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Suggestion creates NOTS tradition

A simple suggestion during a brainstorming session at an Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) conference evolved into tradition.

At the fall student leadership conference at Mount Hermon Christian Camp in 1990, an alternative to the annual winter banquet suggested each class creates a film to be played during dinner. An award ceremony followed, similar to the Oscars. “Once Upon a Star” was put into action on Jan. 19, 1991, at the Smuggler’s Inn (3737 N. Blackstone Ave., Fresno).

“At the premiere of ‘Once Upon a Star’ I was sick and felt pretty miserable and since I was in charge of it. I was working all night by hosting and announcing the winners,” Chris Schultz said. “The other students had a lot of fun, even though the movies were awful. It was something new and we got to watch our peers acting on the big screen.”

After 1994, “Once Upon a Star” was dropped due to time complication and responsibilities of leadership. In 1997 Schultz returned to the leadership team after his graduation in 1991 determined to revive the event. Schultz and Eunie McEntee, leadership adviser and activities director, successfully brought it back with a new name, “The Night of the Stars.”

“Eunie and I wanted to bring the movie idea back to the annual banquet,” Schultz said, “because it had been my idea and Eunie and I really liked how it brought so many students together and got them working on one project.”

The campus gained recognition through newspaper articles and televised shows as the only school in the valley that hosts movies instead of dances.

“Although I’ve only attended public school’s formals, I’m not one for much dancing,” Nick McAllister, ’07, said. “I’m looking forward to watching my friends and I on the big screen.”

With modern technology, the movies become visually appealing and easier to edit with revised programs and user accessible files.

“Back when I was in high school,” CJ Haydock, multimedia instructor, said, “FinalCut Pro was new and if there was an issue we needed to figure out, it would take days. But now the program is perfected and the students have had more experience with it, making the process faster.”

Those in charge of preparation for the night have come to appreciate the opportunity to get involved in the creation of the movies and the satisfaction when their movie wins an award.

“I would say that the Night of the Stars is the highlight of the year for me,” Jason Savage, ’07, said. “I get to help with one last big project of my senior year.”

For information on the movies check out Benjamin Dang’s Jan. 18, 2007, article Deadlines challenge directors. For Night of the Stars rules check out Elisha Quintana’s Jan. 17, 2007, article Staff enforces NOTS guidelines.

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