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A day away from ‘Big Shot’ Events, Photography

Tomorrow is the big day, or should I say the Big Shot!!! I, along with one of my colleagues, Irena Radojkovic (ACMT‘s marketing and college relations manager and an ACMT alumna), will be meeting a crew from one of the Croatian television stations in the morning. The crew wants to shoot the preparations for the Big Shot and do a preview story for tomorrow’s 6 p.m. news.

Preps begin in the morning with the scaffolding arriving at Pile Gate at 9:30 a.m. Dawn and Bill will stand on the scaffolding to get the best vantage point. They will be the ones actually taking the photographs, while Michael manages the communications between the eight lighting teams on the ground.

ACMT has arranged to have six security guards at Pile Gate tomorrow night to help control pedestrian traffic. Even though the official start of the tourism season is a month away, there’s already a considerable amount of tourists here. We hope that some of them join in the fun tomorrow night!

Dubrovnik is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe. Oprah Winfrey is looking into buying an apartment building on Stradun, the main street in Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Any building in Stradun is prime property. Irena says that at the height of tourism season, Stradun is a sea of people. When we arrived on Sunday, Stradun was fairly quiet compared to what I’ve noticed in the past several days. Yesterday, I saw a huge cruise ship pull into Dubrovnik’s Gruž Port. The RIT photography students currently studying here tell me they see at least two ships in the port daily.

In the past week, Irena has done several radio interviews on Radio Dubrovnik, the biggest local radio station in Dubrovnik. She and Willie Osterman, professor in RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, were live on its show, “Golden Apple.” The show, aimed at tourists wanting to learn about news and events in Dubrovnik, airs nationwide throughout all of Croatia. Pretty cool!!! Over the weekend, Irena was interviewed for the show, “Radio Café,” which apparently is the most popular radio show in Croatia.

I wrote a flier to be distributed to all the elementary schools and high schools in the area, which Irena then translated into Croatian. The flier was also distributed to students at the University of Dubrovnik. ACMT bought an ad in the magazine, Dubrovački list.

RIT University News hired a videographer, Nino Ogresta, from Dubrovnik. I met him on Monday and we brainstormed the various video possibilities. I will interview volunteers, the Big Shot organizers and students. Once the Big Shot is over, Nino and I will drive to a satellite uplink station in the city feed the video to CNN in Atlanta. CNN will then provide the video to Rochester television stations and CNN affiliates across the country. Be sure to tune in to your local news tomorrow night. Exciting, huh? I will also bring the video back to RIT and produce a video podcast that you can download in the weeks to come.

Our publicity efforts are certainly working! Big Shot organizer Michael Peres received an e-mail just yesterday from the owner of a Dubrovnik photography gallery. He wanted to know more about the Big Shot. He told Michael he will be there. We’re hoping for about 1,000 volunteers. The weather forecast predicts mid-60s and sunny! This is great news.

  1. Ellen Shady
    Apr 12

    Hi, Kelly. I love reading about your trip and all the logistics of producing a Big Shot. I'm wondering about the "feel" of Dubrovnik. Does it feel Western (people's clothing, etc.), European, or Eastern European? Do many Croatians speak English or other languages, or would you always need an interpreter? Best of luck TONIGHT on the Big Shot! Ellen

  2. Julie
    Apr 12

    Wow--I wish I could be over there to be a volunteer! How exciting!!!! I'm proud of your "investigative" digging to find out about Oprah's real estate possibilities there! Kudos to all the great media coverage you are getting over there, and can't wait to see it here in Rochester!

  3. jenn
    Apr 12

    hey kel! i finally read all the blog entries, a little late, i know! by now, you're probably winding down & i'm sure it was a huge success! i'm so proud of you & glad you're having a wonderfully crazy time! great job over there, everyone! kel, have a funky drink & interesting meal for me!

  4. Kelly Downs
    Apr 18

    Hi Ellen--
    Sorry for the delay in responding to your question. The style of dress is very European, a lot of Italian fashions. Both women and men dress impeccably.Very stylish! I told Irena from ACMT that I would love to hire her as my personal shopper. Her outfits are beautiful. I didn't see a lot of jeans. To give you an idea, people came out for the Big Shot wearing suits. Most Croats speak English. English is taught in the primary schools so children speak fluent Croatian and English. Many of the people I met speak three to four languages. Very impressive!

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