My name is Emma Hagedoorn, and I am a sophomore at Loyola University Maryland. I am the news editor of Loyola’s student news source, The Greyhound, which is where I heard of this opportunity to work with the Labs@LightCity. The main editor of our University Paper, Nick Cirone, had attended some of the labs, and encouraged me to attend. And I am very happy he did! It was such a cool experience to be a part of this festival. As someone who is not a native to Maryland, and this only being my second year to even see the Light City Festival, it was amazing to see a whole new aspect. I had no idea they did different labs, and being able to interview and listen to different speakers was a great opportunity.
I worked on the last day, which was the Food Lab, and as a lover of food myself, this was a perfect day for me. I liked how it was not only chef’s speaking or showing how to cook meals, but other speakers who shared their experiences in Baltimore and with different themes of food in relation to the city and life in general. I felt like a real professional when I walked in and got a photo pass by Pixilated and how I was able to take speakers up to chat with me on camera in front of a green screen.
I had the chance to interview some cool people, who all did different things. My first interview was with two women who spoke about The End of the Boys Club. Both Allison Robicelli and Therese Nelson were such beautiful individuals inside and out and I really enjoyed their panel discussion, along with Alison Price Becker and Rachel Waynberg. They had some great things to say within our student interview about being the change in Baltimore and elsewhere, as well as great advice for college students.
I was also able to interview Devin Johns who is the Social Engagement Manager at Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia. She also had a great personality and it was great to be a part of her first time in Baltimore.
I was finally able to interview the owners of Stall 11 in Baltimore, which serves vegan and vegetarian options. Chef Melanie Molinaro along with Christian De Paco spoke at the Food Labs. Molinaro showed everyone how to make vegan mac n cheese. They were both so open about their restaurant and the city of Baltimore.
Overall, I learned a lot from this experience. I was able to get real time interviewing individuals as well as being on camera. I felt the rush of an event and coming up with questions on the spot and trying to find the speaker before they left. I also get experience on camera and learned some skills about where to stand and how to interview on camera. I would suggest doing this to anyone who is interested in any aspect of communications. I hope to be back next year for more labs!
Food Lab of Labs@LightCity was presented by Visit Baltimore with Wegmans as supporting sponsor. Other members of the Student Newsroom are Nick Cirone, Cache Jackson, Jessi Kim, Naomi Peppers, and Saran Tarawaley.
What does a girl do on one of the most anticipated nights of the year? Attend a LIVE Red Carpet Oscars viewing party, of course! The 26th Annual Washington DC Film Society Live Academy Awards viewing party at the Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse, co-hosted by renowned film critics Tim Gordon and Travis Hopson, was a smashing success. Each year the DC Film Society hosts the event to promote support of FilmFest DC and critics love for film everywhere. Their annual flagship event consists of a “Predict the Winners” contest where film lovers can guess who they think the winners will be and a Silent Auction featuring autographed memorabilia and tickets/passes to future events. All proceeds generated help support the DC Film Society.
I met many of the DC Film Society committee members such as Michael Kyrioglou, Larry Hart, Adam Spector and Cheryl Dixon. The members were so welcoming, professional and passionate regarding the organization’s achievements. Adam Spector enlightened me to some of the additional events that DC Film Society partakes in. One being two trailer events that take place in the summer and winter that show trailers for upcoming blockbusters. Another is the monthly film discussion group called the Cinema Lounge. This is a place where film lovers unite to review, discuss and embark on a wondrous adventure through the love of film. Cheryl Dixon added that they are continuously looking to grow the organization which will only lead to success for this establishment for many years to come.
The Red Carpet broadcast is projected real-time on the Big Screen with live coverage prior to the Oscars telecast. I knew this was going to be a grand event with many intriguing people to interview as well as noteworthy moments to capture, so my attire needed to be on point. For the event, I chose a service that my cousin recommended called Rent the Runway. It is an affordable way to rent high end designer gowns and accessories for events at a fraction of the cost. For just over $100, I rented a Monique Lhuillier gown, silver mesh glam clutch, diamond drop earrings and a bracelet – an ensemble that retails for over $1300. I highly recommend this service for those who want to look a million bucks, but not break the bank.
Traffic was light and my commute from Baltimore to Arlington was a breeze. On the drive, I listened to a few songs from Three Billboards Outside, Ebbing Missouri starring Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, which was nominated for several awards. Carter Burwell’s solemn original score perfectly reflects the mood of the movie (even if it’s a little spaghetti westernish). I definitely recommend checking out both the movie and the score. Little did I know later that night both actors would take home academy awards for their astounding performances in the film; Frances McDormand for Best Actress and Sam Rockwell for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
As I arrived in Arlington, I found off street parking easily located behind the venue. Much to my dismay, the strap to my heel broke on the first step out of the car! I was determined not to let anything ruin my evening. Channeling my inner MacGyver, I quickly repaired my shoe by using the sticky non-slip heel inserts to the strap and back to the heel. Crisis averted! As I entered the venue, I was greeted by the most amazing architecture that made my eyes dance with excitement. The beautiful antique curvature of the ceiling was most thrilling. The old film equipment displayed in the lobby reminded me of old Hollywood. I immediately envisioned Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers dancing in Monkey Business.
As I continued around the corner there were tables set up for the silent auction and a hip bar area that served drinks and popcorn to the right. I stepped into the stunning open theater that displayed tiers of seats and tables that party goers could relax and enjoy the big screen event. The chatter throughout the theater was a good indication that the love for film is very much still alive. During the breaks, live commentary and film trivia was generated by Travis and Tim. A witty and comical duo best known for their WETA All Around Town broadcast. They kept the audience full of laughs and on their toes.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with these gentlemen prior to the event to get the skinny on the most notable Oscar highlights of 2017. Both very charming and charismatic individuals, they were very vociferous regarding their opinions for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress. Tim highly regarded Three Billboards and The Shape of Water as standout films for 2017. Travis agreed the The Shape of Water had many extraordinary high points but remarked Three Billboards on not being a potential front runner. Travis noted that, “Historically a movie rarely wins when the director is not nominated.” Tim added that, “Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell delivered knock out performances,” in the film and knew Three Billboards would be a game changer.
On another note, Travis mentioned the Oscar marketing seemed to push critics to vote for Lady Bird, but thought that Hollywood would snub the film. Travis noted that Laurie Metcalf has done “surprisingly well this year” and Tim agreed that he felt her nomination was well deserved. Though she did not win, she has come a long way from her Roseanne days.
Tim also spoke of another extraordinary film and performance; Gary Oldman in The Darkest Hour. Gary Oldman’s adaptation of Winston Churchill sealed the deal winning him the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Tim commented that, “Sometimes an Oscar can be a lifetime achievement, not a one shot deal.” Travis agreed that though The Darkest Hour “fell flat when it first came out, it rose back with vengeance making this a very good indicator Gary Oldman would be a force to be reckoned with!” Recalling his performance as a corrupt DEA agent in The Professional, Travis and I had a moment to banter about this iconic film with him mentioning he has a shirt with Oldman on the front that says, “Everybody”- I loved it!
Both gentlemen agreed that Get Out was a culture phenomenon and provided sustainment throughout the year since first coming out at Sundance. Tim celebrated Allison Janney for her role in I, Tonya emphasizing she was “SO good” in the role. With her taking the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, clearly these gentlemen know what they are talking about! Evidently, Tim and Travis have the natural ability to see when films, directors, actors and actresses are worth mentioning. I thanked them both for their time and walked away a happy girl having the opportunity to banter with these gentlemen for the night. I felt honored to be part of such an incredible event. There is no doubt this show stopping night was a hit!
If you wish to support the DC Film Society and its affiliates, please consider becoming a member. All proceeds for the event support the DC Film Society and its sponsorship support of Filmfest DC. The Washington, DC International Film Festival (Filmfest DC) is the longest running film festival in the nation’s capital. The 32nd edition will take place April 19-29, 2018 offering a diverse selection of world wide films in addition to discussions with guest filmmakers and special events.