Hofstra students selected to report from Oscars

Beth Laschever and Melanie Rubin
Beth Laschever and Melanie Rubin

Beth Laschever and Melanie Rubin

Three students from Hofstra University are headed to Los Angeles to cover the Academy Awards after being named the winners of the “Oscar College Journalist Contest” on Feb. 9.

The contest winners: Jackie De Tore, a senior broadcast journalism major, who was the on-camera reporter; Melanie Rubin, a junior Video/TV major who was the producer; and Beth Laschever, a Video/TV production major who was the videographer. Students were evaluated and judged by the Academy and KABC on their skills to best represent “On The Red Carpet” (OTRC) at the Academy Awards, according to the press release.

“I honestly can’t believe it,” said De Tore, a senior and broadcast journalism major at Hofstra University. “It has not sunk in at all yet.”

Jackie De Tore

Jackie De Tore

Out of the 200 plus entries of college submissions from all over the country, the Hofstra students were dubbed the winners. Their three-minute video, showing off their interviewing, camera and production skills proved exactly why they should get the opportunity to broadcast live at the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

“They left me a message saying they really liked the video,” Rubin said after hearing she and her team had won. “I was ecstatic! I ran around Hofstra’s campus; people were starring at me, but I didn’t care.”

“It took [Rubin] about five minutes to try to convince me,” De Tore said after she heard the news.

The team nearly missed out on the opportunity but connected right on time. De Tore originally heard about the contest from a Hofstra Journalism Professor Gregg Smith just two weeks before the Feb. 6 deadline, partnered with her already-friends, Laschever and Rubin, and got to work before the semester even began.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the students selected,” said Professor Smith.

Their Saturday and Sunday video shooting started at 9 a.m. and went through towards the evening. Rubin began production of the three-minute video directly after, which called for even longer hours on her part. Fifteen to 20 hours total were spent on editing alone, Rubin said.

“When we first started, I just wanted to do the best that we could do,” said Laschever. “We knew we only had a limited amount of time to get it done, so we just put together all of our production heads and got it done.”

Three days were spent filming, and two days were spent editing. Laschever and Rubin had been dubbed the masters of videography and production, respectively, according to De Tore.

The Hofstra students will get the opportunity to work and report live with KABC-TV’s OTRC team, according to the contest press release.

“I’m just excited to show KABC and the Academy why we deserve to win and why Jackie deserves to be on the red carpet,” Rubin said when asked what she was looking forward to most.

This occasion marks two consecutive years that Hofstra University will be represented at the Oscars.

“…It’s a great testament for Hofstra as well, since this is the second year in a row that students from Hofstra have been selected for the ‘red carpet treatment,'” said Professor Smith.

Last year, Luz Peña, now a senior broadcast journalism major, won a similar contest that earned a trip to report from the red carpet.

“I’m extremely proud. It’s awesome,” Peña said. And she even had advice to pass along to this year’s winners: “If you’re there, you’re there for a reason. Be yourself, and you’ll be awesome!”

The three Hofstra students will fly on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angles during the week of the Oscars on Thursday, Feb. 23 to Monday, Feb. 27. They will be covering a host of events during Oscar week and report live during the “On The Carpet at the Oscars” pre-show with KABC-TV, according to OTRC.

The Hofstra students will also be in attendance at the 84th annual Academy Awards, which will air live on Feb. 26 from the Kodak theatre in Los Angeles.

Contact the author of this story @FarhanHSays