time!

Dany: A Very PC Weekend

Daniela ImageHey everyone! Since coming back from spring break, I’ve had only one thing on my mind: SPF’12!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m part of the Executive Board of Programming Council, which is BU’s student-run organization that puts on really awesome events throughout the year. This year, we have brought you PC Glow, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mr. and Ms. BU, Winter Weekend, Back Bay Ball, and tons more. Our final event of the year was this past weekend. It was called SPF ’12 (for Spring PC Frenzy!) and it consisted of a free concert at the House of Blues featuring Gym Class Heroes and a free comedy show in Metcalf featuring Michael Ian Black!

If you came out to either event this past weekend, thank you so much for making PC’s last event of the year so wonderful. I want to emphasize how awesome an experience I had and encourage everyone who’s interested in helping out with next year’s events to come to our meetings on Wednesdays at 7pm in SAO!

Now that I have that shameless plug out of the way, I’m going to tell you just how awesome an experience this was and how much I love being a part of PC.

The evening started off normal enough for an event. We arrived at the House of Blues early and made sure everything was running smoothly in terms of tickets and equipment. We divvied up tasks and got ready for doors to open. One of my friends who, along with being a PC Event Manger, is also an editor for the Daily Free Press, told me frantically that the reporter that was supposed to come interview Gym Class Heroes could not make it. She was nervous and didn’t want to do the interview alone, so I eagerly offered to do it with her. I am an opinion columnist for the Daily Free Press, and because of my COM education, I knew how to conduct a journalistic interview.

I never expected when I woke up on Friday morning that in a few hours I would be sitting in a small room backstage at the House of Blues shaking hands with Eric and Matt of Gym Class Heroes. I was still reeling from the group hug that Travie McCoy (the lead singer) had insisted on with all of PC backstage before going on. The interview went flawlessly, and I have to attribute a lot of it to my COM education.

One of the things I love about COM is how all of the majors relate to each other, no matter what class you’re taking. There is a synergy among all the fields that make it fascinating to study. I love that even though I am a Public Relations major, I was able to use some journalistic skills I had picked up on in CO201 and deliver a great interview.

The next night, we had Michael Ian Black perform at Metcalf. PC perks meant meeting up with him after the show and getting a group picture. I’m quite short, and somehow I ended up standing a little bit behind him. I had to stand on my tiptoes and lean against his shoulder for the shot. I think that surprised him, and it came out really funny in the picture.

All in all, I had an incredible weekend. It’s a great testament to the many amazing opportunities I have because I’m here, and I’m so glad to be a part of BU and COM and PC. I hope to see some of you in our meetings this semester and next fall. I promise you won’t regret it!

Tom: The Balancing Act of College

Tom ImageHey guys! I am back and blogging for you guys again. Earlier in the semester I told you guys that I was auditioning for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Time sure does fly by as I am now in the final week of rehearsals before opening night!! For the past month, my life has been schoolwork, work, rehearsal & sleep, all day everyday. But I’ve still managed to find time for a social life. For this blog post, I’ve chosen to write my Top 5 Tips for surviving the balancing act of college.

1.     Caffeine… but with a limit. I am so grateful to be on a campus that has five Starbucks locations on campus. When I’m trying to balance all of the different things, I find my daily dose of caffeine a necessity. However, you need to keep it within limit. Pulling all nighters with a redbull in hand is never productive. A cup of coffee or two will do you fine.

2.     Find the best study space. If it wasn’t for my favorite go-to study space (The Starbucks in SMG), I would never be productive. Find a productive place to do all of your work and you will get work done in half the time!

3.     Get plenty of sleep. You will only be able to function with enough sleep. While it may seem like a better idea to stay up all night and finish all your work, trust me – getting sleep will lead to more efficient work.

4.     Know when to say “no”. My classic problem is the “over-achieving, I want to take on the world” problem. You know what I’m talking about – you want to be on the Executive Board for five different clubs, while working and while maintaining a 4.0. Trust me, learn when is enough and learn to say “no” to commitments that come your way.

5.     Stay Calm! Probably most important of all. College is a time to have fun – not be stressed. Do things that keep you calm – take a mental health day and go shopping or go to the movies, and never let yourself get too overwhelmed.

Follow these five tips (and maybe even learn some of your own) and you will be good to go! I’ve managed to balance a part-time job, COM Ambassador duties, my school work and all of my work with BU On Broadway. I have confidence you’ll be able to handle the balancing act of college the same way.

Signing off,

Tom

Kate: Tips for Tackling the Study Abroad Application

Kate Image

This semester, I began the grueling process of applying to a study abroad program.  When I was on the college hunt, I realized that studying abroad opportunities was a must where ever I ended up.  And I definitely picked the right place for that.  BU has programs all over the world doing any types of program you could think of.  A girl in my sorority just got back from a Creative Writing Trip to Greece.  My other friend spent a semester at sea.  My plan: London Internship Program for Fall 2012.

The following are a few tips I have for those beginning the application process and how to make sure you get accepted to the program of your choice!

  1. Plan ahead. There a certain requirements to go on a study abroad program, especially ones that have an internship component (check out those requirements here).  Decide early what semester or summer you want to go abroad and plan your schedule accordingly.  There are no exceptions for the class or GPA requirements so make sure you’re all set when it comes time to apply.
  2. Get your recommendation letters. Most applications require 1-2 professor recommendations.  Contact your recommenders early.  It is not okay to expect them to finish it in a day so consider reaching out to them at least a month before the application is due.  Don’t be afraid to send them a reminder email if the deadline is closing in but don’t badger them.
  3. Apply early! This may be the most important piece of advice I have to offer you.  Applications and decisions are made on a rolling basis a.k.a. the sooner you get it in, the sooner you find out your decision.  I had one friend who turned the application in almost two months before it was due and heard back in 12 days (the usually time is about four weeks).  Also, many of the popular programs will fill up before the application deadline.  Procrastinating your application may lead to a rejection from your program of choice.

Once you’ve been accepted (congrats!), get all your forms and deposit payment in fast! Once you do that, you can select your housing and classes for your upcoming time abroad.  It is a very exciting time--remember these tips to make sure you have a semester you will never forget!

Check out the study abroad website for more information on abroad programs and to being your application!

Richie: Indie Production Company

Richie ImageHey everyone,

If you read my last post, you might’ve heard that I was able to get an internship at the Cannes Film Festival for this summer. Obviously I’ve been incredibly excited for it. I’m sure I will learn plenty about the festival process, screenings, distribution of motion pictures, and even more.

 However, I am most interested in the production of actual movies. While I could try searching for another internship or job on the actual set of a short film, I instead thought, “What better way to learn about making movies, than just going out and making plenty yourself?”

That’s why three friends of mine and I have decided to start a small production company. We’ve helped each other out on our Production 1 films and since last year have been shooting and editing a few live sessions for independent musicians around Boston. We’ve had experience working with each other and thought it was time we stepped it up. With a name finally agreed upon, oneonefive productions has finally begun preproduction for our own independent short film.

 

Preproduction:

Recently we’ve been making changes to the script, setting up a budget, and creating a schedule. We’ve even gone into researching the best resources for casting, equipment rental, and even deadlines for film festival submissions months in advance. Our first film’s will be about three adolescent working class Boston kids. Unable to receive a college education, like so many in their position, they grow a resentment towards the student’s inhabiting their city from distant parts around the country. The group cons and robs affluent college students in the Boston area, yet our protagonist begins to have a change of heart.

We’re confident in the story premise but still definitely have a few details to iron out before we start shooting.

Getting Jobs to Fund our First Film:

Apart from making changes to the script I wrote, a large part of what’s been on our plates has been funding the project. Although a Kickstarter campaign was thought of, we feel we must be a bit more established before we can realistically start getting strangers to give money for our film. This is why we’ve been focusing on getting jobs shooting promos, live music sessions, music videos, and anything else we may find a client interested in. Our first job will be at a hair salon on Newbury Street, interested in shooting a few instructional videos on how to use their products. This way, we’ll be getting more experience, building contacts, establishing a track record, and funding our film all at once.

Our production company is very young, but we’re all very excited to finally be doing more of what we love. We always talk about crafting our skill or making that first real legitimate film. Though we may have a bit until that film gets completed, the group is happy that action has been replaced by mere talking. I definitely recommend engaging some close friends of yours in different talks and meetings and see if you guys can create a small production company or artistic collective. I definitely think it’s the best way to start learning apart from classes or internships, and start establishing a name for yourself! By the way, if anyone has us in mind for a shoot, email us at oneonefiveproductions@gmail.com!

Anna: The Best Spots in Boston

Anna Image

As I come to the end of my time here in Boston, all of my friends from high school/home seem to be making last minute attempts to come see me and the city. Obviously, I have been trying to get them all to visit for the past 3.5 years, but you know how it is. No one ever has money or time or (fill in your friends’ favorite excuses here).  Nonetheless, my best friend since the age of 10 is coming to see me next month, so in the spirit of having a visitor (YAY!), I figured I’d share some of my favorite things to do around the city with out-of-towners. Full Disclosure: There really are only so many times you can walk the Freedom Trail, so get creative with your guests for your own sake!

Institute of Contemporary Art:

The ICA is located on the waterfront near the courthouse, but it’s worth the short trek. Pretty much everyone (your parents) wants to see a museum when they come into town, so you might as well take them to a cool one. The ICA has all sorts of awesome exhibits. For example, this past summer they had a really extensive display of some of the best music album art.

La Famiglia Giorgio:

Going to the North End is a must for every visitor, so save some money and go to my favorite spot La Famiglia. The portions are huge. Honestly, they are ginormous. I have never seen anyone be able to finish a plate of pasta there, and yet, my friends still claim that they can. There is also a secret 20% student discount, so anyone with a college ID can spend less for leftovers for days.

Brattle Book Shop:
For any of your friends interested in antiquing or vintage anything, the Brattle Book Shop is the place to take them. There is a ton of really cool used books and an amazing selection of first edition books.  Even if you aren’t into books like I am (I know it’s weird), I promise you and any visitor will love it here. It’s also a really cool place to pick up a unique gift or souvenir since a good section of the books are about New England and Boston.

SOWA Open Market:

This South End market is only open on Sundays, but contrary to popular belief, the fun lasts all year ‘round. In the summer, you can bring your friends and family to the outdoor market that features a lot of art and clothing stands and all of Boston’s best food trucks. In the winter, though, it transforms into more of an indoor farmers market. Still, it’s a cool place to visit. Plus since you’re already in the South End on Sunday, you can stop at one of the neighborhood’s many amazing restaurants or cafes for brunch.