Although the Oscar ceremonies of recent years may have been shrouded with controversy, Montclair State University’s Video Production Club (VPC) did not disappoint with its fifth annual Oscars party. The event took place in the Student Center Ballrooms between the hours of 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the evening of Feb. 25. While one may cringe at the almost five-hour runtime, showing up was worth every minute.
The first couple of hours were spent at seated tables as everyone got acquainted with each other, took pictures and enjoyed the great buffet that was laid out for attendees. Through the chattering and camera clicking hummed a relaxing jazz soundtrack that resembled one from a vivacious jazz club.
Later, as the clocks struck 8 p.m., everyone moved to the front of the ballroom to seats very similar to those at the actual award show. Throughout commercial breaks, guests were treated to an entertaining lip-sync battle between the members of the VPC, as well as awards for things such as best editor, best cinematographer and most photogenic.
One of the many awards that were given out that night included best organization attendance for the Montclair State club that has had a standing collaboration with the VPC in the planning of the event, which ended up going to MSU Acapella. Natalie Shephard, a senior child advocacy and policy major as well as president of MSU Acapella, said the close relations and mutual members allowed for an easy partnership between the two clubs.
Andrew Amiano, a senior television and digital media (TVDM) major and the vice president of VPC, spoke of how he enjoys the “come and go” feeling of the event. He praised his fellow team members of the VPC as well as other clubs, including MSU Acapella for their achievement in putting the event together — from setting the tables to spreading the word to students all around campus.
Amiano went on to mention that it hasn’t always been easy to plan the annual event, revealing that last year the Oscars fell on spring break. However, he and his team insisted on carrying on the tradition.
“We actually held a smaller version of it, maybe like a third of the size of all this, in the lobby of the School of Communication,” Amiano said. “Still the same deal, watched the Oscars and had a bunch of food.”
Just as it has been a standing tradition for attendees of the Academy Awards to dress their very best, VPC members and many other Montclair State students also came dressed up as if they were ready to walk the red carpet.
“What’s the point of having an Oscar party if you’re just going to come in jeans and a T-shirt,” Amiano said. “We don’t want to pressure people, but at the same time, we’re going to pressure people.”
Dillion Hoffman, another member of the VPC, spent the night taking pictures of anyone who stepped in front of the party’s own red carpet. While having the photo booth has been part of the Oscars party for at least four years, according to Amiano, this year marked the first time that Hoffman took over from behind the camera.
The TVDM sophomore said he takes behind-the-scenes pictures at club shoots and other events. It only seemed natural for him to step in as the residential paparazzi.
The VPC’s decision to host an Oscars party all those years ago has paid off. The event had a great turnout of not only fellow club members but other Montclair State students and even everyone’s favorite mascot, Rocky the Red Hawk.
Everyone who stepped into the Student Center Ballrooms that night did not leave disappointed. The evening was filled with laughter, a far cry from the controversy of the real Oscars that was playing out on television for everyone’s entertainment.