Trip To New York

What I did there.

This week, I went to New York City as part of a course about the entertainment industry. Here's some stuff I did, but in an outline format so I don't spend all night writing about it and thinking of funny ways to say things:

• Met in the "Blue Room" of City Hall, where there mayor holds press conferences.
• Cool place to work even as an intern, because you can have lots of creative freedom if you're driven.
• While in City Hall we also got to see Hopkins alumnus Michael Bloomberg, who is short.

Court TV:
• Learned a lot about marketing/advertising and the cable industry in general.
• Saw a couple of on-air people who nobody would ever recognize.
• Went in Master Control, which was really cool until someone spilled coffee on the console, taking out the entire Pacific feed.

Sheraton New York:
• Like most elevators in New York, were able to take me from the 1st to the 40th floor (including wait time) faster than it takes my apartment elevator to take me to the 3rd to the 1st. It could probably go up 100 floors in the time it takes the Gilman elevator to go over one.
• Not a bad hotel, but has zero noise insulation. I could hear everything in the hallway, and in the rooms next to, above, and below mine.

• Good discussion about the industry.
• MTV will launch own music service (I'm not the first to report this.)
• DVD market huge, next generation (HD) will be big.

Hello Deli:
My third time seeing Rupert in person. I was completely untouristy this time, and didn't even call him by name, so he probably thought I didn't know who he was. I ordered a Shryer and ate it in the deli because it was freezing outside. It was fun listening to what I assume was the regular lunch crowd coming in to talk with Rupert. And yes, I do recommend the Shryer.

• Features Bruce Vilanch dressed as a woman, and his ad-libs to the audience were great.
• Fun set, with a cool track system for setting/striking pieces remotely.
• Backstage tour.

Networking Reception:
• Met one of the producers at Rockstar Games, who worked on San Andreas and is working on Midnight Club 3. She explained that she has to write lines such as, "Hey, man," and, "That's awesome." She was class of '03 and remembered that I helped her on a project when I was a Freshman. Yeah, I'm unforgettable.
• Met a reporter for The Times (I'm assuming that's cool industry lingo for the NYT, but I didn't want to ask.)
• Met someone who works for the ad agency that does the Aflac commercials. She previously worked for TBWA\Chiat\Day, the ad agency for Apple's most famous ads.

• Still happy to serve me at 2:30 AM in Times Square.

TV When I Couldn't Fall Asleep:
• 20 minutes of random surfing.
• 2.5 episodes of Law & Order SVU on USA with predictable outcomes and that cool Law & Order sound effect.
50 First Dates. I was hoping it would put me to sleep.

CBS News:
• Discussion with a few executive producers.
• CBS News studio was cool. Saw where Dan Rather sits, learned that all three cameras are controlled by one person, because they're robotic and can automatically move to preset positions based on floor position, height, pan, tilt, zoom, and focus. Floor position is based on number of wheel rotations and angle, and is reset for each broadcast by returning to a specially marked "Home" position on the floor.
• The empty studio where they used to shoot some soaps was interesting to see. All of the studios feature complete acoustic isolation, and the floors are on springs.
• CBS Sports studio was fun too. I'll have to get a copy of the picture we took at the desk.
• In April, a mobile control room will park outside of the Ed Sullivan Theater and run The Late Show for four months while the old control room is completely renovated and outfitted for HD. Dave will be in high definition in September. (I'm not the first to report this.)
• CBS Sports control room was awesome and fully digital. Again, the awesomeness was severely depleted when someone spilled coffee on the main switcher.

• Brian Sullivan made a crack about my name so I messed up his hair.
• Some radio guy spoke to us. His voice sounded familiar.
• Charlie Pellet demoed how the Bloomberg Professional service works. We have a terminal in the library, so I might try it out next time I'm on campus.
• An H.R. guy talked to us about internships and jobs; I may apply.
• The environment was really cool. Lots of fish tanks, fun colors, computer and TV monitors everywhere (including one in the floor), and food. All of the walls were glass to promote openness, but I think glass walled restrooms was taking the idea a bit too far. We were in their old building, but they are moving into an even cooler one that will have a circular escalator.
• Their control room is tapeless, with everything going direct to video servers encoded in MPEG-2.
• Lex Fenwick (CEO since Mike left) talked with us for a bit. He left school when he was 15 and never went to college. He had some really cool ideas about how to run a corporation, and I appreciated his dislike of meetings that do nothing but waste time.

Posted: Thursday - January 20, 2005 at 08:16 PM