Media and Film Studies: New York Trip 2013

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At 4.30 in the morning, on Monday 17th of December, when you guys were fast asleep, 36 Media and Film students were blearily boarding a bus to Heathrow.

Ten Hours later we touched down at JFK New York City. Most of us had never been to Manhattan before and didn't really know what to expect.

The atmosphere as we walked through the city towards the Empire State Building was stunning. The amazing bright lights of so many different colours and the amazing skyscrapers were unbelievably spectacular. The famous yellow taxis, the stars and stripes everywhere and the steam emerging from the manhole covers made it a true American scene.

Going up in the Elevator to the 86th floor was really fast and and I had to pop my ears because of the altitude.

We were so high up but couldn't see much because it was so foggy. But we could hear the city which made it spooky and mysterious. We walked home through Times Square which was just astonishing, like nothing I have ever seen before, so many screens, so many lights, so much to see, and so many really cool Disney Characters to pose for photos with!

The next morning we headed to a traditional American Diner and gorged ourselves on piles of crispy bacon, french toast, massive maple pancakes unlimited coffee and tea.

After breakfast we had a three hour coach tour of loads of film and tv locations from Friends, Spiderman, Men in Black, I Am Legend and Home Alone.

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After a quick Pretzel and swinging past The Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero and The Statue of Liberty we arrived at the New York Film Academy for a digital cinematography workshop.

We shot a short film on the streets of Manhattan, which was a great experience for me and I'm sure for others as well. Our films were all screened back at the Academy and we really appreciated the constructive feedback from the group leaders.

The next day saw us taking the subway out to Astoria, a more suburban part of New York, to the East of the main Manhattan Island.

We were visiting the Museum of the Music Image which is one the largest film and television museums in the world. The exhibitions were really amazing we saw a brilliant stroboscope which explained how all films are really just still image images that are run past our eyes so quickly that they create the illusion of movement.

We also saw Marlon Brando's original dental plumper from The Godfather, an unbelievably realistic pair of prosthetic legs from Black Swan and the original Yoda from Star Wars.

The whole exhibition was really interesting and showed how film and television are art forms in their own right, with their own history. We also got to see how easy it is to replace the voice of Jack Black in School of Rock with the voice of Alistair Brazier.

In the afternoon we had a guided tour through Central Park, which was beautiful, and then we went up to the top of the Rockefeller Centre to the observation deck.

It was a really clear evening and we could see the lights of the City extending for more than 40 miles.

It was an unbelievable sight and a real highlight of the trip.

Roberta Testori

A Level Media student