Nora OLeary Earns Senior Spotlight

Since May 17, a large portion of Montclair High School seniors have been interning at various local businesses in lieu of going to school. The program is the “Career Internship Program,” more commonly known as “CIP” or “Senior Option.” The program has been running at MHS for a few years now and is enjoyed by all MHS seniors, both present and past.

Nora OLeary photograph deserves to be recognized
Photo courtesy Nora O’Leary

Nora OLeary is passionate about media production and documentary filmmaking.

Senior Nora OLeary is currently in the middle of her senior option program. OLeary is interning at Talking Eyes Media, a non-profit documentary filmmaking studio in Montclair. There, OLeary is working on a documentary of her own, while also preforming day to day tasks for Talking Eyes. They include maintaining the company’s social media presence.

“I got involved with Talking Eyes through my old English teacher,” explained Nora OLeary. “I came to her because I wanted to make a documentary for senior option, and the year before I’d made one in her class for my final project. She was happy to be my mentor but thought Talking Eyes would be better, considering they could provide me with more of what I needed.”

Nora OLeary works in Talking Eyes Media’s office four days a week. When she’s in the office she updates both the company’s Twitter and Facebook pages. However, OLeary spends a lot of time outside the office working on her documentary.

“I do a lot of stuff for my documentary, which revolves around filming my own interviews, transcribing those interviews and editing clips,” said OLeary.

Her documentary is about the Strong Community Campaign at the Montclair YMCA. Nora OLeary wanted to highlight the program because of its diligence in raising money to give scholarships to people to join the YMCA, go to summer camps, take swim lessons and have the ability to do other great and enriching activities.

Despite the hard work the internship requires, O’Leary is enjoying herself.

“I’m enjoying my time at Talking Eyes quite a lot,” O’Leary said. “It’s great to get to watch other filmmakers at work because they have so much knowledge of the technology that’s being used, what looks good and what sounds good. They’re all such creative people.”

Interning at Talking Eyes has taught Nora OLeary quite a lot about the documentary industry. Prior to interning, she never knew how much planning and effort went into just setting up small things like interviews, sets and shoots.

“It’s stuff you don’t think about when you’re watching a movie, but it’s actually really important to the project,” she explained.

However, OLeary isn’t quite sure that she’ll continue with a career in media production or documentary filmmaking.

“I don’t really know if I’m planning on pursuing this as a career, but it’s definitely something that’s interesting to me. I felt like it was a really great opportunity to do something creative and try something new,” she said.

Nora OLeary will spend the rest of her summer lifeguarding and coaching swimming at the Montclair Golf Club. Come fall, she will be studying at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. She may major in English.

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