Work Archive

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The Fall 2013 Semester and One-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy

I’m sure that many of my college classmates and friends as well as TUOD followers and visitors have been wondering what’s happened to my posts these past few months. Just like in the past, I come to you with a series of apologies and good reasons as to why I’ve been so so darn busy.

First off, sincere apologies to everyone who was expecting more content from the blog this summer. As I explained in a previous post, I had a very demanding internship with a production company working for Investigation Discovery from beginning of May right up until the end of August. I interned as the Assistant Locations Manager on a show originally called The Bad Old Days (it has since been renamed A Crime to Remember) and worked through the pre-production and production stages of the last four episodes of the series. You can check out the official promo video for the series by clicking on the image below.

The official video promo for the Discovery ID series I worked on all Summer 2013 long.

The official video promo for the Discovery ID series I worked on all Summer 2013 long.

 

Second, the rest of the summer was much more related to family medical issues than it did work and interning. To make a very long story short, I’m only just now getting out of a series of about five solid months where by my mother and I had a series of medical problems which involved all sorts of surgery, testing, hospital visits and stays (including a rush to emergency room on my birthday), etc. I don’t want to go into detail about them for a variety of reasons, but I can at least tell you that after non-stop stress, anxiety, driving to and from doctors and surgeons, and trying to figure out what happened to cause these problems, we’re both doing much better now.

Third, I would like to draw special attention to the fact that I’m posting this update on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. A year ago tonight, the tropical storm/hurricane that changed so many people’s lives in so many ways across the Eastern seaboard touched down. I can’t even begin to describe how many ways I’ve seen it change individuals, families and communities alike over this past year.

Sandy turned so many people's lives upside down one year ago today. The storm's effects can still be seen across the City and Eastern Seaboard.

Sandy turned so many people’s lives upside down one year ago today. The storm’s effects can still be seen across the City and Eastern Seaboard.

 

A lot of people didn’t understand (and still don’t to this day) just how bad Sandy was. I’ll never forget that Halloween night last year, when the power and heat were still out for Jamaica Bay in Queens, my family and I went to pick up our rental car from an Enterprise shop in Middle Village. I was wearing my thermal jumpsuit to stay warm, and the rest of my family had messy clothes on, thrown together in there aftermath of a day of rigorous cleaning and scrubbing. When we got to the shop, one little boy in a costume came up to me and said, “Are you supposed to be Michael Meyers!?” I looked at him and his parents, who were smiling behind him, and said that I was wearing the jumpsuit because I had no heat down in Howard Beach, and I needed to stay warm. “Sandy hit everyone down there really hard,” I said. The child’s father replied, “Really? We had no idea, we thought everyone was ok. It passed over really quickly, right?”

I like telling that story because it perfectly sums Sandy up to me. If you weren’t living in or next to an affected area and had no ties with family or friends who were living in one, you didn’t know just how bad the storm was. The media didn’t do nearly enough to capture the true damages the storm caused in the community, only following up on post-Sandy neighborhoods for one week following the storm. After that, the storm was old news. New travesties like the Sandy Hook shooting were about to happen and needed to be focused on. Now of course, I didn’t expect people to focus on Sandy forever, and of course new horrific events (such as the Sandy Hook shooting, which was a true travesty) needed major attention. However the lack of attention most people placed on post-Sandy life really proves to me that they didn’t understand just how bad it was. I have family who still hasn’t returned him, friends who still haven’t replaced their cars, neighbors who are only now getting FEMA grants to perform needed repairs on their homes.

One year later, Sandy is very much alive in my small bayside community of Jamaica Bay. I’m sure the same can be said for Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey, as well as the rest of the areas strongly affected by Sandy. It’s not all bad though, since Sandy did allow me to write, direct and edit two films about it, both of which I’m very proud of and both of which are embedded below.

 

It’s also not all bad because, my friends, family and neighbors are all still alive. Regardless of physical property and things, all the people I know and love are still here. The same can’t be said everywhere, and I’m more than grateful for that. I still thank God for getting my family out of Sandy alive, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

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These Past Few Weeks

So, I figured that a Summer 2013 update was in order for all of the UOD followers out there. These past few weeks have been fairly hectic for me, but in a very good way!

One of the big things I’ve been working on has been an internship with the Investigation Discovery Channel. Last summer, I met a wonderful women who was the executive producer of an ABC show called Final Witness. I wasn’t able to work with her then due to time constrictions, but after staying in touch with her throughout the academic year, she was able to bring me on board her new project with Discovery ID.

The show is called The Bad Old Days, and it’s all about telling the true tales of crazy murderers and their unfortunate victims from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Beyond that, I’m not really able to say anything else other than I’ve been working nonstop as assistant to the locations manager and general pre-production, production and post-production assistant. The cast and crew has been doing loads of great work, and I’ve been learning quite a bit about shooting in and around NYC.

A beautiful sunset seen onset in upstate NY.

A beautiful sunset seen onset in upstate NY.

 

Other than that, my company, Passing Planes Productions, has been working on a few projects with some local businesses and companies. I don’t want to give anything away yet, but I should have some promotional and business tour videos up and available within the coming weeks. Be sure to like Passing Planes Productions on Facebook if you haven’t already!

A couple of other final updates include:

– I’ve made a Vine account–be sure to follow Danny Boy Scarpati

– A few ideas for some summer short films are in the works… stay tuned for more