Awwww: Firefighters sing ‘Let it Go’ while rescuing family from elevator

From WHDH News Boston:

READING, Mass. (WHDH) – Firefighters in Reading were called upon to rescue a family of three from an elevator, but more than the rescue it’s their singing that’s getting attention.

Four-year-old Kaelyn Kerr was stuck in the elevator with her mother and brother after a visit to the salon.

“As we approached the second floor the elevator stopped, we pressed every button known to man, nothing happened, we tried to push through the door and it was stopped,” Kaelyn’s mother Kristin Kerr said.

Firefighters lowered a ladder in, but Kaelyn was too scared to climb up, that’s when one firefighter asked what her favorite movie was and she said Frozen, the popular Disney movie.

They weren’t just familiar with the movie, but one of the firefighters actually had the Oscar winning song ‘Let it Go’ on his cell phone.

“He pulled out his phone and on his phone was the song ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen. He put it on and they all started singing to her,” Kerr said.

“I just started singing and grabbed my phone, because you know, I’m sure she didn’t want to hear me singing the entire time,” Scott Myette said.

After the song Kaelyn was more comfortable climbing up the ladder and out from the elevator.

“I don’t think it’s anything different than what anyone else would have done. Whether they sang or you know, distract with a little stuffed animal, I think it’s probably along those lines,” John Keough said.
The firefighters said they are glad everything worked out in the end.

Kerr said she was relieved they were out, entertained by the firefighters’ show and impressed with their singing voices.

Now I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a teeny tiny bit tired of Adele Nazeem’s hit, “Let it Go.” I’ve been listening to the song for months—the movie version, in live performance, parodies and so on. The song even plays multiple times a day on my office radio station. But when I saw this story, I just HAD to share.

I’m always amazed at how Disney and Disney movies can tie in to everyday life and touch so many different people. I was lucky enough to see the movie before it was released and I just knew the song would be a hit. It’s so powerful and Idina Menzel is just the perfect powerhouse artist for this now iconic song.

Do you have a favorite “Let it Go” rendition? Below are a few of my favorites:

Here it is in 25 different languages. I’m really hoping to learn the song in Mandarin!

I first watched this video when it only had a little more than 10,000 views. Now it has nearly nine million. (His Pooh Bear is my favorite part.)

And the African tribal version. I still can’t believe the girl is only 11 years old!

NBD: Disney buying Maker Studios for $500 million, could reach $950 million

From Bloomberg:

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) agreed to buy Maker Studios, a supplier of online video content to YouTube, for $500 million, gaining technology and experience with short-form entertainment.

Disney also agreed to pay as much as $450 million more if Maker Studios meets “strong” performance targets, the Burbank, California-based company said today in a statement. That could boost the total to $950 million.

With Maker Studios, Disney is following DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. into an online video business with expanding audiences and little profit. DreamWorks Animation, producer of the “Shrek” movies, bought AwesomenessTV, a smaller competitor of Maker Studios, for $33 million plus as much as $84 million in incentives last year. The online outlets could help media companies build awareness for films and TV shows.

“Short-form online video is growing at an astonishing pace and with Maker Studios, Disney will now be at the center of this dynamic industry with an unmatched combination of advanced technology and programming expertise and capabilities,” Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

With more than 55,000 channels, 380 million subscribers and 5.5 billion views a month on Google Inc.’s YouTube, Culver City, California-based Maker has established itself as one of the top online video networks for young audiences, Disney said.

Buying Again

“There is a lot of good happening in digital video networks,” Mike Vorhaus, a technology consultant at Magid Advisors, said in an interview. “There are a ton of eyeballs and the content isn’t expensive to produce. There just hasn’t been a lot of meaningful profit yet.”

The acquisition is one of the biggest for Disney, the world’s largest entertainment company, since the $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm Ltd. in 2012. In the online space, Maker could potentially exceed the $563.2 million Disney spent in 2010 on mobile game maker Playdom. Disney paid $350 million in 2007 for Club Penguin online world.

Disney rose 0.6 percent to $79.98 in extended trading after the deal was announced. The stock fell 1.1 percent to $79.49 at the close in New York and gained 4 percent this year.

Maker Studios reports to Jay Rasulo, Disney’s chief financial officer, according to the statement. The online company was founded in 2009, according to a regulatory filing.

Disney had $4.4 billion in cash at the end of September, according to regulatory filings.


You may not recognize Maker Studios buy its name, but you most likely know the popular YouTubers behind this now very wealthy company. Maker Studios was founded by Ben Donovan, Danny Zappin, Scott Katz, Lisa Donovan, Shay Carl ButlerPhillip DeFrancoKassem Gharaibeh and Derek S. Jones.

Honestly, I didn’t even know about Maker Studios. As someone who has been a member of the YouTube community since 2006, I’m really excited for the people behind this deal. And I’m excited for Disney.

To give some kind of comparison to try to understand just how much money this is – Disney’s Frozen recently became a billion-dollar franchise. Any way you slice this deal, that’s a lot of zeroes.

As a Disney Cast Member, I can definitely understand the acquisition. I feel The Walt Disney Company really wants to keep up with the times and evolve alongside technology. The public may not always agree with this sentiment, which is understandable. But I think the loyal fans of this site can rest assured that Disney doesn’t want to change anything about Maker Studios. It’s obviously doing pretty well for itself already…

What do you think of this deal?

My Volunteer Experience

On Monday, September 26, 2011, I volunteered for the University Lecture Series (ULS) when they presented Common:  One Day It’ll All Make Sense. This is also the title of his book, which you can find here.

I knew I wanted to volunteer for ULS when the schedule was posted at the beginning of the semester. Once I learned Lara Logan (which is now canceled) would be a guest I did whatever I could to be a part of the group.

Once I arrived I was given a volunteer lanyard and a staffing schedule letting me know what role I would be in charge of.  It was storming on this night and Common was running late.

My role was event greeter. My job was to stand at the entrance of the Marshall Student Center and inform attendees on where to go. This event was open to the public and it was really interesting to see how an event of that magnitude was executed.

During the Q&A portion of Common’s lecture, a student gave him a drawing they had done of him. After the lecture I went to gather my stuff out of the room and while I was leaning down I saw the drawing. I said, “Wow, that is really cool.” However, I had no idea the person holding the drawing was none other than Common himself. Lol. I would do something like that.

ULS gathered the volunteers at the end and thanked us for our help and Common said he thought we did a wonderful job. They also presented Common with a scrapbook of student letters, which I thought was a great touch.

Here is an article from USF’s newspaper about the event!

It was great night overall! Photo courtesy of Greg Bryon:

My favorite part of the lecture was the beginning when Common did a rap. This wasn’t just any rap – it was a rap specific to USF… GREATNESS right there!

The world of photojournalism

To continue with this blog’s theme of journalism and the effect technology has had on this industry, it’s only appropriate to talk about photojournalism. In today’s field, you aren’t just a writer, you’re a photographer too.

JPROF, a blog about teaching journalism, has this helpful post featuring rules for the student photojournalist.

Rule No. 1: Take lots of pictures.

Rule No. 2: A pen and notebook are as important as a camera.

Rule No. 3: Plan what you will shoot.

Rule No. 4: Get close to the action.

Rule No. 5: Shoot in the best light possible.

Rule No. 6: Equipment doesn’t matter – use what you have to the best of your ability.

Rule No. 7: Be creative!

Photojojo has a helpful post on nine tips for breaking into photojournalism. Their tips and suggestions are from Jason Geil, who is a successful photo editor for He worked as a staff photojournalist at The Cincinnati Post and his work has appeared in national publications.

PhotoRadar has this article about 14 inspiring and useful photojournalism tips. This post is helpful because it focuses on the approach photojournalists should take. For example, one should shoot from the heart, but must stay neutral at the same time.

Photoshop is a given when talking about photojournalism. Get to know it. Get comfortable with it. Here is a site with a complete list of Photoshop tips. There are of course plenty of YouTube tutorials also at your disposal.

Violence is often a part of photojournalism. The events in Egypt and Libya are a relevant example of this. talks about this reality.

Poynter chimes in with why photojournalism matters.

Kenneth Irby states, “Poynter’s Eyes on the News studies confirmed that people were emotionally affected by pictures and that they are a dominant entry point during the digestion of printed information.”

There is a reason for the popular quote, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” A picture can often accomplish what words cannot. While journalism writing often takes away creativity, photojournalism is an outlet with countless opportunities.

Tips for recording and transcribing interviews

Recording and transcribing interviews can be a hassle, especially if you aren’t paying someone to do the job for you. Thankfully there are programs and resources out there to help make this process hurt a little less.

Programs such as Skype, Audacity and Express Scribe are just a few of these programs.

The benefit with Skype is that it is easy and very inexpensive. Purchasing a Skype Out number for $2.95 a month allows people to call you from a land or cell line and lets you call regular land and cell lines.

The calls in the US and Canada are free. Skype lets you pay as you go for international calls at reasonable rates. The call quality is great and the program is efficient. Google Voice is an alternative to this product.

Audacity is a free, open-source sound editor. Audacity allows you to edit out the parts of the interview you don’t want to keep. You can then change the tempo and slow down the interview. Slowing down the interview will make it easier to transcribe without having to push the pause button. gives this review of Audacity. This YouTube video tutorial is a great tool to learn the basics of Audacity.

Express Scribe is also a free program for Mac users. This program lets you set universal hot keys, slow down or speed up tempo on the fly and add in time stamps to your interview. For example, speed up the interview and then slow it down for quotes.

A foot pedal is a helpful addition to transcribing. This way you can start and stop quicker and easier.

A headset can also make a big difference and will free up your hands if you’re doing a phone interview or transcribing one.

If you are interested in paying for your interview to be transcribed, check out this article.

Go here to read up on your state’s recording policies if you haven’t already. Each state has different rules and regulations regarding consent, possession and publication and citations.

Perhaps one day we will have technology to do this all for us!