Saturday, September 11, 2010

Miss Universe 2010 - Las Vegas

The pictures and videos all got cropped weird. See the post in full at

Before we left for Las Vegas we were warned that we would barely have free time, may only be able to eat while on the run, and may be working more than 12 hours a day. The warnings were definitely true.

The first week was spent producing 83 web interview videos. This meant setting up an interview room, interviewing 83 girls, some of which speak english, some speak broken english, and some don't speak a word of english. We asked every girl a set of four questions, the final one being to make several sound effects. Breaking that language barrier is extremely difficult, but we managed to do it. You can check out all the web interviews on I thoroughly recommend checking out Sri-Lanka's sound effects.

[caption id="attachment_1097" align="alignnone" width="560" caption="Cast and crew of the Chi Ninja! Matt, Miss Russia Irina Antonenko, Chi Ninja, and myself"][/caption]

Aside from these 83 videos, our team worked to produce a handful more videos about the events, and commercials for sponsors. We teamed up for a couple of them, including the Chi Ninja, and a commercial for the new MUO Magazine. I edited both of these pieces, and they both turned out extremely well. Watch for the MUO Magazine Commercial during the live preliminary competition webcast!

[caption id="attachment_1098" align="alignnone" width="560" caption="A still from the MUO Mag commercial"][/caption]

One of the other pieces that I produced was a video on the "controversial" Fadil Berisha photo shoot. I spent parts of four days by the private pool filming girls in bikinis (and not in bikinis) being bodypainted and photographed. There were several girls who decided to shoot topless, and so it was then my job to film topless women. Then getting into editing, it was again my job to go frame by frame and cover the topless women with blur spots. So about a week of my life was spent looking at topless women.

It has really been an interesting experience. The majority of the girls are very nice, and enjoy chatting. It's pretty interesting that a good portion of the girls only recently got involved in beauty pageants, many of them within the last year or so. Some of the girls seem like they would be a lot of fun to hang out with. Ireland for example, is a riot, and she seems like someone who knows how to have a good time. Doing the web interviews and little events with the girls, you can really see the girl's personalities.

And here is a still from the National Costume parade. These things are awesome.

[caption id="attachment_1099" align="alignnone" width="560" caption="Venezuela, Marelisa Gibson and her "wing of death""][/caption]


Last night was the Miss Universe 2010 preliminary show. The 83 ladies strutted across the stage a few times in a gown and a bathing suit, and the nerves were high. Because NBC is running the cameras and everything, we were shooting the BTS (behind the scenes). So as soon as the girls left the stage my camera was in their face getting their reactions, their nervousness, and their dancing. I can tell the girls who are confident, and those who are scared. Luckily the girls understood that they could let loose and say whatever they wanted, because I'm not shooting for TV.

The webcast also featured a whole bunch of videos that I had a hand in making. The MUO Magazine Promo was really well received. It's always cool to see thousands of people reacting to your videos. The "ooh"s and "aah"s and cheering was great. The CHI Ninja ad also played.

And here is the first week of my time in Las Vegas in a four-minute video. I was at the "controversial" bikini/bathing suit/topless photo shoot. I was filming everything from hair and makeup, body painting, photographing, photoshopping, etc. And yes, there were topless girls everywhere. They all had pasties or tape covering their nipples, and most of them were completely painted over. The body paint was pretty cool, and I was bummed when some of my favorite body-paint work didn't make the final photos.


Congratulations to Ximena Navarrete on taking the title of Miss Universe 2010! Ximena (she prefers to spell her name with an X rather than a J) is absolutely beautiful, naturally too.

Ximena is the last MUO lineup change that I will be a part of during my internship, and it's been a lot of fun welcoming two new girls to the organization with Kamie and now Ximena.

So the tail end of Las Vegas was chaos. As soon as the pageant ended we produced our webcast, and then I was assigned the duty of following Ximena for the next few days, capturing her first days as Miss Universe 2010. The night after she won we went to the after party at LAX at Luxor, where after some ID/security scuffles, we got in. There were hundreds of people packing the club and we shuffled into the VIP area. It was shoulder-to-shoulder, and in these situations the guy with the camera usually gets shoved back away. And so was the case. But being pushed back away from Ximena's section of the VIP area meant I was standing three feet in front of The Roots, who has performed at the show earlier in the night with John Legend. After a crack on how security and media never can get along, I chatted with them for a bit, and snapped a couple pictures before we left the club. I really hate that I never get my picture taken with celebrities, but then again the only camera I'm always lugging around is a big professional camera that very few people actually know how to use and I would never hand off in a club...

[caption id="attachment_1110" align="alignnone" width="560" caption="Captain Kirk Douglas, Owen Biddle, and Quest Love of The Legendary Roots Crew"][/caption]

It was then an early call for a photo shoot around Las Vegas. We shot around Mandalay Bay, and then wandered down to Bellagio, where they had set up three fountain shows just for us. The fountains usually would not be running at the time, and usually runs one show every 15 minutes, but with one phone call Miss Universe had three shows back-to-back. It was very cool.

And now I'm back in New York, and we've dragged Jimena with us. It's raining. I'm happy to see water again. It's been quite a journey living out of a Las Vegas hotel room for the past three weeks, but it's an experience I will never forget. I met some great people, both production staff and beauty queens who I plan to stay in touch with, and who made my experience even more memorable.

So to end this post, here are a handful of my favorite pictures from the Vegas trip.

[caption id="attachment_1111" align="alignnone" width="560" caption="Yendi Phillipps (Jamaica) brought an autographed pair of Usain Bolt's running shoes to the National Gift Auction"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1117" align="alignnone" width="560" caption="Australia 2010, Jesinta Campbell"][/caption]

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Try walking in my shoes"

"Try walking a mile in my shoes," she says.
"Sorry, high heels aren't really my thing."

It's been a bit since I've posted up about my adventures in the pageant world. Since Shanghai, I visited Michigan with Rima Fakih, miss USA, for her official homecoming since winning the USA pageant. It was a crazy experience, but it was a lot of fun. I got to meet her family and friends, her dog, get a tour of her hometown of dearborn, and attend several large events held in her honor. She also received the key to the city of Dearborn. The last day of the trip was spent at the ballpark, where Rima threw the first pitch at a Tigers game. I got to be out on the field and shoot some images. Fun little trip for sure.

The next major event was spent in Nassau, Bahamas for the 2010 Miss Teen USA pageant. Both Matt and I attended this week-long extravaganza of shooting, editing, and producing a live webcast that ended up being viewed by over a quarter of a million people. During this we also each produced a package for the web and a package for the webcast. I got the experience of being kicked by a dolphin tail several times while shooting with both the former Miss Teen USA Stormi Henley, as well as several of the contestants at the Atlantis resort. I was also yelled at by a sea lion.
Our first production on-location was by far the most complicated, and was the introduction to the entire webcast. Matt, as well as Colin and Tom from MUO ran three-cameras and I ran sound as Stormi ran around the Atlantis resort. It was a lot of fun, and ended up being quite a bit of work for me as it was very windy and audio was often pushed to the side during production. Lots of audio foley and post-editing.
In the end production went well, and we managed to get an hour here and there to relax in the lazy river and hot bahamas sun. Lots of work for sure.
Kamie Crawford (Miss Teen Maryland) was crowned the new Miss Teen USA, and we've been running around all over the place working with her and all her publicity events. She's a really fun girl, and you will start seeing many videos that we produced showing up on
Next up we go to Las Vegas, Nevada for most of the month of August. Doubtful that we'll have time to post up on the blog as we are scheduled to produce over 100 web videos in the course of 2 weeks, and then produce three live webcasts. Yeah.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Matt Goes To India

Hello Readers,

We have been swamped here at MUO the past few weeks with Jeff going to Shanghai and Detroit and myself going to India. I just returned from India this past Monday, and I must say that it was an incredible experience. This internship is better than anything I could have dreamed of. The purpose of the trip was for Miss Universe to travel around India with Sanjana Jon in order to raise HIV/AIDS awareness. We went to several locations and met a ton of new people. At many of the places we went there were countless members of the press and media. I had to fight tooth and nail against swarms of Indian press to get the shots that I needed. We did several interesting things including: interviews in which Miss Universe (Stefania) cooked and tried Indian cuisine, a trip to the India Gate, a few photo shoots, and even two fashion shows held in honor of Stefania's tour for HIV/AIDS awareness.

Stefania and her travel manager (Roston) were awesome in assisting me on my first trip. I have learned SO much. Working with a “Universal” icon, if you will, has truly opened my eyes into what is certainly the life as a member of the professional media and/or press. I’ve learned that it is not easy to balance professionalism and courtesy while still getting the shots you need to put together an interesting, informative piece on your subject matter. In addition to these things I have learned first hand, the stresses and pressures of working in this type of a time constrained environment. An environment in which the action never stops, and in which you always need to be on your toes and on top of your game. There is no possibility of pick up shots later, because, well, you'll be on the other side of the world. This trip has also granted me experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. It would take pages to express all the moments that touched my life on this trip. Not necessarily moments that changed my life, but moments that I got to experience. In the places we were staying there was no real “culture shock,” or noticeable extreme poverty. In fact, I truly believe from what I have heard and the people that I have talked to on my adventure, that within the next 10-20 years, India will be one of the worlds most dominant super powers, possibly even stronger than the United States. They have the knowledge, the will, and most importantly, the numbers to turn themselves into one of the most economically profitable countries in the world. This is my humble opinion, but time will tell.

Next on the to do list will be the Bahamas for the Miss Teen USA Pageant, then off to Los Angeles for a few days, and then the Miss Universe Pageant in Las Vegas for the better part of August.

Here are a few photos of me doing my thing in India:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jeff Goes To Shanghai, China

I'm going to do this the easy way, and follow a chunk of text with a chunk of pictures.
Week three of this internship I was shipped out. I spent the last week in Shanghai, China with Miss USA Rima Fakih. The 2010 World Expo is being held in Shanghai, and Rima was invited by the USA Pavilion to host the USA National Day celebration and make several appearances around Shanghai and the Expo.
Due to some flight complications I was flown out a day early, and got to hang out in Shanghai an extra night. I took the time to wander around some places near our hotel. There was a massive mall across the street, and when I say massive, I mean 12 stories tall and hundreds and hundreds of stores. Then when the sun set I noticed the real Shanghai. I knew china was technologically advanced, but the lights blew my mind. LED lights lined every building, road, and tree. I snapped a few pictures, and went back to the hotel. We are bunked up at the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai Pudong. The hotel had been open nine days before we showed up. I think I'm the first person to sleep in that bed. It was awesome, huge, and nice. Probably the nicest hotel i've ever stayed at.
Some history of Shanghai I learned over the trip, is that Shanghai has been more or less built in the last 20 years. And they are constantly building. Looking out the window of the hotel, I can see five buildings in construction. It's nonstop, and they keep getting taller and taller.
In the morning I went to the airport with a few USA Student Ambassadors to pick up Rima and Esther, MUO staff. We shot a bit of footage at the airport, and checked in at the hotel for the night.
Official day 1 was spent touring Shanghai with Allison, our USAP coordinator, and Joy (USAP staff). We visited the highest observation deck in the world, located on the 100th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center. The whole place was like a spaceship, and then the view was incredible (picture below). We then toured around the old side of the river, which was still fairly urban.
Day 2 we headed to the World Expo. We stopped by the USA pavilion for Rima's introduction to the media, a couple news interviews, and then a photo op with all the USA pavilion staff. We then went to a few country pavilions. Our tour consisted of France, Germany, Lebanon, and China. My favorite was Germany, followed closely by China. The german pavilion showed Germany very well, and you could get a good sense of what life in Germany is like. Landscapes, gardens, arts, and then technology and industry. Everything was covered. Plus the germans took us to the VIP room after the tour where we relaxed in the air conditioning. The chinese pavilion was technology heaven, with a massive projection wall with a large animation of an ancient chinese village. There were fake trees filled with LED lights, and then real plants with soil-less nutrition covering the ceiling. There was also a really cool film depicting three generations of Chinese life, projected on four massive screens. Three on the wall, one on the ceiling. Crazy stuff. The Chinese also took us back to the VIP area of their pavilion, and explained some of the behind-the-scenes of the making of the video, and the pavilion itself.
That night we attended a dinner party at the home of TV personality and businesswoman Yue-Sai Kan. She is very well known in Shanghai, and does a lot of business in America as well. Let's just say that this party was well-attended. Harry Conick Jr. was in attendance, as well as the former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and several other White House staff members. I can check "get stopped from filming by the secret service" of my list of things to do before I die.
The next day we visited a couple more pavilions, including the official USA Pavilion tour, and the Saudi-Arabia pavilion. This day also was USA National Day at the Expo. Every country gets a "national day" where they can parade, and hold special activities and shows to display the country. Rima started the day by riding a float in the parade, led by the University of Southern California Trojan marching band. It was hot, and I was running back and forth around the parade getting the shots I needed. By the end of the parade I was a sweaty mess. But so was everyone else. I felt real bad for the marching band. I know how hot those uniforms get, and the weather was miserably hot. Despite the heat, Rima had a lot of fun. She danced around and waved to the crowd. There was an American dance troop on the float behind her blasting pop music, and at one point they wandered up to her float and starting dancing with her. It was a good time and made for good video.
Post-parade, it was time for rehearsal for the nights performance. When we showed up the marching band was on-stage, and Rima was asked to guest-direct one song. Without hesitation she obliged, and ended up doing it in the actual show as well. Rima and the translator didn't get a chance to rehearse their opening dialogue on-stage, and went backstage quickly to get as much practice in as possible. After a quick wardrobe change and some makeup, Rima was ready to go. A couple more run-throughs with the translator, the lights went down and they went on stage. Everything went smooth as butter. The event was well-received and Harry Conick Jr.'s performance was really entertaining.
The last day was made up of visiting a hospital and discussing breast cancer and treatment with several doctors, and then attending a 4th of July event for American EXPATs (Expatriates) in China. Again it was miserably hot, but Rima had a good time hosting a watermelon eating contest, and taking pictures with everyone.
In closing, the trip was an amazing experience, and considering it was part of an internship it was unbelievable. I have so many people to thank and I can't name them all, but I really want to thank Miss Universe president Paula Shugart for allowing me to be a part of the program and visit China.
So.... photos?

The blue dude is named "Haibo" and is the mascot for the 2010 Expo. He was everywhere.

Rima purchasing some tea.

(For more of all of this, visit my personal blog at Sorry OU people,
but this software is kinda difficult to use. I use wordpress, and am able to do alot more, so I
post more there.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

See you in Shanghai!

The second week at the Miss Universe Organization was very similar to the first. Lots of editing, organizing, graphic design, etc. I've designed a bunch of "promos" for the Miss USA website (the graphics that run on the top of the screen, linking to videos), as well as edited a few. I also have done a bit of shooting, going out to a disclosed globally-known feather-craftsman's shop and filming Miss USA have a makeup lesson with a world renowned makeup artist.
I'm starting to get used to everything, but still working through some kinks. I'm really going to have to work through them fast, as I leave on sunday for Shanghai, China for a week with Miss USA. We will be at the Shanghai World Expo until July 3rd. I'm going to keep this post short, but expect an extended one during/after the trip. My cameras will be in hand at all times, so I'll have some pictures.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Week 1 at MUO

The first week of work at the Miss Universe Organization has been really fun, and I can tell I am going to enjoy the next 6 months. Everyone at MUO is really great, and the office atmosphere is very relaxed. Everyone seems to enjoy what they are doing. Day 1 both Miss Universe Stefania Fernandez and Miss USA Rima Fakih wandered into the New Media department to chat with Colin our boss, and we (Matt and I, the new interns) were introduced. Teen USA Stormi Henley was hanging around for most of wednesday, and after saying hi to us, threw on a remarkably realistic wig and wandered around the office.

All of the work we’ve done so far has been in front of a computer. Installing software, rendering video, converting video, organizing video. We’ve each had our hand at a bit of video editing as well. I cut together a web video for Miss USA, about her photoshoot with photographer Fadil Berisha (viewable here). Matt cut together a video blog with Miss Universe that we shot before she and USA went off to Rwanda for a week or so. That should be online monday. We also had some time to play a mini round-robin tournament of connect four.

Outside of work, we’ve been doing some wandering around NYC. On Sunday before we started we made the venture out to the corner of 9th and 34th, home of the infamous B&H Photo/Video. This megastore is the mecca of video and photography nerds, with every product imaginable sitting out on shelves for you to play with, and eventually purchase. There are salespeople in every isle, and every person is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. On this trip I managed to hold myself back from impulse buys, and purchased the things I was planning to buy.

Mariana from work organizes random outings to do every couple weeks, and on tuesday she wandered into our office and asked “Does anyone want to go fencing on thursday?”. Not to pass up on an opportunity like this, we agreed, and last night we wandered down to a fencing studio off of times square. We got an hour-and a half lesson on fencing techniques, and got to fence each other for the last half hour. It was actually really fun, and I learned a lot about the techniques and rules of sabre fencing.

So at the end of week 1 I am thoroughly enjoying my experience in NYC, and I can’t wait to start traveling and shooting with the girls

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chapter 1: Lost in New York

Hello Friends and Family,

Many of you may be wondering how this whole Miss Universe Internship started for me, and how I got on board. I couldn't believe the opportunity myself when I first heard about it. I suppose it all started with a few short conversations with my friend (and co-intern) Jeff Kolada, and Nicole Little. That is all it took for me to become interested in the Miss Universe Organization, and the internship they offer to Ohio University students biannually. Before I knew it (with a lot of help from Tina Stewart and Beth Novak) I was sending in my application, and receiving emails about my starting date.

Jeff and I arrived here the morning of June the 12th with bins full of personal belongings, hearts full of excitement, and not to mention, no real place to live. We are currently staying with Jeff's Aunt and Uncle, and his two cousins David and Jacob, all of which have been overly accommodating and extremely friendly. Their house is in Flushing, Queens, which is about a 45 minute commute from where we work on the corner of 56th st. and 6th Avenue in Manhattan. After a weekend of readying ourselves and becoming familiar with the city, Jeff and I started work on Monday. We were introduced around our humble little office, high up in this beautiful skyscraper, and were put to work almost immediately. My task: piece together an intro for the Miss Teen USA pageant. A pageant that airs to hundreds of thousands of people, mind you. I set to work ripping DVDs of past pageants and slowly but surely compiling all of the "crowning moments" from 27 years worth of Miss Teen USA pageants. This piece will eventually be part of the opening of the actual Miss Teen USA show. We also did a video blog for Miss Universe on the first day which should be published to the Miss Universe youtube channel within the next couple of days. Everyone here at MUO has been very friendly and helpful getting me started. I can't wait to get to know everyone better.

There is quite a bit of travel on the horizon for Jeff and I. Jeff leaves for Shanghai, China on June 28th, and theres possible trips to India, Detroit, and the Bahamas (among a few other possibilities) for me before the actual Teen USA pageant in the Bahamas near the middle of July. Following the Teen pageant, Jeff and I will be sent off to Las Vegas for just about the entire month of August. Needless to say, having never traveled abroad, I am ecstatic.

This city is nothing short of awesome, and this internship is nothing short of an amazing gift. Being able to get up and come to a place like this every morning to do what I love, is honestly a wonderful dream come true. A dream I will enthusiastically continue to blog about for those interested.

Kevin McCallister survived a few days alone by himself in New York. So this next six months should be a breeze for me, right? Fortunately for me, I'm a few years older, and hopefully, a few years wiser than my childhood idol, and I can not wait to embark on the journey that has been laid out in front of me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

<-- Me with Jean-Claude Van Damme in Prague. Bloodsport was not discussed, but JCVD was.

Dear Readers,

I would like to begin this go-round by correcting an error in my last blog entry concerning Roustam Tariko. Mr. Tariko is not a chocolatier. He is, in fact, a businessman who has had dealing in the importation and sale of chocolate. According to Wikipedia, a chocolatier is someone who makes confectionary from chocolate. Curiously, this is different than a chocolate maker who creates chocolate from cocoa beans and other ingredients. Childhood viewings of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, featuring a great performance by Gene Wilder, had lead me astray in my chocolate definitions, for that, I am sorry.

Speaking of Russia, the video featuring Miss Universe and her visit to Russia is up on the Miss Universe website. It is available to view here

My video detailing Stefania’s adventures in Panama and the Czech Republic is currently awaiting final approval. We traveled to Panama for a Sony event for the countries South American vendors. 3D TV people, it’s gonna be big. The trip was quick and before we knew it we were back on a plane. We flew from Panama City to Houston, Texas and then from Houston to Frankfurt, Germany. Germany is not without their sense of humor as their airport is filled with bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad and soft pretzels with mustard. We dined like Kaisers. The plane trip from Germany to Prague was only 45 min and was refreshing following the non-sense of crossing one and a half continents and an ocean.

Prague is a beautiful city as anyone who has been there, or has read about it, will tell you. The Miss Czech Republic pageant that our group was attending was being held in an ancient looking factory. The inside, however, was done up in grand fashion for the evening. The idea behind the event was putting something glamorous into something ugly, much like Megan Fox in the Transformers movies. The event was intense and featured Fear Factor challenges for the contestants to complete and a stage element that shot flames into the air during the swimsuit competition giving audience members a visual metaphor laden performance. Stefania announced and sashed the new Miss Czech Republic immediately following Jean-Claude Van Damme kicking a bottle off the hosts’ head. If that sounds ridiculous check out the video that will most likely be posted tomorrow on

The trip home was smooth sailing as I was bumped up from coach to first class due to overbooking. The amble foot room and my chairs uncanny recline mode gave me a one-way ticket to R.E.M town. When I awoke to find myself in New York, I realized what teleporting would feel like if it were real. If you are wondering, you feel slightly groggy and have a kink in your neck.

Monday, March 15, 2010

From Miss Russia With Love.

Dear Reader,

I recently returned from a trip abroad to Russia. Miss Universe, Roston Ogata, our security guard Nelson and I were put up in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, which beautifully overlooked the Kremlin. After a day of getting settled and adjusting to the time difference, we sat for a barrage of interviews from the best and brightest of the Russian press before we recollected ourselves and prepared for dinner.

We were whisked away by town cars with our lovely guide, Irina. Our mission was dinner and out host was a mister Roustam Tariko, a wealthy chocolatier and owner of the Russian Standard brand of vodka as well as the Miss Russia Organization, among other things. The dinner was held in a room adorned with hundred-year-old woodwork and included a gigantic fireplace adding cozy warmth to the Russian bite outside. Champagne and conversation flowed as we met the soon-to-be former Miss Russia as well as Preston Mendenhall, the coordinator of the coming night's event. Roustam made his appearance, and the feast was on. We dined on a delicious assortment of caviar, latkas, dumplings, salads and cooked lamb all the while being serenaded by gypsies. Heaven existed, for a night at least, in that room in Moscow.

The next day our group received a tour of the Kremlin and Red Square. We viewed, inside and outside, the famed Russian Orthodox Churches with their golden rounded tops and ancient paintings of epiphanies and miracles. These churches and the beautiful architecture of the buildings around us provided ample opportunities for snapshots. We moved onto Red Square and viewed the Tomb of Lenin. Red Square was packed with men and women old and young alike making a day of it with an ice skating rink and various balloon and tchotchke vendors. Due to the freezing air and the impending event, we retired to our hotel to freshen up and prepare for Miss Russia.

The pageant was held about thirty minutes outside of Moscow. Stefania, Miss Universe, was to be a judge in the pageant, a first for her. The pageant was much more visual and entertaining than I imagined it would be. Towering LED panels covered the entire stage and blasted out tele-pop light beams while Russia’s finest rockers shredded and pounded the collective viscera as goddesses walked amongst us.

After a long night out it was time to pack up and leave for a ten-hour airplane flight where, left with my thoughts, I could only wonder if the past two days were real or a very lovely dream.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New York, New York

Dear Reader,
Haven't posted in awhile because, well, we have been really busy here in New York. We have trips to Russia, Czech Republic, Panama, and Puerto Rico coming up so excitement is in the air. Having moved into permanent housing, and with a month of work under my belt, I finally feel settled here for the first time. New York is like a playground for adults having a community for any niche of music, food or culture. Exploring these niches has been extremely rewarding in the short time I've been here.
One of my only gripes with the city is the extraordinary measures one must go through to complete mundane tasks such as shipping a package. Having to plan so much, however, has helped me tighten up my life and become more organized as well as increase my ability to look ahead to events. Hopefully, I can continue moving towards a more proactive lifestyle and eliminate reactionary elements of my day-to-day.
We received news that two more OU interns will be joining us for the spring quarter. We cannot wait. It will feel good to have more people to reminisce about Athens with.
Stay Healthy everybody,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Work, work, work at MUO

Life here in New York is still very busy, but in the best possible way! Andrew and I have been following the three title holders around to all kinds of charity events, appearances, and volunteer trips. Now we are working hard to catch up on all of the editing work that needs to be done in the office. Here are links to four new videos that Andrew and I edited.

Fadil Shoot Part 1 (shot by Andrew and Nicole, edited by Nicole)
Fadil Shoot Part 2 (shot by Andrew and Nicole, edited by Andrew)
Same Sky (edited by Nicole)
Salsa Part 2 (edited by Andrew)

On Thursday of last week I got to go with Miss USA on a trip to West Point, which was amazing! The campus was beautiful and filled with history. The cadets led our tour and told us all about what life is like at a military academy. It was very inspiring, but it also made me happy that I go to a normal university and not a military one. One of the highlights of the trip was the train ride up the Hudson river. It was refreshing to get out of the city and see all of the beautiful scenery that surrounds the academy. Video coming soon!

The other cool event I went to last week was the Viennese Opera Ball, which was the fanciest event that I will probably ever go to in my life. Held at the Waldorf Hotel, there were all kinds of foreign dignitaries, debutantes, and celebrities there. Even some of the cadets we had met at West Point the day before were invited. Right now, I'm working on a video about Miss USA learning how to waltz for the event. The night was filled with ballroom dancing and performances from opera singers and ballerinas. I even got to snatch a steak dinner from an empty seat at Miss USA's table. It was a long night, but I got a lot of great footage! Again, video coming soon! Keep watching for more content.

I hear that everyone back in Ohio got covered in snow last Friday and then again today! We luckily missed the first snow storm, but we definitely got hit today. The MUO office had to close early so that everyone could make it home safely. The snow is still falling, so let's hope that tomorrow we can still make it to work. So much to do!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fadil Shoot and More Videos

Hello everyone! Andrew and I had a great week last week at Miss Universe. On Tuesday we got to go to a big photo shoot with all three girls, which was a long day, but a lot of fun. The photographer was Fadil Berisha who has shot all kinds of celebrities. Andrew and I were there shooting video all day and got a lot of great footage, which he is editing now. I took these pics with my phone:

There was also a lot of press there. Here are a couple of articles about the shoot:

NBC New York

Another project the MUO film/web team (consisting of me, Andrew, and our boss Colin) started is a Video Blog series with all three girls. Here are the blogs that we posted today:

Miss Universe
Miss USA
Miss Teen USA

Other videos Andrew and I have created or helped create lately include:

Salsa Lesson - Part 1 (edited by Andrew)
Hearts for Haiti (shot and edited by Nicole)
Fan Contest - Twitter (group effort)

So as you can see, MUO has kept us busy with lots of great projects! This week, Andrew is going with Miss Teen USA to a couple schools upstate while she talks to various D.A.R.E. programs. I am looking forward to Thursday when I go with Miss USA to West Point Military Academy. Keep watching for more videos!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bahama Breeze

Hello, Dear Readers, Andrew here. I just got back from a 5 day 4 night trip to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. Miss USA traveled to the sunny local of Paradise Island to work and pal around with kids from the islands who were benefiting from the Butch Kersner Foundation charity which helps at risk youth in the Bahamas…Oh and Michael Jordan was having a golf tournament as well. The Michael Jordan charity golf tournament invites sports and entertainment celebrities to come down to the Bahamas to raise money for foundations like The Make A Wish Foundation and the Butch Kersner Foundation. Oversized checks were dropped like dollar bills on good causes. The weeks events included a Versace Fashion Show, Jerry Seinfeld stand up, Michaels eponymous gold tournament, and a celebrity softball game pitting two teams of well known’s against each other with coaches A-Rod and Jeter calling the shots. Yes, I saw Spike Lee round second and slide into third only to be tagged out by Jerome Bettis and yes, it might be the most ridiculous I have ever seen in my life.

The Atlantis resort is a Vegas hotel located in the Bahamas instead of a desert. It is supposed to be the uncovered city of Atlantis featuring artifacts, sculptures and ancient paintings. They even have Casino’s and rocks that have speakers in them so you can listen to Jimmy Buffet, just like the ancient Atlanteans. We were treated to an exceptional stay overseen by our most gracious host Cecile. Alas, there was video work to be done so the dolphins will have to wait until the next time I’m back to swim with me. I’ll miss you guys.

Look for the Bahamas video to be up within the next couple weeks at The pictures from the trip should be up within the next day or so.


Friday, January 22, 2010


Where I was Wednesday night:

Also, here are a couple of videos we have been working on.  Much more coming soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fun at MUO!

Everything is going well at the Miss Universe Organization! Andrew and I have had fun over the past two weeks shooting and editing videos for the website and are very excited for them to be posted soon. We also have been working heavily on a promotional video for the Miss Universe pageant that has taken up most of our time. There is plenty of work to do, which is great because I love to stay busy! Some exciting trips are coming up in the next month! Andrew is leaving Thursday for the Bahamas with Miss USA and a trip to Venezuela could also happen very soon. I'm looking forward to shooting a web video next week at a photo shoot that Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA all have with Fadil Berisha. Here are some pictures we took in the office today.

Andrew and I with our boss Colin

The view from the office on the 16th floor

Talk to you again soon!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Week

Nicole and I have tackled our first week working for the Miss Universe Organization. All in all, I have nothing but good things to say about our experience thus far. Our boss, Colin, is an outgoing lover of life who, above all things considered concerning this internship, trusts Nicole and I to deliver professional work. There is no looking over shoulders or handholding--a true work environment. We have creative freedom to pursue what we think will work for the company and our youthful outlooks on the changing media landscape are appreciated.

The MUO staff is nothing but jolly and friendly as Nicole and I were accepted into the ranks with a nice large carryout Chinese lunch on our first day. So large, in fact, that leftovers are still floating around in the kitchen's fridge. I had the opportunity to shoot one of Miss Universe’s English lessons and have spent the week creating a video from the footage and brainstorming for videos to do in the coming weeks. The freedom and trust we are given are amazing, and I truly feel like a part of the organization.

More on the New York experience in future posts. Trust me, there will be pictures next time.

So, dear readers, till another day. Stay Healthy.

-Andrew Betsch

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Week with MUO

I have worked three days and so far love it at Miss Universe! Everyone in the office has been so friendly and helpful, which has made Andrew and I feel very welcome. On the first day I got up so early that I arrived at work 40 minutes early and waited in a coffee shop across the street until it was time to go in, haha. MUO has been so much fun! We have already met Miss USA, Miss Universe, and Miss Teen USA who are all very beautiful. Colin, our boss, is fun to work with. He encourages us to be creative and think of new story ideas for videos to make for the Miss Universe website. We have already been given a lot of responsibility, which is great! Today I started editing a promo video for the Miss Universe pageant and worked on schedules for upcoming shoots. Living in New York City is fun too! Last night I went out with a few friends from my dorm and walked around Times Square. The cold weather is the only downside, but at least we do not have snow right now like in Athens. I am going to bed now because I am so tired from the past few days.

Can't wait for another exciting day tomorrow at the MUO office!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 1 in NYC!

Hello Readers!

Today I flew into New York City. It is my first time in NYC, and I love it already! I am staying in a women's dormitory in Manhattan where I get a small room and two meals a day. There are also other OU students here which makes me almost feel like I am back in Athens. Living here for 6 months is going to be a blast, though right now it sounds like a very long time.

Tomorrow is my and Andy's first day of work with the Miss Universe Organization and I am very excited to get started. I spent hours tonight deciding what to wear just in case tomorrow is the day that we meet Miss USA or Miss Universe. I am looking forward to meeting all of our new co-workers including OU alumna and president of the Miss Universe Organization, Paula Shugart. I also hope to find out where Miss USA will be traveling soon. In case you missed it, Andy and I will be following with Miss USA as she travels around the world raising awareness for her chosen causes. I cannot wait to see more of New York, but I am also ready for some international travel!

Being new to New York, I am a little nervous about getting lost. I walked around the city today looking for the building where we will be working and found it eventually. Along the way, I passed through Times Square and detoured over to Rockefeller Center. To my surprise, the Christmas tree was still standing there, which is something I have always wanted to see. I cannot wait to see what else the city has to offer!

Wish us luck for tomorrow!