Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January 30, 2007 - It's Somebody's Birthday...

…but it sure didn’t feel like it. Everybody at the office (Warren’s and at the Piers) wished me a happy birthday, I received cards in the mail, greetings online (including a wonderful picture montage), phone calls, etc. But, I still felt an overwhelming pang of sadness. I think it’s the first time I’ve truly felt home sick.

I was at Warren’s office from 10 until 8. It was very much a repeat of yesterday, so I don’t have anything new to report on. I had planned to go out for a prime rib or filet mignon after work, maybe even some cake but, depressed and tired, I just went home. There, I planned to order takeout (because Progresso soup for the umpteenth time, on my birthday no less, just seems wrong), but ended-up going out for Chinese again.

Monday, January 29, 2007

January 29, 2007 - Extended Assignment

No sooner than I came into the office and prepared some breakfast, Warren approached me and said he was heading over to his other office to discuss Mary Grace’s new script with her and fellow writers Jackie and Siobhan. He invited me to take a cab with him and sit-in on the meeting.

Warren told me that the writing department would be busier over the next week, since Mary Grace (his assistant) was working on a script. So, he requested that I stay with them for another episode, as originally planned. I’m glad about that, actually, as I was just starting to get into the swing of things when Leslie called and told me I’d be moving to another department. Besides, it’s not like I’m not going to get to work with Art. I’ll be with them after my cycle with Casting (which will last 2 episodes).

When we got to his office, Warren sent me on an important mission: Starbucks for coffee! I’m not really a big fan. They’re too expensive and their coffee is uber-strong, but I’ll take a free jolt of caffeine wherever I can get it. The first time around, I had a Venti coffee with cream. Like I said, far too strong for my taste (although I’ve had worse). Later, I went on another coffee run and got a cinnamon dolce latte, as I enjoyed the (“free”) one I had the other day.

Back at the office, the dissection of Mary Grace’s new script was well underway. It was, I believe, MG’s first draft, so much of their talks were about how to trim it down. Most scripts are initially too long and need a weight loss treatment of sorts to bring them closer to the 45-minute (or thereabouts) requirement for airing. Each page of a script is divided into eighths, with one page being equivalent to one minute air time.

A read-through meeting was scheduled for 12:30 at the Piers, so Warren left before lunch. As per usual, we ordered pizza and salad from Waldy’s. After lunch, things were a bit quieter, as Mary Grace, Jackie, and Siobhan worked on script revisions. My job was to answer the phone, a somewhat rare occurrence today. In the mean time, I familiarized myself with the script MG is working on and read through some of the new book I bought on sitcom writing.

Late in the afternoon, Siobhan asked me to do some research for a potential future episode. I went on Warren’s Mac and Googled the requested information until about six, when MG said we could call it a night. I got home at 6:15, had a can of Progresso (lazy). Finally, Steve Staeger from Oakland University’s radio station called to do a phone interview with me. Keep an ear out for that on Friday!

It’s (almost) somebody’s birthday,
I wonder who?...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

January 26 & 27, 2007 - A Wicked Adventure

Friday: Not much happened today. Mary Grace had me do a little research for an episode she’s writing. Also, Leslie called and said I’d begin working with the Art Department on Tuesday. I don’t know what exactly I’ll be doing, but Tsahai seemed to think it would involve some graphic/Photoshop work. Sounds fun, although I was just getting into the swing of things in the Writing Office.

Saturday: I got up around 11, because the agent who I’m renting my apartment from asked if they could do a showing at one. I cleaned the place up a bit in preparation. They were only here for ten minutes, but I’m glad I did. They peeked in the closets, so I’d rather they be neat and tidy.

Tsahai told me to meet her at 46th & Broadway at 2:30, so we could pick up discount tickets to see the musical Wicked. I took the F-train at 23rd up to the 47-50th Rockefeller Center exit and walk around the Concourse mall for a few minutes. On the way out, I found a $5 bill laying on the ground. As nobody was around, I figured it’d been there for awhile and claimed it for myself. Then I headed over to Times Square to wait for Tsahai. She called around quarter to three and said she was running late, but that she would pick up the tickets and I could reimburse her.

Since I had several hours until the musical, I went exploring. I stopped at Toys ‘R’ Us in search of any cheap clearance video games. Sometimes they have some pretty good deals, but not today. The store is huge, though, spanning three stories. It even has indoor amusement rides. Afterward, I went to Starbucks and treated myself to a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. I’m not a big Starbucks fan, because they’re exceedingly overpriced, but I figured I’d treat myself with the “fun money” I found.

I headed back to 30 Rock and went to the Game Stop in the basement area. It’s a train wreck in that store; not very well organized at all. Then, I tried to find a Barnes & Noble, which was supposed to be on 8th Ave. between 48th & 49th Street. They’d gone out of business, though. So, I walked around randomly, looking to see if maybe it’d been relocated. No such luck, so I searched for a restaurant, as I felt a little faint and hungry.

I went back to 47 & Broadway and decided to eat at Olive Garden. Yuppie? Yes. And certainly not unique, but sometimes familiar is good. They had a 20 minute wait, so they gave me a weird disc-shaped thing resembling Simon Says and said there was a waiting room on the 2nd story. When it flashed red, he said to go to the 3rd level and they would give me a seat. I was surprised that, one I had a table, the service was exceptionally fast. I ordered the cheese ravioli and it was ready within minutes (and was almost too hot!). While I ate, I called my mom and had her hunt me down a B&N online. She said the closest one was at 54th St. & 3rd Ave. in the Citibank center. That area was vaguely familiar to me, because I was there last time I came to the city (saw a Who’s the Boss? reunion on the Tony Danza Show).

Since it was only quarter after five after I finished eating, I had plenty of time to peruse B&N. On the way there, Tsahai called and said the ticket booth didn’t have discount tickets for Wicked, so we wouldn’t be seeing the play that evening. I was disappointed and midly annoyed, but at least I got to have a little fun on the town. Since I was already near the bookstore, I went there anyway. I bought a book on sitcom writing for myself and a couple of books for somebody special’s birthday (And, no, I will not give you any hints as to what I got! You know who you are). Around 6:30 or so, I decided to call it a day. I’d done a ton of walking and was exhausted. I hunted down the 1-train (forgot where, specifically, it’s located) and headed back. Midway, I had to switch to the 3-train because the 1 wasn’t making stops where I needed to go.

Photo Album

Thursday, January 25, 2007

January 25, 2007 - Action!

Today was probably one of the most exciting days I’ve had, so far. Things were slow before lunch. But, while I was eating, Kate called me out, because Marsha Norman (a writer for the show and the woman who wrote The Color Purple) was going to set and she’d asked her to show me around. Of course, I’d already been there several times and met many of the staffers, but Marsha was really nice to give me a tour and introduce everybody, so I played along. We went into one of the swing sets and watched as a re-shoot (a rare occurrence) took place. She had one of the sound people give me a set of headphones, so I could hear what was going on.

After they crew finished filming that scene, Marsha took me to the main/permanent set (the squad room), where Kathryn Erbe and Eric Bogosian had gone to rehearse. Marsha informally introduced me to them. Vincent D’Onofrio joined them a short while later. They practiced their lines from the sides (parts of the script, containing only the scenes to be shot that day) that’d been printed the previous night. Then, they went to their trailers to memorize lines and their “2nd Set” (can’t remember if this is the correct term, but they’re actors paid to stand-in for them while the crew prepares sound, lighting, and blocking) came in.

Meanwhile, it was break time, so I joined the crew and had some food from the buffet table that’d been set-up. I was still a bit hungry, as I didn’t get to finish my lunch. Within a few minutes, everybody had finished prepping and the actors returned to set. I watched, as a certain scene was filmed a dozen or so times. There were a few periods where filming ceased, because the actors found the blocking, as scripted, created some inconsistencies. A few takes later, they came up with an acceptable solution and everything went smoothly from there forward.

About 4 o’clock, they’d stopped shooting for a few minutes, in order to move to a different scene. I figured I should probably head back to the office and see if they had anything for me to do up there. Warren had the novelist/writer from the other day back to discuss Acts III & IV, so I sat-in and observed. Carmen took notes and, as with last time, I created scene note cards for Warren to put on his cork board. At 7:30, they’d hammered out the last detail for the episode, adjusted the sequence of events to their liking, and called it a night.

January 24, 2007 - Joy Grill Club

I finished reading through a script at the main writers’ office, then Carmen and I headed to Warren Leight’s other office to observe. His assistant Mary Grace set me to work right away and had me run to Duane Reade’s to pick up some AA batteries for their label machine. When I got back, she was going to have me type out some stickers for document folders. However, Warren arrived at the office to speak with a writer, so she had me sit in. The two discussed a future episode, which this person (a novelist, writing for the show for the first time) was currently working. As they talked about various scenes and the order in which they should be presented, Warren had me write note card summaries and put them up on a cork board, under their corresponding Acts.

They finished up around 3:30, after which Carmen and I went back to the Piers. Of course, I made a stop for coffee at nearby Ruthy’s Bakery (located on the first story of the building). Back at the office, Kate didn’t have anything else for me to do, so she sent me home early. I spent most of the evening relaxing, but did step out for a little while for dinner. I ate at the Joy Grill, a small, cozy Chinese restaurant right around the block from my apartment. I felt like trying something new (there’s implied sarcasm here) and had egg drop soup, an egg roll, and sweet & sour chicken, one of my favorite Chinese dishes. The service was excellent and there were plenty of leftovers; definitely a place I’ll want to dine at again.

As an aside, my birthday is coming up soon (30th). This will be the first time I’m alone on that day. Mildly depressing, if you ask me. If you’d like to send me a card, my address is: 215 West… just kidding. :P

Photo Album

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

January 23, 2007 - On Broadway

The big project I completed today was to move all the “sidesmaster” binders (contain complete scripts for an episode) from the writers’ area to an unused office, to clear up some space. Some new shelving was installed in the room for that very purpose. Other than that, I did several odd jobs around the office and help tidy up, but I feel somewhat awkward. There’s markedly less to do in the writing department than production, so I ended-up reading scripts or seeking work from production in my down time.

My real day started at six, of course. Ten or so people from CI came to see Marsha Norman’s play, The Color Purple. From what I’ve heard, it’s a successful Broadway musical that’s been on for more than a year. A small group and I from the office got together and walked to the subway and then to Broadway. Times Square is a completely environment than my downtown neighborhood. It’s crazy. I’ve never seen so many people crowded into such a small space. When I first arrived in New York, I thought there were a lot of people congregating on the sidewalk at all hours, but Times Square makes my area look sparsely populated and comfortable.

The musical was excellent. It was certainly a well put-on show; high budget, no doubt. I’ve seen musicals before, but nothing on this caliber. All the sets were electronically operated and didn’t require anybody to help move them, which kept things flowing nicely. The orchestra was wonderful, as were the speakers (which may have been a little too powerful, as I left with a slight headache). The choreography was amazing. It’s unbelievable how talented everybody was with dancing and singing. To have to do that day in and out is an unbelievable feat.

From what I understand, the winner of a previous American Idol attended tonight’s show and there was a big commotion surrounding that. I’ve never seen Idol, so I found it mildly amusing that people were getting so excited about catching a glimpse of this person.

Meanwhile, my leg, just above my ankle, recently began bothering me. I don’t know if I’ve just been walking too much or I sprained something, but it’s not pleasant. I can walk, but it’s not a terribly pleasant experience. It started hurting a little yesterday and got worse throughout the day today. Hopefully, it’ll start feeling better soon, but I can’t just stop walking if it doesn’t.

Monday, January 22, 2007

January 22, 2007 - Color Me Purple

Working in the writing department is a huge change of pace from the production office. There were several points at which I didn’t have anything to do, but felt like I should be doing something. Both Leslie and Kate said that, if I really feel that way, I can help up front during slow periods. I might just take them up on that. Besides, while I’m having fun where I’m at now, I miss the hectic environment that is production (odd as that may be). I’m moderately jealous of the new guy they hired (but he seems nice. I think he’ll work out great for them).

I did a lot of reading today. I read through four scripts from past episodes of the show. I love read scripts, because I can (usually) get a pretty good picture of what’s going on in my head, without even having watched the actual episode. Besides, that, I also organized, tidying up the bookcase in the writers’ office.

Later in the afternoon, Kate had me run to Warren’s apartment to have him sign a few documents. As it turned out, he’d previously signed a copy of them, rendering my trip useless. Well, it wasn’t useless. It was a moderately nice day and I enjoyed exploring new territory around the city.

I finished the night off by organizing a cabinet of VHS final cut episodes from the show’s earlier seasons and helping count/brad script revisions. Earlier in the day, Kate gave me (and several other people around the office) tickets to see Marsha Norman’s (she’s a writer on the show) new play, The Color Purple tomorrow on Broadway. I’m quite excited about it, as it’s the first Broadway production I’ll have seen.

January 20 & 21, 2007 - Long Live the 90's

Slow weekend. I spent Saturday and Sunday pretty much vegetating around the apartment. After several twelve hour days at the office, that’s really all I felt like doing. Besides, it’s been too cold outside to do anything. Once it warms up a little, I’ll start exploring the city. On Saturday, I went out to breakfast at the Moonstruck Diner, on 23rd St. at 9th Ave. It’s moderately more expensive than a mom ‘n’ pop in Michigan, but I like the atmosphere. The muted 90’s retro theme (complete with green vinyl booths) reminds me of something closer to home (a’la National Coney Island or Daybreak CafĂ© in Port Huron). I ordered the Buttermilk Pancakes Deluxe, which came with 3 pancakes, 2 eggs, ham, sausage, and bacon. Next time, I might try the Monte Cristo. Antonio’s (a small diner, back in Algonac) serves them and they’re delicious. I experimented with pancakes again on Sunday. I’m normally really good at making pancakes and crepes, but it seemed like this stove could butcher anything. Now that I figured out how to properly work it, they actually turned out halfway decent. I didn’t do much else with the rest of my day. I didn’t feel like it. I’m depressed about being so far away from everybody I know and love. I mean, I talk to people on the phone (Hi, Ang!) and online, but it’s not the same.

Friday, January 19, 2007

January 19, 2007 - The Match Game Set - A.K.A. The Subway Train

I had a short day at the office. Carmen had me come in at 9:30. Kate showed me around the writing department, explained what everybody does. The menus were passed around at 11. I decided to try Japanese food and ordered sushi rolls and miso soup. At 11:30, the producers, directors, writers and people from several departments gathered for what is called a concept meeting. Basically, they take a rough (concept) draft from a future episode and discuss the sets and props they need and read the lines aloud to see how they sound. I sat in on that until 1, when I had to get ready for orientation at 30 Rockefeller Center.

My first subway experience was, um…doable, I suppose. Mary Grace and Terence each sent me out with two dollars for the bus and subway rides there and said to get a Metro Card. Everybody gave me different directions to get there, so I was certain I’d never find my way. I took Tsahai and Terence’s suggestions and went on the train with the orange circle (ended-up being the F train, but they couldn’t remember the name). The subway itself was dark and depressing, but not unsafe. The air, surprisingly was well filtered and didn’t smell stale.

I bought a $20 Metro Card and got an extra $4 for free. Each bus/subway ride is $2, so it should last me a little while. They have rotating gates to get in, much like the entrances to theme parks. You swipe your Metro Card and they unlock. It took me a moment to figure out that you swipe the card to the right and use the gate to the left and stood there wondering why the gate wasn’t unlocking. It took a few minutes for the F train to arrive, but it was really quite fast. It rushed in with a huge burst of air. The train itself was 70s retro, complete with Match Game-style orange seats.

I brought my lunch with me, as I didn’t have time to eat it at the office. I managed to eat the miso soup on the bus ride to the subway, but didn’t get around to the sushi. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an opportunity until the end of orientation, which was around 4, and I wasn’t sure if it was safe to eat at that point, as it’d been unrefrigerated for several hours. I decided it was probably better to air on the side of caution and pass on eating it. I’ll try sushi again at some point next week.

After orientation, I stopped by the mall beneath Rockefeller Center. I went there on my last trip to New York and walked around Waldenbooks. I was disappointed to find that store was no longer there. I went to the Game Stop store for a few minutes, then took the subway back to my neighborhood.

Photo Album

Thursday, January 18, 2007

January 18, 2007 - Final Draft

My first day with the writing department was interesting, but uneventful. I arrived at the office around 10, but Carmen and I didn’t leave for Warren Leight’s office until almost 11. Leight is the show runner (comes up with script ideas, provides much of the creative input, and writes/revises teleplays for many episodes) and has a separate office, away from all the commotion at Chelsea Piers. On the way there, Carmen said that I should consider purchasing a piece of software called Final Draft. She said it’s the industry standard for scriptwriting.

The main elevator in his building was out of order, so our main options were to take the staircase or freight elevator. We opted for the stairs; ten flights of them. They wouldn’t have been so bad (I normally take stairs two at a time, if I’m not running up them), if it weren’t for their angular nature. When we arrived at the office, his assistant Mary Grace was already there, hard at work. Warren and three show writers were there, bouncing revisions back and forth for a script they’d been sent by another writer, Charlie Rubin.

Much of my (and Carmen’s) day was spent sitting and listening, as Warren et al discussed many lines from this particular script in great deal, exploring the plausibility of certain parts and rewriting and omitting others. While this may sound boring, it was actually quite interesting, because I really learned quite a bit just sitting there. Of course, it wasn’t without consequence. The hard wooden seats were murder on my bad back.

Occasionally, Warren had me go to the printer and bring revisions to pass out. He also had Carmen and I go to Starbucks, which was nice, because we can also get something for ourselves. When we went for coffee, we took the freight elevator back up, which was an experience in and of itself. I’ve heard stories about elevators where you could see down below, but had never personally been on one. It had a gate, which was left open, exposing a 6 inch gap on either side, where one could peer down, down, down, into the great depths of earth. There was a person who sat in there and pulled a crank to make the elevator stop and go. A few times, he had to adjust it, as it stopped slightly above the floor.

So, all in all, I can’t say I worked my butt off like I did in the production office, but I think I’m going to enjoy my few weeks with the writing department, given my interest in penning teleplays.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

January 17, 2007 - Gopher to Office

Chaotic. Bizarre. It was the day that would never end. Not that I didn’t enjoy myself, mind you. It was just exhausting. I think I’m coming down with another mild cold. I was incredibly tired to start the day; now I’m just running off of fumes.

Where to begin? I can never recollect details when I want to. The office was bustling with activity this morning, as people prepared for the impending production meeting, scheduled to begin at 11. First thing Leslie had me do was work on entering data from an important sheet (I believe it was the call sheet) in Excel. Midway through that, she had me bus ride to Staples to pick up some black ink cartridges for Assistant Directors Jonathan and Gary.

After I came back, I finished typing out the document and helped distribute the menus. Today’s order was somewhat larger than normal, due to the meeting. Honestly, I can’t remember what all I did today. There was so much, it’s jumbled up in my head. The thing that stands out most is the fact that I made at least ten set runs today, acting as gopher to transport various important documents, script revisions, and such to people on set and in the green (waiting/holding) room. On a few occasions, I went to the main set by myself. I also saw the crew filming on one of the swing sets. That was kinda cool.

Leslie had some additional interviews for Production Assistant today. She said she’s going to miss having me around the office (even though I’m going to be just a few rooms down in the Writer’s office, starting tomorrow), that she felt like I was one of the employees. If I didn’t have the rest of the internship to complete, I got the feeling she might have been interested in possibly hiring me, which was flattering. I’ve only been there for eight days, but it seems like I’ve known everybody in the office for much longer.

The daily video dub came through around 5:30. I began recording and went on to another task. I came back to find it’d stopped. I thought somebody had shut it off and started recording again. Turns out it was just a corrupted file. So Leslie had me go round and about in circles with the company that sends them to us. It took a good few hours to get everything sorted out. Meanwhile, I completed more runs back and forth to the set. One of those times, one of the Chelsea Piers security guards seemed like he was going to grill me. He called out to me, “Hello.” I thought he was just greeting me, but he was beckoning me. “Who are you with?” he asked. I responded that I work with Criminal Intent. “Please accept my apologies,” he said unapologetically. Oy vey. I must look like a criminal or something.

I came back to my apartment building and walked into a steam bath. Literally. The steam pipe to one of the heat radiators on the first floor exploded and steam filled the hallway. There was a deep scar on the adjacent wall. It had to be 90 degrees down there and was so loud I couldn’t hear my own thoughts. One of the tenants was down there gawking, uncertain as to what to do.

Meanwhile, I went up to my apartment and was relieved to find the steam hadn’t entered it. I packed up my laptop and some valuables and stood in the entrance, until I felt it was safe in there. The stairwell was slippery. Somebody from the second floor came down a few moments later and shut off the radiator. After the steam cleared a little, I went back upstairs.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

January 16, 2007 - Swing Sets

First thing in the office, Terrence reserved a cab for me and had me go to Panavision to pick up some lenses. Following that, he was going to send me on the subway to get another tape for dubbing from Technicolor but, as I had no clue what to do or where to go, he sent Tom instead. Meanwhile, Leslie was out on a tech scout (where various people from the show go to decide where to place cameras, equipment, and etc.). She was gone most of the morning and early afternoon.

As with yesterday, I did a great deal of dubbing today. The biggest excitement I had was when Tom and I delivered some packages to the props department. It was later in the evening, after everybody had finished up, so it was dark, but I got to take a look and see how the swing sets had progressed for this episode. It’s amazing how much work goes into them. They’re used for such a short period of time, yet they’re so elaborate.

Tsahai was going to end the night by having me count tape waste (unused/bad tape) to see if it matched film reports, but Leslie sent me home, as I’d been there for 12 hours (came in at 7:45). She’s going to have me finish that in the morning.

Monday, January 15, 2007

January 15, 2007 - Dubbing Day

More of the same in the office. I was there from 7:45 in the morning until 8 in the evening. Leslie had me do a little excel work and quite a bit of video dubbing. She had some DV video footage that’s going to be used for a surveillance scene in a new episode. Dailies didn’t come through until almost four o’clock, though. Things were quite hectic for most of the afternoon, as Leslie and Terrence had several interviews to do.

January 14, 2007 - Idiocy

I felt like being lazy this weekend; didn’t really do a whole lot. I did, however, figure out what I was doing wrong with the stove. If I turn the knob counterclockwise after lighting it, I can regulate the heat. Only reason I didn’t try that before is that it clicks when I go past the pilot. I feel so stupid.

My first Laundromat experience this afternoon was interesting. The people who worked there were nice, but didn’t speak much English, so I was pretty much on my own to figure things out. It cost me about $6 - $2 per load to wash, and .25 for six minutes in the dryer. There were no seats in the building, so I stood around and played with my Nintendo DS while I waited. All told, I think I was there for an hour and a half.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

January 12, 2007 - Cast Read-Thru

Another 9-7 (7:30, actually) day. A great deal of the Office PAs’ time was spent preparing for the impending read-through for the next episode being shot. Around one o’clock, everybody began frantically scurrying about, completing various tasks to make sure the cast and producers were comfortable for the closed door meeting. Tsahai and I went to The City Bakery to pick-up catering. Traffic was nasty on 18th, so it took longer than she probably would have liked. The food looked delicious. The cast was treated to herb-encrusted Turkey, almond-encrusted whitefish, macaroni and cheese, green beans, spiced yams, and cookies. Tsahai dropped me off at the office, had Terrence help me carry the food, and took the car to be washed. In the mean time, Carmen, Liza, and I scrambled to print off 120 scripts. We had to count the first 30 or so, page by page, to make sure they were complete. The time crunch made things feel a bit more hectic than they probably were. The cast was scheduled to arrive at 2pm, and it was already 1:45. For lunch, I ordered sweet and sour chicken and egg drop soup. However, there was so much soup, I ended up just eating that and saving the entire meal for dinner. Then I ended up saving that for the following day, because the cast didn’t each much of their food. We got to eat whatever they didn’t and I went to town with it. I’ll have to stop by The City Bakery sometime, as the food was excellent. Tsahai says it’s pretty reasonable, too. The cast left about 3:30. Kathryn Erbe lingered around to sign autographs from fan mail and to greet some people around the office. Other than that, there wasn’t much excitement around the office the rest of the night. Leslie printed me an employee card; a souvenir of sorts. She said I might need it when I'm working on-set.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

January 11, 2007 - Reading the Bible

Leslie had me come in at nine today. She had me sit-in on the costume meeting, in which the various Producers, Assistant Directors, and Costume people discussed the outfit each character in an upcoming episode would be wearing. They laboriously went, page by page, over the fine nuances of each main/guest character and how they should be dressed at different points in the episode. Following that was the prop meeting, but I didn’t know one meeting overlapped another and left. A few other people had walked out, so I assumed it wasn’t my place to be there. Leslie, however, wanted me to attend that, too, so I might be going to one of their future discussions.

After the meeting, Leslie showed me the various daily and weekly papers the office puts out to aid the show’s cast and crew. For example, CI’s call sheet is a multipurpose overview of when the cast and crew is to report to the set, what scenes are being shot, where and with what props. It contains a ton of other information that doesn’t immediately come to mind.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. I finished up some Excel work for Leslie, ran some interoffice mail to people in the Transportation department, and looked over the “Bible” and a script for an upcoming episode.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

January 10, 2007 - Running Errands with Tsahai

I got up at 9:00 and, after my shower, attempted to make scrambled eggs with ham and cheese. Unfortunately, because my stove has only one setting, high, the eggs were done before they even hit the pan.

I didn’t have to report to work until 11. By then, the day’s events were already well underway. I checked the computer on a regular basis to see if dailies (raw film from the previous day) had come in. Leslie said if they didn’t arrive by 1, she’d have to make some calls. In the mean time, she had me perform some other odds and ends around the office. We ordered lunch a little after noon. With my sandwich, I tried something new and had an Indian appetizer (Somosa? I can’t remember the name. It was like Perogies with potatoes and peas).

At one, Tsahai and I took an errand run to pick up some food for the office from Whole Foods Market (some kind of swanky upscale grocery store) and check the air in a corporate vehicle’s tires. We arrived back at the office around four. Dailies were already in the process of being recorded, but I finished them. Later in the afternoon, Leslie introduced me to the Law & Order: Criminal Intent Bible, a book she and several of the producers created for a recreation of the show being done in France. It’s a large guide to the script formatting, background information for the show, character histories, and more. It looks interesting. Leslie wants me to look over it throughout the course of my internship. I finished my evening by reading over the first twenty or so pages, before she sent me home at 7:30.

Photo Gallery

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

January 9, 2007 - Extended Day in the Office

Today was even more exhausting than yesterday, although significantly less stressful. After a few small tasks, Leslie showed me around the studio – the wardrobe, construction area, and set. She said she’d take me back in a few days when the new temporary sets were completed to show me how they’ve transformed. The main set was amazing. Seeing it made me giddy about the internship. If it weren’t for all the cameras and studio lights, I’d mistake it for a real building. The rest of the day was comprised of learning the basic day-to-day operations of the studio and, of course, answering the phone (including to Chris Noth). In addition, Leslie had me enter some data from several episodes into Excel, sort her recent receipts for purchases made on the corporate card, and see how daily video cuts are copied.

Lunchtime around the office always brings a flurry of commotion. The Office PAs (Tom, Liza, Tsahai) and I take peoples orders, divide them up, and call them in. A little while later, they’re delivered to the office, where we divvy them up by peoples’ rank (patience level). I got to know Tom and Terrence better throughout the day. As with Liza and Tsahai, they seem very personable and helpful.

Later in the evening, I completed some more Excel work and watched Tom go about his activities. He showed me how to make sides and call sheets, which are small copies of the scenes being shot the following day. After they’re finished, he takes the call sheets to peoples’ offices/workstations and puts them in the appropriate place.

All-told, today was a wickedly long day. Leslie had me there from 9:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night. She wanted me to stay to see how closing duties are performed.

Monday, January 8, 2007

January 8, 2007 - First Day in Production

My first day on-set. I debated whether or not to bring an umbrella. One was provided with the apartment, but I wasn’t sure if it was “in” for New Yorkers to carry one (my thought process is very odd, I know) and if they’d think I look ridiculous carrying a red umbrella. In the end, my sensibilities won over and I brought it, for which I’m glad, as it poured the entire day.

The first rotation is with the Productions office, headed by Leslie Gyson. She’ll be having me work there through next Wednesday, followed by the Writing department.

I arrived at the studio early – about 9:30am. Leslie greeted me and threw me right into work. I suppose that was the best way to do things, but it was certainly the most nerve-wracking. She gave me her company card, some cash, and a Metro Card and had me run to Staples for a couple of cartridges of some sort and to the Virgin Superstore for a rap CD, Hip Hop is Dead (humorous because, if you know me, I know nothing about rap). Meanwhile, a major news story broke out, after people throughout the city started smelling a heavy gas odor. We later found out it was a chemical leak from Jersey.

To get to Staples (22nd St. and 6th Ave.), I had to experience my first bus ride, which was…interesting. Public transportation certainly doesn’t provide for a very smooth ride. After picking up the cartridges, I walked over to Virgin 14th St. and 4th Ave. in Union Square. I was soaked by the time I got there, because I forgot my umbrella. Virgin requested photo I.D., so Tsahai in Leslie’s office had me go next door to Circuit City for the CD.

CD in-hand, I experienced my first taxi ride by myself. That was smoother than the bus, although I was completely confused as to how to leave a tip. After the cabbie gave me my the remainder back in the form of a $10, I had to explain to him I wanted change, so I could leave him a tip. It was certainly quite an ordeal.

The rest of the day in the office was spent in the Production Office answering phone calls and trying to figure out what to do amidst a chaotic office environment. Leslie was busy with a meeting for some of the time, so many of my questions were fielded by Liza and Tsahai, who were Office PAs. Both women were very helpful and friendly. I’m sure I’ll enjoy working with them. Liza showed me around the studio a little bit, but Leslie is going to show me everything more in-depth tomorrow.

I finished up around 6:45pm. Leslie said to show up at 9:30 in the morning. I think I’m more nervous than I was last night.

January 7, 2007 - Slow Day

Slow day. I didn’t do anything except go to the grocery market and make hamburgers for dinner. It was cold and rainy throughout much of the afternoon and evening hours. Tomorrow’s my first day on set. I’m starting to get a little nervous, but I’m sure everything will be fine.

January 6, 2007 - Along the Bike Path

NYC hit a record high temperature of 72 degrees and it’s not going to be warm for awhile, so I decided to get out and enjoy the weather. I had breakfast at a restaurant called The Viceroy, on the corner of my block. The food was decent, but way overpriced. After tip, I ended-up spending $20.29 for an omelet, potatoes, and coffee. If nothing else, the experience was humorous, as all the waiters were ridiculously swishy. After breakfast, I took 8th Avenue up to 23rd, in an attempt to find the studio. It didn’t work out so well. I gave up and decided to walk along the bike path that runs along the Hudson. I took a scenic stroll up to 44th Street, wandering down the piers and snapping pictures as I went along. I headed back down to 23rd and used the restroom at Chelsea Piers, what appears to be a blue sports center. I didn’t realize that this is actually where the studio is located. I wanted to stop by CompUSA, which is located on 38th St. and 5th Avenue. Considering I’d already been up to 44th Street, it seemed a bit silly to walk up that way again, but it was a nice day. I took 23rd to 8th Avenue and that to 38th. Everything north of Madison Square Garden seemed a bit seedy, but I didn’t feel unsafe there. I wouldn’t want to walk the area at night, but it’s fine during daylight hours. Surprisingly, Manhattan’s CompUSA is smaller and less well stocked than Lakeside’s location; perhaps because it’s spread out across two stories. I picked up a pack of burnable disks and decided to head back, as it was already past two o’clock and I wanted to head back before dark. I was exhausted when I got back to the apartment, so I spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

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January 5, 2007 - Sick Day

I came down with a small cold last night, which was made worse by excruciating pain in my back and shoulders from yesterday’s heavy lifting. So, I took it easy, today. I vegetated in my apartment – watched TV and played video games.

January 4, 2007 - Arrival

I arrived in NYC about noon. After getting my suitcases from the baggage claim, I headed to the taxi stand. There was an elderly man standing there, who offered to transport me for a flat rate of $55. I’m sure the cost was above average, but I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of hailing a cabbie (I’m not much for speaking-up). He was well worth the cost, though. He was friendly; although I had a hard time deciphering what he said (he spoke with a thick accent – possibly Romanian). He was also helpful with my luggage and carried my heavy suitcases, so I wouldn’t have to. I left him a 20% tip, which I’m sure was too much, but I felt he was worth it.

My apartment is quaint and cozy, even if it’s not as nice as I’d imagined. I wasn’t sure I’d like it at first, but I was just depressed about being so far away from everything and everybody I know. Once I got unpacked and went shopping, I started to feel a bit better about it. The building is situated between other buildings on a fairly dull street. I’m two doors down from a fire department, which is comforting, but noisy. It’s not as loud, however, as the raucous neighbors upstairs. I have no idea what they do up there, but it involves banging around throughout the day. It sounds like they’re moving furniture. Aside from that, I like my apartment. It has cable, DSL and, most importantly, a coffee pot. The elevator is a bit scary – a small red cubicle with a vinyl-tiled floor. It’s obviously quite old, because you have to open a heavy metal door to go inside.

I spent much of the day unpacking and relaxing. After shopping, I cleaned the shower, and all the silverware. I started to develop a sore throat, though, so I decided to slow down and take it easy. I played some video games and set-up my laptop and PS2. I went to bed around midnight and actually slept quite well (probably precipitated by the fact that I only got an hour and a half sleep the night before).

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