Day in the Life: UMTV Anchor
Glamour. Importance. Lights. Camera… Action. Just Kidding.
By Jordan Schuman, University of Miami
Alarm goes off. Roll over, sigh under breath because is “enough sleep” in any College student’s vocabulary? Stand up, decide what to wear on camera (solid color because patterns don’t look great in HD, nothing cream or white because the lights wash you out), brush teeth, wash face.
Dislike what the dining hall serves for breakfast, search in own room for some sort of snack that can be disguised as breakfast. Move on from unattainable goal.
Time for makeup: a little heavier than daily makeup, slightly creamier foundation, brighter under-eyes so you don’t appear as tired as you feel. Dramatic eye but not in the New Years Eve- South Beach club way. Matte makeup looks best in HD because glitter looks like sweat. False eyelashes. (The most important part in your success as an anchor is a viewer being able to look in your eyes and feel like you are talking directly to them.) Choose neutral lipstick so as to not distract from the picture.
For hair: Remington Pearl Ceramic Curling Wand in smallest barrel size (larger looks great too, but the smaller barrel is exclusively for on air.) Watch TODAY Show with cut-ins from local NBC 6 South Florida with TV turned toward you while spending 30 minutes curling your hair because straight hair runs the risk of looking frizzy. Curly hair is intentional.
Get dressed re: specifications listed above. Choose heels. Even though the camera will only capture about the waist up, it’s important to feel and look the part. Doing so helps demand authority.
Decide you’re ready to leave. Grab sunglasses, laptop, external hard drive, makeup for touch-ups and the script you wrote the night before.
Still have not found anything for breakfast. Settle for pre-bottled Starbucks drink and some sort of snack food from the Convenience Store on the way. Walk all the way to the School of Communication studios from dorm in 5 inch heels.
Get breaking news alert from CNN/Huff Post/USA Today/NBC/Etc. on the way to studio and make mental note to adjust script accordingly.
Enter script in prompter. Adjust. Have written (most of) script the night before using resources such as campus newspaper, local Miami news outlets, Huffington Post and campus wide calendar of events. For this show, UMTV NewsBreak, about 5 to 6 stories about campus, local and prominent national news that totals up to 90 seconds. Potentially fall asleep before finishing writing script the previous night and finish it amidst makeup, hair and non-breakfast.
Producer arrives, who is usually a great friend.
Appropriate amount of silliness, professionalism and sass ensues.
Producer gets equipment from the rental room. Although there are cameras in the studio, they are not all HD yet so use portable Panasonic HMC on a tripod to film, and set up actual prompter to sit above the camera.
Mic up. Officially stop mumbling about tiredness, need to pee or anything else you would never want a microphone to hear you say.
Producer sits at prompter after setting up the shot: white balance, framing, leveling the tripod.
Run through script once or twice for flow, pronunciation and any typos I didn’t catch while I maybe fell asleep while writing the night before. Really, that never happens.
Here it is.
“GOOD AFTERNOON MIAMI AND WELCOME TO NEWSBREAK. TODAY IS (FILL IN DATE). I’M JORDAN SCHUMAN WITH YOUR NEWSBREAK- 90 SECONDS OF NEWS YOU CAN USE. NEWSBREAK STARTS RIGHT NOW.”
Read through stories. End with “MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK SO YOU NEVER MISS A NEWSBREAK: FACEBOOK DOT COM SLASH U-M-T-V NEWSBREAK.” Repeat process until satisfied with end result.
Pop SD Card out of Panasonic HMC and put it in laptop. Open Final Cut 7 or Final Cut 10. Import NewsBreak graphics and background music from hard drive. Enter appropriate full screen photographs, (a picture of the student government ticket winning when results are announced on our show) graphics and video (a video of President Obama speaking on campus when we recap it on the show.)
Have that process take a lot longer than it reads in the above paragraph.
Export to hard drive. Upload to Vimeo. Share on Facebook.
Celebrate with lunch. Check back more frequently than can be admitted for the statistics of video plays and page views on Vimeo and Facebook. Be proud and excited when the number breaks 1,000.
Get to do cool things other weeks like cover Rachel Maddow’s appearance on campus. Cover it on NewsBreak.
Meet awesome University of Miami alumni like Jason Kennedy. And other awesome non-alums like Andy Cohen.
The last week of class, get to play with puppies on the Green and have one make a cameo in NewsBreak.
Later on in the day edit silly blooper reel from that day’s NewsBreak. Post to Facebook for friends and family to enjoy.
And for me and my producer that day to relive for a long time.
If you’d like to enjoy the NewsBreaks and Bloopers for yourself, check out the links below.
http://tinyurl.com/mtaqv2o (Blooper Reel)
http://tinyurl.com/m4rtcoq (Behind the Scenes: PuppyBreak)