Napa Valley Film Festival 2019 – HMS Journalism Students Reflect on their Film Festival Experience

Quinlin Gallagher

Interview with Olivia Wilde.

Going to the Film Festival was an unforgettable experience. Not only meeting the talent but getting to see the inner workings of the entertainment industry. I had the opportunity to interview, Vannessa Hudgens, Olivia Wilde, Lucy Alibar, Liana Liberato, Jessica Barden, Kelsey Asbille and Nancy Wilson.

The first day, Thursday, was the Celebrity Tributes at the Lincoln Theatre, recognizing those in the film industry with significant work. This day was by far the most nerve-wracking seeing as it was my first red carpet experience. Vanessa Hudgens was the last tribute to go across the red carpet, and while the Blue Oak students were interviewing her, the lights were flickering on and off. Luckily, by the time it was my turn to talk, the lightning was situated.

On Friday, I got to interview Olivia Wilde. I would say this was my best red carpet interview because I wasn’t nearly as nervous as the night before, and I had great questions. All my questions were tailored towards gender equality seeing as she’s a well-known feminist.

The next day was very hectic for me because I was attending all of the events available for Teen Press. In the morning, Charlotte and I had a sit-down interview with the playwright Lucy Alibar. I preferred the red carpet interview to the sit-downs because I felt like there was less pressure. In the afternoon, Charlotte, Naty and I went to the Rising Star Showcase where I interviewed Liana Liberato, Jessica Barden, and Kelsey Asbille.

My last interview was with Nancy Wilson (lead guitarist of the rock band Heart), once again at the Lincoln Theatre. I felt like starting and ending the experience at the same place was nice, because it felt like I was coming full circle.

Overall, my experience at the Napa Valley Film Festival was incredible and I’m so glad I had this experience.

Charlotte Flukey

Sit-down with Lucy Alibar.

My experience attending the Napa Valley Film festival was enriching and enjoyable.

At the first red carpet, which was on Thursday, Quinlin Gallagher and I each filmed and interviewed. First I interviewed Jillian Bell, whom I had much fun and joy talking with. Following that, I interviewed Kevin Bacon who truth be told I did not quite know as well as others due to the generation gap I assume; then we switched roles and Quinlin interviewed Vannessa Hudgens.

The next event I attended was on Friday. Quinlin and I once again attended a red carpet but this time I was just the cameraman while she interviewed Olivia Wilde.

On Saturday morning, Quinlin and I had the amazing opportunity to do a sit down with writer Lucy Alibar, which was a truly fun conversation. Later that day we went to the Mattera/Cunat winery for another red carpet in which I was able to interview Dean-Charles Chapman and was the on-off cameraman with Quinlin as well as Naty Gutierrez.

Overall through the month of research and effort, we all put into this it was so worth it.

Grace Exum

My experience with the film festival was very unique. As nervous as I was, it was an experience that I will never forget.

It was hard for me to create questions and in the end, my best questions were ones that I came up with minutes before the interviews. As someone who doesn’t have social media, my best resource was Wikipedia.

The first night, I had an interview with the actor Avi Nash (and Avi’s friend). I was extremely nervous. I am a nervous person in general, so this was a challenge. My partner (Naty Gutierrez) was very supportive and was able to calm my nerves. I was also able to look on Instagram quickly before the interview, thanks to Blair Hunt of NVFF (who helped organize the interviews), and was able to create a question that I felt was meaningful, and I got a good answer.

The other interview I had was with Michael Nesmith. It was difficult to create questions for him because he has done so much. I was able to come up with a question based on some of the information I had read. Nesmith was very kind and had great answers to my questions. In the end, the video was unusable because of the lighting, but the audio was good.

Overall, this was an amazing experience that I will remember fondly.

Naty Gutierrez

The Napa Valley Film Festival was both exhilarating and terrifying, as we got to have an opportunity to see the field of acting, journalism, and photography. I had the opportunity to interview Josh Pence, Jacob Elordi, and Mena Massoud.

Once we knew who we were going to interview, we started to research. After a month of doing so, we were ready for the first day of the NVFF. My first day was Friday, November 15, with my partner Grace Exum. Grace had interviewed actor Avi Nash, but some time had passed and Josh Pence did not appear, so we decided to go. But right when we were out the door, Josh Pence appeared so my interview was in the hallway, yet it was superb.

The next day, Saturday, was a red carpet with my other partners Quinlin Gallagher and Charlotte Flukey. I got to talk Jacob Elordi and Mena Massoud. I was still scared, but I built up the courage and asked them my questions.

From Josh, I learned to be vulnerable and always be caring for the people around me. I hope to be like Jacob and have big dreams and goals. I will take forever with me what Mena Massoud said, which was to try hard and always follow my heart.