After begging Ruben repeatedly to take me to
for the past few months, (which is odd because he's the one who does most of the CNN watching in our household), we finally went and did the
. It's just one of those things that you have to do when you're in Atlanta, in addition to seeing the World of Coca Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, which we already did the summer we moved here.
VIP status! Whoop whoop!
I have to admit, before I met Ruben, I hardly watched CNN, or any news for that matter. (Yes, I actually know how bad that sounds.) But since we met, I can proudly say that I am now a news watcher! Granted, I don't watch CNN as religiously as Ruben, but whenever it's on my ears do perk up and I actually pay attention. Besides, there's one news anchor in particular that catches my attention every time we watch CNN: Anderson Cooper!
We love you Anderson!
I was devastated to find out that Anderson doesn't shoot any of his shows in Atlanta, but rather New York. I guess that gives us another reason to visit New York one of these days!
Any way, the tour started off by riding on the tallest free standing escalator in the world, which is eight stories tall.
Our tour guide (who's name is slipping my mind at the moment) went into the nitty gritty details of how everything works, from who controls the cameras to what appears in the background behind the news anchor, to what happens in the control room and what happens when there's a breaking news story. EVERYTHING.
One interesting fact: CNN isn't 100% live. There is always a 5-10 second delay from the time that everything is recorded to the time that it actually airs. Other than that, it's live! We even got to watch one of the news anchors (whose name I can't seem to remember) report the news (live) and met Fredricka Whitfield!
Aside from the tour being extremely factual, there were also a lot of fun camera opportunities:
I think Ruben may give Dr. Sanjay Gupta a run for his money one of these days!
During the tour, our tour guide asked for a volunteer to help him explain how the green screen works. (No one was budging so I happily stepped forward!) Although CNN no longer uses the green screen to give weather reports--they now use a really big flat screen--I think it's still fun for tours! Here's what you see in the studio...
...and here's what you see on TV!
Interesting fact: This same method is used for Harry Potter's invisibility cloak!
I even got to do a little bit of teleprompter reading!
I think I may just have to switch to journalism!
CNN Center (VIP tour) is definitely something you should check out at least once if you're in Atlanta. Sure, you don't get free soda samples from around the world like you would at the World of Coca Cola, but it's a cool experience and you really do learn a lot. Not to mention you get a bit of exercise from all the walking that you do on the tour! :P