Behind the Scenes at WEDU’s Florida This Week

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Our first VGI Guest Post comes from our intern, Claire Fyvolent.

Last Friday I went with Adam Goodman to the WEDU building in Tampa. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience.

Panelists and Moderator

Pictured from left to right: moderator Rob Lorei, Alex Sink, Adam Goodman, Dr. Susan MacManus, and Brendan McLaughlin.

We were there for the Florida This Week filming where Adam sat on a panel with Alex Sink, Brendan McLaughlin, and Dr. Susan MacManus to weigh in on Rick Scott’s signing of the Citizens Bill, the GOP’s attacks on Charlie Crist, the recent ban on texting while driving, and the sale of the Orlando Sentinel and Sun-Sentinel to the Koch Brothers. Each panelist also spoke about his or her story of the week; Adam chose the St. Petersburg Pier issue. (Watch the entire show after the jump).

Watch Friday, May 31, 2013 on PBS. See more from Florida This Week.

If you’re having problems with the embedded video, watch the full episode here.

I admit I was a bit intimidated to be among these big names, but by the time I left the dressing room I had spoken with everyone—all the panelists, the moderator, even the makeup artist.

Walking into the studio, I felt so cool. Literally. I never knew how cold it could be in one of those things! But in all seriousness, I felt like I was entering a completely new world that only some were privileged enough to see. With everything in place and the panelists debriefed, I headed to the control room to watch it all unfold.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes at WEDU’s Florida This Week filming

Now the control room—that’s where the action is. Not to say that those on set weren’t feeling the heat, but the men and women in the control room are the ones who orchestrate the entire show. I don’t know about them, but I was definitely stressed out. I also figured that I should remain as inconspicuous as possible, so I just sat quietly, taking notes and staring wide-eyed at the blinking monitors.

Control Room

Inside the control room at WEDU in Tampa

Having never been to a studio before, I was surprised by a few things. They filmed the show without any interruptions or retakes and the transitions and mini news spots were imbedded right into the filming session. I hadn’t realized just how much I didn’t know about filming a show and it was truly refreshing to learn.

On air

Adam leads the discussion on the texting while driving ban, says it’s a good first step, but there is still more to be done.

As soon as the filming was over, we said our goodbyes and headed back to the office. As we were leaving, I noticed how everyone who had worked on the show treated it like another day at the office. This struck me as odd because the whole experience was so foreign and exciting to me. But I guess if you do it for so long, the thrill can go away. However, I don’t think it could ever be anything but thrilling for me.

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