Here’s what Tanya posted on her blog today:
Today is the first day I am actually coherent. It has taken two days to feel as if I can actually function like a person again. Thursday through Sunday were four of the most intense, challenging, difficult days of my life and somehow I made it through.Thursday morning started at the ungodly hour of 5:00 a.m. I was so nervous & anxious that I was sick. Literally. I didn’t know if I’d be able to ride the train all the way in without being sick again. I was running hot & cold & hot again. UGH! How can I go in? Easy. I didn’t realize I had picked up the express train and there was no stopping between Hix and Penn Station. Great.I made it to Penn and hopped the subway to Times Square and only had to walk to 40th street to find the CUNY Journalism school. This school is gorgeous. I wish I was in to journalism just so I could sign up to attend this building. I signed inand headed up to the 3rd floor. There was a security guard and one man milling around. I checked in with the guard and asked the man if he was there for the digital film class. He was. His name was Adventure Pete and he had just rode in last night on his BMW motorcycle. He came from Houston and was going to stay with some NYC cop he met in a chat room where he had been asking about the weather & hotels. The guy said “stay with me in Riverdale” and so AP did. Interesting guy. He works on an oil rig at sea (one month on and one month off) and is leaving in May to ride to Alaska and is working his way down to the tip of South America. On his bike. Gotta love guys. The next person to enter was the Massage Therapist from Ft. Wayne, IN. MT was pollyanna brought to life. She and I admitted upfront that neither of us had ever touched a video camera or a Mac before so we hoped to sit together and commisserate. Shortly after we were joined by the Skinny Greek and she’s from Chicago. She has temp jobs right now & mocches off of her parents. The great thing about these girls is that they are my age. These three have it all over me. They’ve been everywhere. AP has been to Cambodia and Vietnam, MT lived in Peru for a year and traveled South America, and SG took a trip to Greece to meet relatives and what would have been a brief trip turned in to five months. She has also spent plenty of time in Korea. I’ve seen a large picnic basket in Ohio. I have to step up my traveling.We had plans to sit and work on projects as a group and then the instructor came in and said “We have assigned you seats so please look for your name” and our hopes were dashed. The gorup of 36 went up a set of stairs to the room and looked for our names. I had to look around to find my name and it was all the way in the last row of the room…..right between MY and SG! Yippee!!! Plans were back in action.
Infront of us sat a newlywed couple from Alabama. Well, he’s from AL but she’s from Australia. They got married three weeks earlier and stayed in some private cottage on the beach in Key West. He’s a pro fisherman and she does reporting inthe sports world and they met 4 years ago and are so mismatched in appearance but their personalities blended so well. They were hysterical to sit behind. Next to them was the Groupie….a 24-yr old from NJ. She was engaged to be married last month and he broke it off three months before the wedding. She claims to be devastated but she’s already ‘seeing’ someone. So how serious this was, I don’t know. But her manner of speaking was nails on a chalkboard for me. Don’t get me wrong, she is sweet and naive and all, but I work with people like her everyday so I felt as if I was in class with a student.
We were introduced to our instructor for the week. Michael Rosenblum is beyond accomplished, hysterical, and a bit scary. He is what I wanted to be in the classroom until we were told that we have to make the students “feel good about themselves even when all they did was show up (late, unprepared, etc.)”. He’s a cross between Gilbert Gottfried and Billy Crystal. His stories are some of the funniest I have hard and could listen to his rant all day. He gave us the ‘foll-proof’ secrets to shooting film. And said ‘any idiot can do it’. We had yet to see since this idiot had never done this before.
I scoped out the room to see if there were any ‘potentials’. Hmm…….lots of married men. That was it. Except for one hottie: Cracker. But he was a part of the instruction team and was off-limits. Oh well….at least I had someone to look at while failing miserably at my attempts.
At 1:30, they threw us out into the streets and said “Don’t come back without 20 minutes of footage. And have a sequence of events in mind”. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? It wasn’t. We had to find a location, as for permission to film in the location, get the permit signed by the manager/owner, ask to film the workers, have them sign a legal paper, ask them to let us behind the counter, ask them to turn down the radio (bc music is copyrighted material), and then shoot sequences of events. I had lunch with MT and the Groupie and we decided to wander and find stores near eachother so we could head back together. I went in a place and had less than 2 hours to get footage. I got calls fromthem saying they had been rejected repeatedly and were moving on. We’d see eachother back at the room at 4:00.
I ended up in a coffee shop. The manager was nice but he had taken 2 years of film schooland wanted to direct me on what to do. That wasn’t part of my assignment. I tried to get footage. I really did. I got 9 1/2 minutes of the 20 I was supposed to get. I didn’t want to go back for fear that Michael would rip me apart.
Back at the school, we were split into two groups for the viewing and critique. I was not with Michael and was able to breathe a bit better than I thought I would. But where was MT? We hadn’t seen her since 2:00. We viewed the pieces and mine was ‘okay’, but I had a ‘titanic’ shot in which I shot the manager on some angle (forgot my v8 I guess) and the ceiling tiles in the back were so slanted and crooked! UGH! By 7:30, there was no sign of MT and I tried to call her cell. It said that the number was disconnected. Uh-oh. She’s never been to NYC before and now she hasn’t returned to the class? I was worried. I mentioned this to one of the assistants and he said she’d be back. He didn’t tell me he meant the next day. So I was going home all worried about MT.
I hopped on the subway and caught an 8:15 trainhome. I ate dinner at 9:45 and crashed. Information overload, nerves, and Grotter do not mix well.
There are four days worth of entries. Go read ’em. It’s a pretty good diary of one person’s participation in the Academy.