Senior Rob Taylor loves filmmaking and candlepin bowling. As a Communication Studies major at CAMD, he combined these passions by devoting his fall co-op to relaunching the TV show Candlepin New Generation. Thanks to his hard work, the show has been airing on Wednesdays on NESN for the past few months. We asked Rob about why he chose CAMD, what it was like to work for himself on co-op, and what he treasures most about his time at Northeastern.
Senior, graduating this May
Communication Studies with a minor in Psychology
Why did you choose CAMD?
In high school I started having fun producing some small (admittedly terrible) home movies (that I hope never to watch again), and decided that I liked the medium and wanted to get into it. Video production seemed like a great way to combine my strength in English and love of writing in a way that could eventually help me land a job.
I chose Northeastern due to the versatility of the school. I loved the co-op program and the chance to do some “trial runs” at what a video production career would be like. Since video production had only been a hobby to that point, I liked that if I were to change my mind about what I wanted to do, I could take advantage of an incredible range of opportunities at Northeastern and CAMD.
Tell us about your co-op last fall.
My co-op last fall gave me the unique chance to work for my company Holiday Turtle Productions and run my television show Candlepin New Generation full-time. I completely overhauled the program, rebranding it, designing a new logo and website, securing sponsorships, building the show’s social media base, scheduling events and tapings, recruiting kids, and scripting the show, all on top of producing and editing the season’s twenty episodes, one of which you can watch below.
I’ve been working on the show since I was a freshman, editing and producing twenty web episodes a season. Last season, after reviewing an episode, it occurred to me that the show was television-quality. I reached out to some television networks and sponsors, managed to negotiate an airtime cost, and then convinced sponsors to cover the airtime to get my show on the air. We began with a crowd-funded pilot episode that aired in December of 2012, and then got extended for six more episodes in the spring of 2013. This year, our sponsors liked the work enough to purchase nine more episodes.
It was great to pour myself into the program on co-op, and I think the show has taken a major step forward in quality accordingly. After months of hard work, it’s been exciting to watch Candlepin New Generation each week on NESN. A part of me is sad to see the season coming to an end, but another part is very excited at the free time that will open up, and the opportunities that will come accordingly.
What’s the most fun/interesting/unique thing you’ve done as a student?
No doubt, it was my entire Campus MovieFest experience last year, which I wrote about for the CAMD website. My most vivid memory was from pulling an all-nighter with fellow NUTV members Emil Gruber and Matt Novak editing our quirky short film “No Chance” (which you can watch below). It was three in the morning, we were in the library, and Emil and I had reached a point of hysterical laughter because we thought the unlicensed song “Disco Sting” was a terrible fit for the video, and yet we had no other options.
Cut to the red-carpet finale. It was a blast and I had so much fun watching all the great films that our student body had put together. And then it turned out that we had won!
After our win, I got word from my professor and mentor Dr. Alan Zaremba that CAMD was willing to send me out to Hollywood to the National Campus MovieFest event, where I toured movie studios, met industry professionals, saw my film screened in Universal Studios, and attended a red carpet event with celebrities introducing the best student films in the country. I’ll never forget it.
What are your plans for the future and how has your time at CAMD helped to prepare you?
I’m trying to make a bit of a career shift by bringing my video production skills into the world of education. I loved the strategic elements of running my own business, and I’d like to try to bring my business skills to the education world, which I think I would find tremendously rewarding. Short-term, I’m looking to get a Master’s in Education that will allow me to start teaching high school students. Long-term, I hope to move into educational leadership, and bring a forward-thinking approach to secondary education.
My time at CAMD will help me on both fronts. Frankly, I think every teacher should learn the communication theories and skills that I learned in my classes. With everybody having a camera on their phone and free editing software with every computer or tablet you own, I envision video being a medium all students will need to be well-versed in by the next generation, and I’d like to be a leader in incorporating that into curriculum.
Finally, the organizational skills I learned have already helped me tremendously in my work as a leader at NUTV, and in bringing my candlepin bowling show to television via pitches and sponsorship presentations. CAMD gave me the confidence that if I have the chance to present to the right person, I’m going to get the result I want!
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m a big proponent of trying new things and taking advantage of all the resources Northeastern and CAMD have to offer. In terms of career path, I’ve bounced around from video production to law, neuroscience, and education, and throughout it all, I found Communication Studies had the flexibility to help me connect to all of those arenas. There’s so much value in getting to experience the hobbies and careers that interest you.
Tune in to Candlepin New Generation on Wednesdays at 5pm on NESN through April 2, 2014.