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June 7, 2019

Meet Daniel Rivera

As an Associate Producer, Digital Video, in the Interactive Engagement Group, Daniel Rivera helps create videos for WNET’s websites and social platforms. His projects range from repackaging clips and promos to editing original videos. “I pitch, shoot, edit and animate video for our digital platforms. That ranges from traditional 16:9 to square, vertical and 360,” Daniel says. Read on to learn about Daniel’s work on American Spring Live, his favorite places in Bushwick, and more.

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

I was a Legal Studies major and working with lawyers when I realized it wasn’t the life I wanted for myself. I have always been creative, so I switched majors to Television and Film. I was assistant editor at a Post Production house for four years. I worked the machine room and did edits, motion graphics and learned plenty of color correction. I actually worked on a lot of PBS content while I was there: American Experience, Great Performances at the Met, Art21, and plenty of documentaries. I spent two years as the impact producer and editor at Skylight, a human rights media organization, creating all of the social video for their platforms. My desire to grow brought me to WNET.

You were part of the amazing team that ventured to California in April to work on American Spring LIVE. What was it like to work behind the scenes of this groundbreaking three-night Nature event, and what are some of the videos you and the digital team produced for it?

Let me just say that Spring Live, though quite the feat, was one of the most satisfying projects I have worked on. IEG created countdowns, numerous ads, and social promos for each night, fact videos, IG stories and  crash course videos (which I actually filmed birds in Central Park for). This was all before we left for California. We definitely had our work cut out for us!

Heather Toner, Chelsea Rugg, Erin McIntyre and I produced the ASL Pre-Show, which was impressive given that we spent one day shooting in Three Rivers, drove down to the Studio in LA and shot some more, and edited it all in one day, graphics and all. Chelsea and I split up the editing and made it happen.  We finished it off with recap videos and live clips captured from the live cams. Yes, it was quite intense, but I dare say I miss it!

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

We know the usual suspects: Wishbone, Arthur and Zoom. But Nature has always had a special place in my heart. While my parents were working, my abuela (grandmother) would take care of me and she didn’t really know English. But Nature was the one show we were both always excited for. When a Nature show was on, she would say “Vamos a ver los animales” (let’s watch the animals). She didn’t know what they were saying, but she was just fascinated by the Nature programs.

Which three shows airing on our stations this month are you most likely to watch, stream, or record?

I am definitely going to catch Secrets of the Dead for Cleopatra’s Lost Tomb and World War Speed. The Nile: Rivers of Life and Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life on American Masters are also on my must-watch list.

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn, but borderline Ridgewood, Queens. But we are NOT making Ridgewick a thing! I enjoy Salud, a nice Latin fusion restaurant not far from me. And Nowadays is a very nice bar with outdoor backyard and BBQ.  Can’t go wrong with that.

What book are you currently reading?

I often like picking up a book I read a long time ago and reading it again to see how much my perspective and understanding have changed. I actually just started rereading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

Way too many to count. I spend a lot of my time freelancing and helping friends and brands tell their stories. And I take ballet classes every Thursday night because it’s when I feel the most centered and aware of my body and myself. I also spend a lot of time on the piano and singing. Anyone who has gone to Karaoke with me knows that I love singing.

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