People are at their best when they feel included. What better way to feel included than to come together and celebrate an interest that we all have – films and filmmaking. There is no bigger night to do this than during the Oscars! That was what student Sydney Van Leeuwen was thinking when she pitched the idea to our campus community. It turns out that everyone was on the same page and wanting to share the viewing experience. One thing led to another and we quickly had a committee that began planning for the big night. Fast forward a few weeks and Oscar night was happening. The tables quickly filled up with students, alumni, seasoned filmmakers and general moviegoers.

For many people, this was their first time seeing the award show in a real movie studio. Attendees remarked on the setup: a gold, silver and black color scheme with an array of Hollywood decorations that dressed up with studio and gave everyone a fancy feeling.

This was definitely an opportunity to dress up. People took full advantage of it, with some of our students pulling out their prom, movie premiere and other special occasion dresses and suits. All types of clothing, glitter, fabric and accessories were seen, from metallic jackets to pocket watches. This opened the floor for all kinds of stories about how special outfits can have more than one life. We captured the fashion and stories during live interviews, which were streamed over Facebook and are saved for folks who missed the fun in-person.

Fashion aside,we also captured Oscar movie predictions and reactions. Throughout the night, attendees filled out ballots with their predictions. We awarded people for getting it right! Folks with the highest scores were interviewed and featured on Facebook. We will be publishing a podcast recap with our highest score earner, Matthew Jarjosa.

Most people agreed that filling our ballots, comparing predictions and watching the ceremony brought the community closer. The step and repeat and killer lighting also helped. You know what they say, if you didn’t take a photo, it didn’t happen.