Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Sand, The Sets, and The Stupidity

Yet again, too much going on in the past couple of weeks to write. Quick recap:

The Sand

So I finished up my week in Myrtle/Surfside Beach, mainly nursing my sunburn and attempting to lose less than ten golf balls per course. Neither was really successful. But, I still managed to get to a few of my favorite Myrtle Beach places.

This place is The Maze. Now, this place started off as a random tourist attraction a few years ago, but since has become a Reilly family proving ground for any newcomers to the family vacation. That means any new boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses must make their way through this exhausting wooden trap. I just do it for fun, but sometimes I wish I could just watch to see the new members of the family reach another dead end wondering if my family was worth this hassle.

No, that is not a giant condom on my head. or a thing for the KKK, although from the road it does look like a Klan Konvention. This is part of Rude Dick's, a restaurant that prides itself on bad service and insulting its customers. It also makes these hats that have a dumb joke to laugh at, especially when your Dad's hat says "Viagra makes my wrist hurt".

I finally started taking photos again! Really happy with how these two and the one up top turned out. The night one is at the Surfside Beach Pier, while the bottom one is a burger I ate that consisted of 2 burgers, two eggs, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, two grilled cheeses for buns, and two giant onion rings. Truly an American delicacy.

But now I'm back in...

The Sets

The end of CollegeHumor's business quarter is coming up soon, so they have been working nonstop to create new sketches to impress the bosses. The picture above is from one of the funnier sketches I have been a part of, "The Greek System Bails Out Greece". Really funny sketch with some of the most entertaining actors I have ever met.
But, the bigger set I was a part of was "The Six Friends of Your Girlfriend". If you are unaware, CollegeHumor has an ongoing series called The Six, a super-stylized series that always shows six things that are common for people to run into. I don't give it the credit it deserves, because they actually are extremely well done and probably have some of the highest production value at CollegeHumor.
But, after a long week of sets, you have to celebrate the weekend with...

The Stupidity

This idiot. Again. We did some cool shit. Like an interactive mind-fuck of a play called Sleep No More.

Those guys in the masks? That is actually the audience, following around the actors through seven floors of 1930's Macbeth. Beyond creepy, but nevertheless breathtaking as a completely unique way of performing. I'm definitely going to it again before the summer ends.

Next, a little bit of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, a cool, young area that truly breeds one thing: hipsters. But good hipsters, like the ones that will offer you a cool new artist to listen to while telling you about the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Also, I got some flannel, if you couldn't tell from the pic above.

Also made it to the Gugenheim, which is a famous art museum along the Museum Mile. Cool, abstract art and a photographer who specialized in transition portraits really added to the feel of this architecturally beautiful building.

Finally, Alejandro and I made it to the king of the tourist attractions, The Statue of Liberty.

First off, I didn't plan wearing a shirt with the Statue already on it. Or having the New York state quarter, which also has the Statue on it, in my pocket. I felt idiotic. But whatever, still worth the trip. The Statue is surprisingly small compared to all the hype around it, but still worth it to see a symbol of America that has been around for over 125 years.

Oh, to complete the stupidity, Alejandro tried to have me call a coin flip and ended up spouting off this:

What a winner.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Out of the City

So, after one month of living in NYC, I left for family vacation in South Carolina.

It's nice as hell here. But, there is a lot of sun. Like, more than any man with the last name Reilly should ever have to sit in.

You had one job, sunscreen. ONE JOB!

But, one thing that I really felt since leaving the city (other than excruciating skin pain) is a genuine longing to be back in New York. Everything outside of the city seems to move really slow, and the lack of public transit is really discouraging. I admit, it's sad that only a month in the Big Apple has already caused me to have the mentality that anything outside New York is unimportant. But, that doesn't stop me from missing all that New York holds in it!

Speaking of New York, here is probably the quickest break down of things that I did During these past two weeks in New York.


Good amount of sets that I worked on, and a few of the sets I worked on previously finally finished the videos.

Here's one I helped art direct:

And here's one I was a production assist for:

Really happy how each of these turned out. Tune in next time for when more random videos that I worked on fill my blog!

People Visit!!!

So a bunch of people came and visited this weekend. On Saturday, Jason, Jordan, Morgan, and Dave were all in the city. Despite the 100 degree weather, we made it through most of downtown and parts of midtown. But, the real highlight was the fact that I finally met Dave. Jordan was super happy that the two people he wanted to meet from his groups of friends finally got together, and it was interesting to say the least.

Definitely some interesting discussions between the two of us. Hopefully, he and Jordan will come back soon.

And Morgan stayed for the entire weekend, which lead to a bunch of debauchery within the city.

Too much cute in one picture

Sunday had us wandering around midtown, where we found a giant street market that took up a bunch of blocks on Madison Ave.

Unfortunately, Don Draper was not present

Also, got to see my first Broadway show this summer, Rock of Ages!

For anyone who isn't really a Broadway person, this show is absolutely perfect. All the songs are 80s hair metal hits, and the entire musical is very self-aware of the tropes that come with a big-production Broadway show. And, if you love Broadway, it is pretty great too.

Finally, Sunday we explored Central Park, and, I must admit, it is the best park in the country.

From the southern tourist attractions like the ice rink to the northern hills that hide vast lakes and meadows, Central Park is a perfectly laid out piece of architecture. We pretty much hit most of it, starting at the bottom and making our way to 86th Street, but I still feel I would need a good week to soak in all of it.

Also, there was a random carnival in the middle of the park.

So that has been most of what has happened. I'll try to update about beach stuff this week!

Final note, I spotted this guy selling Obama Condoms in Soho. They are exactly what you think they are.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2nd Week Recap

So, yet again, I forgot to blog earlier in the week. I apologize. Here are some cute photos to make you feel better.

Feel better now? Alright, let's do a countdown of the five things that happened since I last blogged.

5. Saw Childish Gambino

When someone texts you late at night and asks if you want to go to a Childish Gambino show in Brooklyn, you don't simply say no. Prospect Park, a beautiful place in the middle of Brooklyn, hosted Childish Gambino for his second night in NYC, and I was more than willing to take a ticket from my friend.

Surrounded by hipsters and high schoolers, I went nuts to some of his classic hits like Freaks and Geeks and You See Me. Unfortunately, he didn't play the song that originally got me into his music, New Prince (Crown on the Ground).

But still an amazing concert. Also, I can't really look at him without remembering the good old days where he starred in the vulgar, at times childish, DerrickComedy.

4. Went to the Catskills

So on Friday, I travelled with a film crew up into the Catskills Mountains to film at a random house. I never really found a reason that we needed to travel so far to film there since we really didn't use the scenery, but I wasn't complaining. The Catskills are incredibly beautiful, with rolling hills of lush forest and sparkling lakes.
But beyond the beauty of the place lies the history behind it. I was standing on comedic sacred ground up here, wandering around the places where people like Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, and Woody Allen honed their craft. This area created some of the most famous jokes in comedy history, and here I was filming a parody of Call Me Maybe. Great to see how comedy has advanced...

3. Free Movies in the Park!

New York has to be one of the greatest cities when it comes to free events. Any day during the summer, I can go to one of the many great parks and see a show or movie. Now, back home in Pittsburgh, our local theater had Monday Movie Night, and luckily, New York's Bryant Park has been able to meet my Monday Movie needs. Every Monday, Bryant Park hosts a classic film for free, ranging from Westerns to Golden Age Hollywood. This week continued to impress with The Wizard of Oz.

Watching this movie for the first time in over a decade, I started to realize why this movie stands as such a cultural phenomena even today. The music, story, and characters are all fantastic, and it holds morals and ideas that can relate to any time period.
But, there were some weird things people forget. Like how Glinda, the "good" witch, actually is a bitch. She could have saved Dorothy all the time and near death experiences if she had just mentioned the teleporting shoes in the beginning. But noooooooo, she had to let Dorothy wander around an unknown world, get captured by a hydrophobic witch, and then get high off of poppy seeds.

And don't even get me started on the disturbing performance by the Lollipop Guild. They all look like they are suffering strokes as they sing.

2. Art Directed a Shoot

When film companies can't afford to pay actual professionals for important jobs, who do they look to for free labor. Interns! And that's pretty much how this job came about when we couldn't afford to pay a real art director for pick-up shots. So, using the props we already had, I decorated a small Brooklyn bedroom into a tween's paradise, complete with stuffed animals, bright sheets, and collages of the famous pop stars of today.

For my first art directing job, I would say it doesn't look too bad. We also had to fling feathers all over the place whenever the scene called for her to destroy the room, and I quickly found out that a bag of feathers and a bag stuffed with a feathery boa look very similar. That is, until you try to throw the boa and 10 feet of cloth goes right into your actress's face. My bad.

1. July 4th Party!

So, this dingus named Alejandro decided to visit for the weekend, and we spent the majority of Saturday up in Westchester for our friend Amy's July 4th party! Before we get there, I want to point out the beauty of the Hudson River Valley.

The train ride is, in itself, a beautiful contrast to the industrialized city that I see everyday. This trip combined with the Catskills really gave me a taste of nature that I haven't seen since I was home.

But, of course, the real excitement was at the party.

Oh, what are those? Are those giant inflatable things that I will play on even though they are meant for kids 10 and under? You bet I will. So, the party was amazing! They had rides, a lake, an ice cream truck, a fully catered meal service, and even live music! The whole thing was extravagant and incredible, and seemed to not have too many limits on what we could do. At one point, Alejandro and I rode a kids ride while smoking cigars, and I don't think it got much better than that.

Cigars and ice cream. Classy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

First Week!

Wow, really have not had the time to blog this entire week. Mainly just lots of stuff having to do with settling into work, meeting up with a bunch of people, and overall getting used to the hectic lifestyle of this city. Okay, here's a breakdown of what happened this week:


Contrary to the video, my monday did not involve going to a chain restaurant to try to fight a terrible day and consequently meeting Jennifer Aniston. No, I was more like the version of Ron Livingston's character later in the movie. Except I actually came to work. And liked my job. And didn't have a terrible boss and...god dammit... ok maybe Office Space isn't the best analogy here but whatever. The point is, Monday was my first day on the job at CollegeHumor! The office atmosphere is the opposite of what you can imagine in Office Space (knew I could actually work this in somehow), with people between the ages of 20 and mid-thirties wearing jeans and a t-shirt writing scripts about dick jokes. What more could you ask for! But in all seriousness, the office is super nice, friendly, and just cool to work in. As an added bonus, Dan Siegel, the head of Northwestern Sketch Television in 2010, works right next to me, which is just nice to see someone from Northwestern working in the business. The day went by pretty quickly, and I couldn't wait for tomorrow.

Also, discovered a puppy shop on my walk to the subway that has a huge window filled with at least thirty puppies at all times. I missed my subway that day.


So I got my first actual assignment from CollegeHumor: art assistant. Out of all the film departments, I think that actually might be the one I have absolutely zero experience in. But, I want to try anything they tell me to do, so I got paired up with a really cool art director named Amelia. We began by searching the CollegeHumor storage for props. Needless to say, this was an adventure in itself. The place was a mess to put it lightly, but it was filled with some cool props. Costumes, props, and other nonsense for any type of occasion lined all the walls in a somewhat ordered fashion. They even had a wall filled with nothing but sex stuff.

This was not the only box of these...
So after a long time in the prop storage, we ran around Manhattan looking for a few items we didn't have already. We made it through most of midtown and downtown, going from store to store, trying to find very precise clothing and accessories to make the scene perfect. After this day, I really have respect for art directors. They put in so much time for preproduction.


Yeah, sorry, couldn't really find any videos for Wednesday. Wednesday's historically are not funny. The only famous Wednesday I can think of is Ash Wednesday, and I don't think it's considered funny.

This picture makes me laugh for some reason

But enough about that, Wednesday came with another day of art shopping. But, after work I got to finally meet up with some Northwestern people! A few of us went to Central Park and got to experience one of the great parts of living in New York, free summer concerts. The concept that I could see a show almost every day of the summer in the great parks of New York still baffles me, and I plan on taking full advantage of it. Especially if the talent is as good as Wednesday, when I got to see Indecision 2012 in the Park, where many of the Daily Show correspondents came and performed some amazing standup. Good night with friends, and definitely the perfect way to make it halfway through the week.

My buddy Marshall, enjoying the free show


1st Set! Seriously, what a change of pace from Northwestern sets. We ended up filming in a 5 million dollar apartment near Wall Street, and we filled every single inch with film equipment. I was amazed at the Director of Photography's style for the shoot, and even more impressed with how well he worked with the gaffer. It definitely was a change of pace for me, since I ended up coloring Phineas and Ferb microphones to look realistic instead of setting up lights, but I still had a lot of fun. Here are a few shots from the set:

I also bonded with my crew when 14 of us got trapped in a service elevator. I think our DP was hands-down the most scared, seeing he went to the floor and advised us to not laugh because we would use up the oxygen. Sure man, sure.


Hey, I finally almost died! Seriously, this actually almost happened. From this:

I was out in Queens on a shoot in the middle of the woods, when a bolt of lightning crashed about 200 feet from our set and a monsoon flooded out our location. It lasted less than ten minutes, but we all took a beating. Our art director actually lost his hearing for twenty minutes!

So, with a near death experience, I needed to somehow recuperate. And this came with Ariana's birthday! Drinks all around at a great Cuban restaurant in the East Village, and a great time just hanging out with some cool Northwestern people again. Even if none of us could find the restaurant for over half an hour, it paid off because I could finally make the "1st and 1st nexus of the universe" joke, because the place was actually at 1st and 1st!

Slightly tipsy, I headed home to sleep for the long weekend ahead of me.

Saturday and Sunday

Governors Ball!!!! Seriously, one of the greatest weekends of my life. Amazing performances from some of my favorite bands like Passion Pit, Modest Mouse, and Beck, but I also now have a couple new bands that I am really starting to get into like Phantogram, Cults, and Big Gigantic. Probably one of the bigger surprise bands for me was this Australian band called Art vs Science, who came out in metallic silver space suits and played some crazy electrorock. Give them a listen!

Also, Duck Sauce played and gave out some duck masks.

Surprisingly the first picture of me on this blog

Sorry for the long post guys! I'll try to update more often so it'll be a little shorter!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The First Day: New Home, New Places to Explore

So, the morning my family and I drove into New York we almost got arrested. Turns out the minute difference between having your EZ pass on your dash and in your glove compartment is enough to trigger the cops. Luckily, we made it through and made our way down through Harlem to my new apartment.

Not too shabby, right? I think my neighbors will like me more once my Dad stops creeping on them from the back window.

So my apartment is in East Harlem, which originally scared my mom to death, as shown by the amount of times she tried to lock the doors when we drove through it. But, in all honesty, the area is super nice and really friendly. It's mostly a hispanic neighborhood, so really good food and a lively neighborhood are pretty much a guarantee. I got a taste of the liveliness while my parents were still here when a parade made it's way down 3rd Avenue while a children's choir sang hispanic children's songs.

So, after a farewell lunch with my parents, I decided to figure out the parts of the city that I would need to get to on a pretty regular basis. First stop: work. CollegeHumor is located at pretty much the opposite end of Manhattan from me, so it takes a good amount of travel time. After a few mishaps on the subway, I made it down to Chelsea. I found my work, got lost, then found one of the coolest things in Manhattan, The High Line.

It's an old elevated subway line that they converted into a long walkway with trees, yards, and other park-like elements on it. Also, it has this thing painted on the side of a building along the way, so you know it's a good time.

But, alas, I had other places I needed to find. Next stop was Riverside Park, a beautiful strip of greenery along the Upper West Side.

It's one of the best views of the Hudson River, and it reminds me a lot of the North Side River Walk in Pittsburgh. I mean, New Jersey even looks a little like Mt. Washington across the river! I came here to find a soccer field that I had an ultimate game at the next day, and sure enough, there was a field right underneath a major highway next to the river. I'm amazed at how New York adapts to its urban environment.

As I was about to go, I heard heavy electronic music with a weird twist coming from somewhere outside. Curious, I followed the sound along the river until I found quite a strange sight: a Middle Eastern/Reggae rave. On a pier. At 5pm. On a Sunday. Needless to say, I was in awe at the events you can find in New York at any point.

So, that concluded my first day. New York is definitely leaving an impression on me already, and I can't wait to see what it has in store for me the next couple days.

And, of course, you know I joined the rave. Come on, when's the next chance I'll stumble upon something like that again?!