View slideshow NOTS attracts students to 'A Night in Paris' (VIDEO, PODCAST)
FC throws 18th annual formal; juniors triumph in movie-making competition
The Grand 1401 once again hosted Night of the Stars (NOTS), which celebrated its 20th year, Feb. 18. Bringing students together for a formal dinner, the event celebrates class-made films with an Oscar-like awards ceremony.
On Saturday morning, girls awoke early to begin a day of appointments for nails, hair and makeup while boys simply showered and shaved. After the chaos of preparations, students gathered in groups, traveling in limos and meeting with their dates as a traditional plan before the 20th annual Night of the Stars (NOTS), Feb. 18.
Decor details Parisian theme
This year's NOTS theme, "A Night in Paris," was held downtown at The Grand 1401 on the 10th story. As students arrived, Milne Photography offered their services for professional portraits in the building's lobby. After an elevator ride to the top, students were able to witness the event's decor, which attempted to present the theme in each individual decoration.
The sign-in table, manned by Student Leadership Adviser Robert Foshee and history teacher Jordana Siebert, informed the 162 attendees of their table numbers and also gave them meal cards.
Inside the ballroom, tables were elegantly decorated with a variety of colored table settings topped with candles and hand-made centerpieces. In the back, various flavors of Sparkling Cider were served by physical education teacher Michael Ogden and his fiancee.
Sophomore Eric Cowin thought the decorations created an atmosphere that complimented the night's theme.
"The light posts that surrounded the room gave the atmosphere a good texture and I liked how you could see through the centerpieces this year; it made it easier to have conversations with the people at your table," Cowin said. "The decorations conveyed the theme well, or at least from what I've seen in movies. Everything was kind of old-fashioned and prestigious."
After the hard work of Student Leadership, adviser Jane Gillespie thinks the adornments looked exactly as planned.
"It went exactly as I imagined with the exception of the Eiffel Tower that couldn't fit in the building," Gillespie said. "Other than that, I thought it was perfect for what we planned for."
Students enjoy night's banquet, films
After pictures, drinks and mingling, dinner was served. Three different meals, which were chosen when students purchased their tickets, allowed for variety. Tri-tip, chicken and vegetarian options were served alongside salad and bread.
Toward the end of dinner, four class-made movies were screened, starting with the freshmen's rendition of The Blind Side staring Christopher Grossman as Big Mike. Following the freshmen was the sophomore's protrayal of The Parent Trap with Mikayla Messer and Annaleah Madison playing the film's twins, Annie and Hallie.
The juniors' representation of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days starred Jenna Orcutt as Andie Anderson and Brandon Porter as Benjamin Berry. After the third film, a 15-minute intermission for dessert was held.
Rachel Quiring, '13, who filmed, directed and edited her class' film, believed the hard work had paid off after the movie's ending was met with rapturous applause.
"The goal [for our film] was to be professional," Quiring said. "We had a very organized script and planned things like locations ahead of time to avoid last-minute chaos. The scheduling came back to haunt us a few times when, at the last minute, someone couldn't come and there was no other time we could do it."
"I expected Parents' Choice and Best Editing and I wanted Best Actor and Actress because they [the actors] deserved it ... I felt like it was a pretty big compliment ... and that if we overthrew the tradition of seniors winning then we must have really deserved it." --Rachel Quiring, '13
Dessert offered cheesecake, a chocolate fountain with strawberries, bannans, poundcake, pretzels and cream puffs. Coffee was also served at a separate table in the back.
Finally, the senior's flick executed Crazy, Stupid, Love staring Kenna Wheeler as Emily Weaver and Jacob Williams as Cal Weaver.
Senior Allison Camden enjoyed watching the junior movie, and seeing their peers playing roles.
"Although the junior movie was my favorite, I thought everybody did a good job," Camden said. "I could tell that they actually worked really hard to put them together this year. However, I think the junior's film took the cake this year. It was super funny and the quality was amazing. Collectively though, everybody did really well."
NOTS awards celebrate class achievements
Students' dedication to their films is appropriately recognized each year through an Oscar-like awards ceremony held at the end of the NOTS. 11 awards were handed out, ranging in subject from Best Supporting Actress to Best Picture.
Awards began with Best Supporting Actress, given to sophomore Viviana Hinojosa for her role in The Parent Trap. Best Supporting Actor was given to Josh Hopper, '12, for his portrayal of Robby Weaver in Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Each film is required to have a teacher's participation, hence the Best Teacher Cameo award. This was given to Siebert for her involvement in the seniors' film.
Next came three awards given to those who worked behind the scenes. Best Cinematography was awarded to Jennifer Smith, '15, for her work on The Blind Side. Best Editing was awarded to the junior duo of Matt Adams and Quiring. Best Screenplay was given to senior David Casuga for his scripting in Crazy, Stupid, Love.
"I received Best Cinematography; as a freshman, I literally did not expect to receive the award at all," Smith said. "I was super surprised and knew that all of our hard work payed off. I can't take all of the credit, because everyone who helped with the movie put in tons of effort."
Though NOTS is usually dominated by the more experienced senior class, this year, the juniors stole the spotlight, claiming six awards by the end of the night, including Best Picture and Parents' Choice. Here, junior Jenna Orcutt accepts the Best Actress award for her lead role in How to Loss a Guy in 10 Days.
Two were recognized for their lead performances as Best Actress and Best Actor. Both came from the junior class, as Orcutt and Porter claimed the titles for their roles in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
"Winning Best Actor was awesome; it was seriously a great honor, especially just being a junior," Porter said. "In the past, the seniors have won most of the awards, so it was really cool to get to win one before my senior year."
Orcutt attributes her win to the juniors' script and directing.
"Our movie had a great script that was just a blast to act out," Orcutt said. "I think that helped; it allowed me to be funny and serious and show a variety emotions. I feel like I really embodied who Andie Anderson was throughout the film."
The final three awards also went to the junior class, specifically the duo of Adams and Quiring, who received Best Director, Parents' Choice and Best Picture.
Although the seniors received less awards than expected, director Casuga still believes their movie to have good qualities.
"I think an issue might have been movie choice," Casuga said. "It wasn't as much a comedy as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days was. Our biggest problem was finding places to shoot. Unfortunately, we found locations that kept falling through. Overall, I was very proud of the final production, we just had some obstacles we couldn't overcome."
After spending countless hours working on the film, Quiring expected some recognition, though the six awards she ended up winning surprised her.
"We won six awards: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Editing, Parents' Choice, and Best Picture," Quiring said. "I expected Parents' Choice and Best Editing and I wanted Best Actor and Actress because they [the actors] deserved it. Best Picture was more than I had hoped for! I felt like it was a pretty big compliment ... and that if we overthrew the tradition of seniors winning then we must have really deserved it. It makes me kind of nervous for next year's movie because I feel like we have to do even better."
For more information on NOTS, read the Feb. 17 article 18th annual NOTS approaches. For more information about class films, read the Feb. 16 article Freshmen alter vision of NOTS film, the Feb. 3 article Class of '14 takes second shot at NOTS, the Jan. 26 article New approach revamps NOTS movie or the Feb. 1 article Seniors aim for triumph with NOTS film.
Nick Avery also contributed to this article.
PODCAST: Student body president shares NOTS memories: Feb. 22, 2012--