For a fleeting moment I felt like Vin Diesel. Two ladies hung from my arms as I stood on the red carpet, waiting for the flash of the camera. I half-parted my lips, trying to imitate Vinâ€™s charm.
I think it worked.
I, Nic Turiciano, have never tasted celebrity status before. Iâ€™ve stalked Paris Hilton, stolen laundry from Harrison Ford and collected sweat off of Tony Frankâ€™s treadmill, but Iâ€™ve never been in the shoes of the stars.
So when my co-columnist, Kate Bennis, asked me to help her create a film for the Campus MovieFest, I leaped at the opportunity like a paparazzo leaps at Kirk Douglass: ferociously.
I should have asked for the details.
CMF, if you havenâ€™t already gathered from the Collegianâ€™s saturation of the event, is a traveling movie festival that moves from university to university, offering contestants a camera, a computer and one week to finish a five-minute film.
The best films from each school win free swag and a chance to go to L.A. I wanted it.
Five minutes. Sounds easy. Sounded easy. â€˜Five-minutes equals my 15-minutes of fame,â€™ I thought.
Our film, a documentary on mustaches and the people who sport them, was pretty clear-cut: Interview a couple people (Kate did that), edit the footage (Kate did that), figure out the angle (Kate did that) and make an intro song (I did that).
I thought I was getting a hell of a deal. The price I had to pay for immortality was a 30-second song and a couple pictures of my friends sporting hand-drawn mustaches.
Not even Steve-O had it this easy.
So we set about making our masterpiece. More specifically, Kate got to work. She ditched classes; got shifts covered at work and almost stressed to premature arthritis. I, on the other hand, made some tunes in my basement.
The film came together just in time for the deadline. Kate tasked me with getting the film uploaded to the CMFâ€™s website. Honestly, it was my lone responsibility, and I failed.
What resulted was a Wednesday full of stress, coffee, computer trouble and anger fits. Thankfully, though, the people at CMF were able to help us work through my incompetence.
Thus began the week of waiting. I checked my computer two, three, even five times a day, comparing the number of plays our film had received to those of the other CSU films.
Along the way I watched the competition. There were 37 films shot by CSU students this year. I didnâ€™t get through all of them, but based off of the select few that I saw, I liked our odds.
I thought we might win it. I thought we might take the whole thing home. I dared to dream that we could sweep all four categories: wild card, best drama, best comedy and best picture.
It was a pipe dream.
Wednesday night was the premier. Hollywood spotlights shot into the sky outside of the Lory Student Center Theatre, showing the way to my launching pad to stardom.
What greeted me was a red carpet, people in tuxedos and dresses, a photographer and two women willing to pose for the camera.
As the two beauties hung off my arms I dared to dream. Could I one day kick it with Charlie Sheen? Had I not yet seen all that there is to be
We took our seats in the theatre. The top 16 films were shown, and ours flickered onto the screen halfway through the event. My heart began beating a little bit faster and didnâ€™t settle down until the last film had been shown.
Onto the stage walked three arbiters of destiny, and with them, I hoped, was my opportunity to blossom.
They began announcing the winners. First was the wild card. We didnâ€™t win it. No big deal, there were still three categories left.
Then came best comedy and best drama. We didnâ€™t win those either.
But still to come was the best picture award. If we won this the other failures would all be made up for. I would no longer need to imitate Vin, because hanging out with the real Diesel was a real possibility if we won.
But we didnâ€™t. Best picture went to someone else. Admittedly, they deserved it. I just hope they hang out with Steve-O and take some Charlie Sheen. Thereâ€™s no use in letting an opportunity like theirs go to waste.
Columnists Nic Turiciano and Kate Bennis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.