by Alycia Monaco, Class of 2018
This summer has been far from ordinary. I returned home from a 3-week adventure in Italy only to embark on another adventure: one that would last 9 weeks in the Big Apple. I traded my aspirations of teaching piano to kids at camp for an internship that would take me to places I could only have dreamed.
I had the privilege of interning for the Department of Photography at the Disney/ABC Television Group in New York City. ABC produces the news, talk shows, and soap operas such as Good Morning America, Live with Kelly and Michael, The View, The Chew, General Hospital, and more. There was certainly a lot of unpredictability when it came to my daily responsibilities; however, I enjoyed every minute of it.
Most of the time, I was given an assignment based upon a photo request. The ABC Photo Archives date back as far as the 1960s, and there is often a large volume of requests from executives, athletes, anchors, or event participants based upon what is going on in the news, or based upon historical anniversaries. For example, I worked on organizing photos of the 1976 Olympics by event and scanning selected photos into the computer using a slide scanner, touching them up in Photoshop, and sending them off to be used. This was done in preparation for the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Olympics this coming summer.
Other than scanning photos, I was also responsible for scanning a collection of 15 logbooks containing the photo history of ABC. The logbooks included the event name, date, number of rolls of film used, and any other information deemed important. Until the early 2000s, these logbooks were handwritten and stored in the file rooms of ABC. Now, they are done digitally, and stored using iCloud.
When I wasn’t doing work around the office, I was shadowing and helping
photographers on sets. I served as a SD card runner with one of the
photographers for The View. I did this twice: when Rosie Perez announced she was leaving the show, and a second time when Michelle Collins announced she was signed full-time. Other than The View, I was able to shadow other photographers on set of Good Morning America, both in Central Park and Times Square Studios.
At Good Morning America, I had the opportunity to assist photographers at the concerts in Central Park and Times Square Studios. These concerts were early in the morning and required a wake up call of around 4:30 am. Some crews were there even earlier to ensure set up for such a large event. I worked at concerts featuring Adam Lambert, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, and Walk the Moon. Each concert had an early call time so that photos could be taken during the sound check and live performance. The One Direction Concert was one of the largest concerts that Good Morning America hosted. The event needed the ABC 7 chopper for crowd shots! I stood on a press platform with one photographer, while another captured the action closer to the stage.
One of the times I visited GMA, I had the opportunity to shadow the control room for a small portion of the show. There were two rows of people in the
control room, ranging from Directors, to graphics, and producers. Everyone in those two rows worked diligently to create a fluid show. After I shadowed the control room, I helped and shadowed the photographer for the remainder of the show. This day, the guests were Frankie Grande (Arianna Grande’s brother), Lily Tomlin, and Zac Efron. A perk of my internship was meeting a lot of the talent, and I had the opportunity to meet Zac Efron. Safe to say I am a lucky girl!
My internship gave me a lot of insight into the live television industry. There is a plan, and for the most part, that plan is followed…however a lot can still happen spontaneously and that creates the most memorable moments.