Wellesley's Alex Azzi Interned in Highlights Factory, Created Own Video

August 17, 2012

Wellesley junior Alex Azzi co-produced a video for NBC Olympics, recently highlighted on the front page of NBCOlympics.com, about the prominence of women in the Games of the XXX Olympiad. The work was part of an internship she held this summer with NBC Olympics, working at NBC’s temporary "at home" Highlight Factory in New York. 

“It was a great experience,” she said. “I watched lots of events and compiled highlight videos that were posted online.” Over the past two years at Wellesley, Azzi has been interning with filmmaker Mary Mazzio of 50 Eggs Film Productions. Mazzio’s office is at Babson, and Azzi would commute there once or twice a week on the Babson-Olin-Wellesley shuttle. Mazzio connected her to the opportunity in New York.

With the Olympic Games being held in Greenwich Mean Time, five hours ahead of New York’s Eastern Daylight Time, interns worked nontraditional hours. Azzi was on the 4:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. shift, but said, “I usually stayed a little later, especially as this project got underway. The hours (and the lack of sleep) were definitely worth it, though!”

NBC Olympics spread out in NBC headquarters at the famed 30 Rockefeller Plaza (30 Rock), and took over studio 8H—putting the interns’ desks on one of the Saturday Night Live stages. “I kept finding myself feeling overwhelmed by all of the cool history surrounding the place,” Azzi said.

But not too overwhelmed to come to the attention of supervisors, who encouraged Azzi and fellow intern Alex Solimanto (a junior from Syracuse University) in producing a creative piece of their own. “As the Games progressed,” Azzi said, “it became clear that the women were the dominant force of Team USA. We decided to produce a feature highlighting their success and all the ‘firsts’ that women achieved throughout these London Games.” With women’s debut in the Olympic boxing ring, it seemed appropriate to have former boxer Laila Ali, NBC’s expert commentator for that sport, narrate the piece. “It took Alex and me a long time to come up with the final wording in the script, so it was definitely a bizarre experience—but exciting!—to listen to Muhammad Ali’s daughter record the words we had written,” recalled Azzi.

In addition to her NBC Olympics gig, this summer Azzi interned with director Cheryl Furjanic from New York University’s anthropology department. Among other work, she served as a production assistant on Furjanic’s new film, Back on Board: The Story of Greg Louganis, following up on the life of the U.S. diver who won gold at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.  

Azzi has taken several film courses while at Wellesley and worked on independent projects in addition to interning at 50 Eggs. She is also a member of Wellesley’s field hockey team. “Being a student-athlete at Wellesley has been incredible. I’m so glad I have the opportunity to be on a team and compete at the collegiate level. Because of my passions for both sports and filmmaking, I can definitely see myself doing more similar work in the future.”

For now, she is taking a year off from her studies to volunteer with the AmeriCorps NCCC FEMACorps program. Stationed out of Vicksburg, Miss., she will be traveling around the southern United States working on disaster relief and recovery. She will return to Wellesley in 2013 to rejoin the field hockey team and earn her degree in American Studies.