by Coraline Crannell
On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, along with two other Condor Press staff members, I was able to attend the Red Carpet of the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Though one other student had previously attended, I had not, so it was my first time being on the red carpet. I was able to interview some incredible directors, producers, actors, and other people in the film industry.
Though the actual Red Carpet event did not begin until 7:00 P.M., we were instructed to arrive an hour early, so that we could wait in line and be one of the first to enter and claim our space to ensure that we had an area in which we could stand and wait and possibly get a few interviews. It wasn’t as crowded as we had expected it to be, however being opening night, there was still a good amount of people, so it was good that we had arrived when we did. Another reason it was good that we arrived early was because we had to do some research on the people that would be present and come up with possible questions to ask them. Though we had begun researching different actors and actresses and other people involved in the film, we had not been able to do too much, and of those people involved in it, we did not know who would be present. Shortly after we arrived, however, we were given a piece of paper with the names and general information about all of the celebrities present. This was extremely helpful, and we immediately started doing more research.
While researching however, we also vocalized several of our petty worries. Students who had attended last year had retold stories of interviewing not-so-courteous people, or of being able to attend the red carpet and happily watch, however unfortunately not receiving any interviews. The apprehension that we would reach the same fate, however, could not have been more wrong.
We were very fortunate in that about ten celebrities were able to attend, and we were able to interview seven of them. For several of these celebrities, it was also their first time attending, including Anne Goursaud, Marcia Nasatir, Mackenzie Foy, and a few others. They definitely did not show it, however, and confidently strutted down the carpet, while also being extremely kind and generous it giving up their time to answer the many journalists’ questions clambering for interviews, including ours. Others who had previously attended, however, set the stage and were role models for the newbies, including Roger Durling and Jeff Bridges, turning when hearing their names called out and answering everyone’s questions.
In this way, we were able to record some interviews with amazing people, including Jeff Bridges, Mackenzie Foy, Roger Durling, Mark Osborne, and more. The celebrities dug even deeper into our questions, telling us even more than we had requested, and answering with thought and honesty.
After everyone had entered the theatre, I was left outside, reflecting on all that had just happened. The fact that all of the people that I interviewed had been so kind and given up so much time to think about and honestly answer all of my questions, when they didn’t have to and their were so many others also trying to do the same left me shocked and pleased. I couldn’t believe how down-to-earth and kind everyone was, especially being the famous people that they are.
Overall, this was truly an incredible experience that allowed me to interview several amazing people and get a sense of what being a journalist is really like. I can’t wait to return, whether it be another night this festival, next year, or even farther in the future, when I could even possibly be doing it as a profession!