GatorNBS takes on Hollywood, CA

Hi everyone,

What a week it has been here in Los Angeles, California representing UF’s wonderful College of Journalism and Communications. I’ve learned so many new skills and have met many great people. If you’d like a quick recap of what we did this week, I briefly blogged about it on my wordpress website.

Now, on to the exciting news! As usual, UF dominated the student competition. This year, we had 15 finalists in the national competition. That alone is a huge accomplishment. Tonight (Saturday, March 15), UF took home 6 total awards!!!

  • Leanna Scachetti, Audio News Package, Grand Prize (Plane Crash Breaking Newscast)
  • Lauren Rautenkranz, Video Feature Package, Grand Prize (Local farm benefitting from Halloween)
  • Bothaina Saleh, Video Open Category, Grand Prize, WUFT News Veterans Day Special
  • Lauren Rautenkranz, NBS-AERho Member of the Year
  • University of Florida, Chapter of the Year
  • Shahd El Lamei, Instagram On the Spot Competition

I am so incredibly proud and honored to be a part of such a great university! The Chapter of the Year award was something I have been striving for during my time as the GatorNBS President. I’d love to know if this is a first for UF!? I’m glad our hard work paid off. I’m also so happy with all 20 students who attended this week. They networked with professionals, asked questions during panel discussions, met with other students from different chapters, acted and dressed very professionally, and were consistently on their best behavior. Next year, NBS heads to Atlanta, GA for the annual convention.

I’ll be back in Gainesville for WUFT News at Six on Monday. I cannot wait to get back to my second home! Feel free to share this great news with others in our college. 🙂

Lauren Rautenkranz
GatorNBS President

Welcome back!

Hi Gators!

With the first week of the semester already in the books, we (the GatorNBS executive board) are excited to announce a rundown of what we have in store for our members for the next few months. We hope you’re excited about GatorNBS and if you have any suggestions, we want to hear them! This is all about YOU, the members. Here’s a look at what we’ve got coming your way:

  • Jan. 20 @ 8PM in Library West: Pre-Convention Meeting (for those members who are going to the March convention, or who are still considering)
  • Jan. 21 @ 6:30PM in Reitz Ballroom: MLK Event, Keynote speaker T.J. Holmes (join the event here)
  • Jan. 30 @ 7PM in Aha! Lab and adjoining conference rooms: “Get Your Act Together with GatorNBS” (resume building, career development, internship/job search help)
  • Feb. 11 @ 7PM in Weimer G030: “Learning with Les” (Les Rose is visiting again!)
  • March 26-28 @ TBA: Telecommunications Advisory Council visit
  • March 28: Relay for Life (more info to come)
  • April 19 @ TBA: ChomPics Marathon

We will also be hosting former SNL cameraman, Jan Kasoff again, but the date is still up in the air. We will have other events to add to this calendar, including socials and general body meetings. Until then, we hope this can get you excited about the semester and what’s to come with GatorNBS.

Have a great weekend!

ChomPics Guest Post – Episode 1 Director of Cinematography Lizette Arocha

A couple days ago we heard from Kate Wenzel, the director of ChomPics Production’s first episode for the 2013-2014 season. Now check out what Lizette Arocha, the director of cinematography for episode 1, has to say about her experience! :

On September 15, I received an email that said “UF National Broadcasting Society TV Production Project”. Reading it, I immediately knew that I want to be part of this project. I could tell that this was something bigger than any other opportunity in the college. I marked my calendar to attend the information meeting. I found it odd that the meeting would take place in room 1090, knowing that it is a small room, because I could just picture every production student jumping at this opportunity. Like I expected, the information meeting was packed. Somehow we crammed 77 people into a room that holds 25! However, what surprised me most was not the number of people, but finding out that this entire project was the brainchild of two students: Beth Benge and Connor Hachey. I guess I was expecting it to be led by professors. It was clear that Beth and Connor had been working to bring this idea to life for quite some time, and they had clear plan of what they were doing. It was reassuring to see that, because it meant that this was not something that would die down without ever getting finished.

A few days later, I filled out my application. It wasn’t too hard to choose my team preferences. I’m into production; writing, acting, and marketing are not my things, so I chose the Technical Services/Cinematography, Directing, and Editing teams. I’m pretty sure that was the order of preference, but I remember changing it many times before settling on it. I wanted to challenge myself, but I didn’t want to take on too much. I also wanted to be part of principal photography rather than post-production because filming with a large crew would be a much more different experience than filming in small groups for class projects. Then I came to a checkbox: “Check here if you would like to be considered for a Director position within a team”. I hesitated, and I skipped over it. I filled out the rest of the application and then came back to that checkbox. I checked it, I unchecked it, I checked it again. I stared at that little box. It meant the difference between participating in the project and having creative input on it. It meant throwing a massive responsibility on my shoulders. It meant giving up a lot of free time throughout the semester. It meant adding a very impressive entry to my résumé and my portfolio. I thought long and hard about checking that box. I knew that I would be producing a short film for my Advanced Camera and Lighting Techniques class that would take over my free time the second half of the semester. I wasn’t very happy with the last short film I did for a class, so I wanted to put extra effort into this one for a kind of personal redemption. On the other hand, I didn’t want to shortchange myself by having a lower position. Although I was confident that I would be able to fulfill a Director position, I was scared of not living up to that potential, of being overwhelmed, or of jeopardizing my short film. After a very long time, I psyched myself up to check the box. I told myself this was an opportunity I could not pass up and that I was perfectly capable of doing it. I also kind of tricked myself into calming down by thinking “they might not choose me anyway” and “I can do one of next semester’s episodes.” Before I could change my mind again, I submitted the application.

The following week I received a reply: “Congratulations! We would like to offer you the position of Director of Cinematography/Technical Service Director for the 2013/2014 NBS TV Production Project!.” I was thrilled, but at the same time I got scared again. I tried not to let it get to me and decided just to approach it with a positive attitude and focus on the value of this opportunity. That worked fine until we had our first Technical Services Team meeting. Beth and Connor announced that I had been chosen specifically to work on the pilot episode because I had the most experience out of all the Directors of Cinematography. I freaked out again. The pilot was to be produced during November, when I knew that I would be busy with my own short film. Worse, the potential shooting days for both projects were on the same weekend. For the next few days I seriously considered asking to be assigned a later episode, but I kept hearing “We chose you for the pilot because you have the most experience.” I knew I would be letting Beth and Connor down if I backed out at that point. I gave myself a bit of a pep talk, shook off the negativity and my fears, and decided to buckle down and accept the challenge.

I took on a proactive approach in order to contribute my best to the project. I asked to be included in the storyboarding process because I felt that it is part of the Cinematographer’s job.  I arranged a training session with my Technical Services crew to teach to use the equipment because they were not all familiar with it. I created a shooting script and shot lists to be organized on set. When we were done filming, I went beyond my position and became an editor as well. All in all, I have dedicated the majority of my free time for over a month to ChomPics. As it turns out, the shooting days for my short film had to be rescheduled, so everything worked out so that I could dedicate the appropriate time to each project.

Checking that little box on the application was the defining moment of this entire experience. Without it, I may have ended up being a boom mic operator wishing to have a larger contribution. Now, I can claim this pilot episode as partly my production instead of just something I worked on. I am so happy that I allowed myself to be chosen as Director of Cinematography and that I accepted the challenge; and I am extremely thankful to Beth, Connor, and whoever else took part in the decision to choose me and assign me the pilot. It was hard and stressful, but in the end very rewarding to have participated in such a big way in this project. I am part of something bigger that I could have imagined, and I am happy to have helped take it off the ground.

Beth and Connor, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you for spearheading this wonderful project. I truly admire your initiative and dedication. Thank you.

I came up with the name for this project, ChomPics. In a very special way that little contribution will always symbolize everything that I have given and will give to this project.

-Lizette Arocha

ChomPics Guest Post – Episode 1 Director Kate Wenzel

We asked a couple of the students working on ChomPics to write up a post for our blog detailing their personal experience with the project. Check out what the director for the first episode, Kate Wenzel, has to say! : 

Randomly stumbling upon a MyCJC newsletter in my inbox was one of the best mishaps I’ve ever made throughout my journey as a student at UF. When reading the letter I came across an opportunity to be involved in a project that involved producing a television series with fellow peers. I’d never really been involved within the school, yet major motion pictures piqued my interest so I put myself out there and went to the “getting involved” meeting for this project and little did I know this project would change my perspective on everything I’d want to do after I graduate.

I originally submitted an application to become a director and art director. I’ve always produced and directed my own films but thought that directing a show like this would give me an opportunity to venture down a path of exploration and fun. I received an email that I was chosen as the position of “Director” and opted to direct the pilot episode. Through casting, pre-planning and storyboarding four hours a night for a week straight, this vision of mine suddenly came to life. Filming, however was an entirely different story. Being on set with 20+ kids who all have the same vision of being a part of something great would send chills down my spine, every single day. All of my peers strived for excellence take after take and the smiles were constant, more so after lunch breaks. Yet, no matter how long we were filming everyone came together to make this project one for the books. I learned with this project that the episode is not over until it’s over. When finished filming we went straight into the editing lab and I literally mean straight into the lab bearing USB Drives and a positive attitude. Editing every night for hours on end can get very tedious, yet even when the nights were getting long and our eyeballs were on the cusp of burning from staring at the screen so long the editors for my episode persisted to continue and we wouldn’t break until we were all satisfied knowing that we accomplished everything we could that night to make this episode “stand out.”

This project has been more than just yelling “quiet on the set” until I lost my voice. This project really propelled me into realizing that directing is something I want to do the rest of my life. Being a senior in the CJC can be intimidating especially when the only “Production” opportunities are within the realm of news. My whole college journey I’ve debated on whether or not news was the right fit for my life post-college. This project helped me decide what I truly love to do and that’s make films or TV shows, make these productions come to life, make the audience fall in love with these scripts and see the mutual love of people’s appreciation for the art of making quality film. When I graduate I can easily see myself independently producing my own surfing and skating films but also getting involved within TV production.

Getting involved with Chompics is more than just joining another student organization within the CJC, it’s becoming a part of a family. Everyone with this project just wants to be successful. Everyone wants to make quality work to show off and say “yeah, I helped make this.” This project so far has already exceeded my expectations more than I could ever describe. The relationships I’ve made and team work I’ve experienced on set are just small parts of the vitally important skills that I’ll carry on with me throughout the entirety of my film-making career. Chompics is setting standards for quality of work that should be produced in this college. I am proud to represent such an amazing project in its beginning stages and I can only hope that this project carries on for years and years to come. Why? Simple. This project is more than just another project to me. This show made me realize what I want to pursue for a living and I hope that others can experience that same realization. To all students who have questioned joining this process. I just want to say don’t second guess yourself, it’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make while you’re a student at the University of Florida. Welcome to the Chompics family and Go Gators!

– Kate Wenzel

First meeting SUCCESS!

Hello GatorNBS-ers,

Thank you to everyone who came out tonight to support GatorNBS. We had about 90 people in attendance, which was fantastic! The meeting was simple, but very informative. A lot of dates were spit out and I will rehash them all in this post for those of you who could not make the meeting tonight.


First off, a huge thanks to Renee Gork for being tonight’s guest speaker. She spoke on different opportunities for students and told us all how we can get involved in the CJC. Her office is on the third floor of Weimer Hall if you’d like to go chat. You can also email her at


We also went over exactly what GatorNBS is, how to join, and when we will meet this semester. Get out your planners and mark down these important dates:

•Sept 12 @ 6:30pm in Aha! Lab: HCA “How to Survive” Workshop
•Oct 2 Telecom Ad Council Preview (Big/Little applications)
•Oct 3-4 Nielsen visit
•Oct 9 Rapid Fire
•Oct 10-11 Telecom Ad Council 1 on 1’s
     •News Placement Test (Test Prep workshops are TBA)
•Oct 24 Learning with Les Seminar
•Oct 26 Breast Cancer Walk
•November TBA
•December TBA
There were also cookies, a photo booth, and sign up sheets for the national convention, the new production group, and the GatorNBS gmail. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up, please email Thanks again for everyone who came out tonight! Can’t wait to see you next time 🙂 Don’t forget….. For all things GatorNBS:


Facebook page:

Facebook group: UF National Broadcasting Society

Twitter/Instagram: @gatorNBS


Lauren Rautenkranz

GatorNBS President

GatorNBS Facebook Page

Hello GatorNBS!

I have decided to create a public Facebook page to help get our name out there. This will be good for everyone who isn’t in the Facebook group to learn more about us! Then, hopefully they’ll decide to become part of our group. Please share and like the page. GatorNBS has big surprises in store for Fall semester. Hope you’re getting excited because I know I am!

Gator NBS – University of Florida National Broadcasting Society Facebook Page


Xoxo- Your GatorNBS President, Lauren 🙂