The View From The Bottom, SLM Internship Week 2
by David Rokos, SolidLine Intern

Spring cleaning came a little late this year at SolidLine Media, just late enough that I, the summer intern, was able to help out. With a lot of traveling come up in the next couple weeks and a long summer ahead of us, Ed and I drove up to Rockford, Illinois, met up with Greg and Michael, and took on the task of cleaning out and fixing up the garage of the SolidLine Media truck and equipment.

The actual cleaning part didn’t really leave much to be written about. We built a new nook for sandbags, a platform for the 2-way radios, cleaned a lot of cables, and made the tough decision to keep the Green Bay Packers ad Chicago Cubs bags set in the truck, because you never know when you’ll need it. The highlight of the day was when Greg’s wife Jodey sent a cookie bouquet to the hard working crew to celebrate the debut of the new SolidLine website and brand. Each cookie had frosting depicting a different SolidLine trait (the truck, a camera, the logo…). It was a delicious surprise and though I’ve never met Greg’s wife, I like her style.

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An awesome, and delicious, treat to celebrate the new SolidLine brand!

The next day we had another shoot at UIC in Chicago. This shoot was different than any of the previous ones for me with SolidLine because it wasn’t an interview or a teleprompter, it was actors playing out a scene with memorized lines. And what lines they were. The seven page scene was heavy on medical terms that I couldn’t even read, much less pronounce and memorize. Best of all, since their were two people talking we couldn’t just put the boom mic on a stand, someone had to hold it for 10 to 15 minutes at a time to follow the conversation. Greg pretended like he wanted to do it, but I begged him to let me do it and he obliged.

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Using my muscles holding the boom while we shoot a close up.

All in all it seemed like a perfect storm for a long and somewhat difficult shoot, but it turned out to be the opposite. The actors were spot on, completely prepared for their dialog, big words and all. With solid takes right from the very beginning we were able to get the scene from four or five different angles relatively seamlessly. We got everything we needed during the night shoot, and it all was really good stuff.

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I didn’t have a seat in the back of the truck so I had to sit on the tripod case.

Thursday was another first for me at SolidLine, my first travel day. We weren’t traveling on the truck though, we were flying out to Baltimore to shoot an interview. I packed my things, met up with Greg and Ed, and off we headed to Midway to take our 1:55 flight out. Well our flight was delayed and after two magazines, three Mcflurries, and a bunch of phone calls later we took off at 5:30, getting in and to our hotel around 9:30 eastern time.

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On the Southwest plane, Greg taught me the art of acting like you’re having a meeting on the middle seat so no one will sit there.  It worked!

We didn’t let it bring us down though. After a failed attempt to go to what we thought was a steakhouse, we ended up ordering in pizza and going to bed. We had a pretty laid back schedule in the morning so we were able to hit the hot tub and breakfast before heading off.  According to Michael and Greg, a hot tub should be close by at all times…

That afternoon we had another excellent shoot at the American Nursing Association for NCSBN. It was another learning experience on to spruce up a office setting. The woman who set everything up got us a floor where the walls were covered with a huge mural about the history of nursing. It made for the perfect backdrop for the interview and really made the footage stand out. While clearing out the area for the shoot we had to move a mannequin of a nurse. If a picture is worth a thousand words, look below and you’ll find a novel.

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Moving this mannequin was a tad awkward…
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A successful interview and an excellent setting.

After the shoot we went back to the airport and flew back to Chicago. This flight was only about an hour behind and after getting all our equipment (a process that went much smoother both ways than I thought it would, we had six huge 100lb cases), I was able to get back home just in time to watch the Hawks lose game four of the Stanley Cup finals. A bad way to end a otherwise really awesome week.

Next week should be another adventure. It’s going to be my first time traveling on the truck and we are going to Lexington, Kentucky and then driving all the way over the Denver, Colorado. I learned a ton this week and now I feel pretty well assimilated into the SolidLine crew, but I know there is always more to learn.

DR

PS: If the Blackhawks end up losing the Stanley Cup series don’t expect a new blog next Monday, I am going to be up to my shoulders in ice cream and tissues.

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