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Winter formal stars creativity, ingenuity

While formals are usually a dinner and a dance, campus students over ten years ago were determined to add an original twist to an old idea. Rather than spending money on a fancy dinner that often became awkward and expensive, a dinner/movie night was born.

In 1990, the student body president and his adviser attended a leadership conference and brainstormed an alternative to a winter formal.

Christopher Schultz [’91] and the student council adviser, Doug Green, along with administration, agreed to create a formal at a hotel conference room, which included student-generated movies.

At most public schools winter formal consists of a dance. Schultz and Green decided to make campus formal unique. Instead of having a dance, they thought each class should film a movie and air them over dinner. After the movies, student leadership would distribute awards for various categories.

“What makes NOTS special is like anything else at FC,” Schultz said. “It is the process of making something out of nothing and doing it together.

“Just like the yearbook or newspaper or choir or athletic teams, it is a group of young people who work together towards a common goal.”

The 1991 student version of Once Upon A Star won the “”Oscars that first year”” and was edited only by connecting VCRs together and rough-cutting them without any fancy equipment.

However, the movie tradition stopped after 1994 and was only restarted by Schultz when he returned to campus as a teacher in 1997. Schultz guided the students’ filming and editing over the next six years and renamed the movie event, Night of the Stars (NOTS).

With Schultz’ guidance and supervision, the event grew and expanded, eventually leading to the event to the Tower Theatre with each class writing its own original screenplay.

“It was really frustrating and lots of hard work editing the films,” Schultz said. “In the end though, it was more than worth it. I was happy to be a part of watching it become such a wonderful event.”

However, when Schultz left campus after 2003 to pursue a coaching opportunity in Santa Barbara NOTS leadership was passed to new video teacher Scott Callisch.

Falk sat down with Schultz over the ’03 summer and the two developed a step-by-step plan that would provide Falk with the means to continue the tradition of NOTS.

“A big change this year is that I am more of the over-seer without offering much technical assistance,” Falk said. “Schultz was deeply involved with the production and technical equipment and I am not. Yet I still help with vision, and guide the students on their films.”

Student leadership co-adviser Eunie McEntee also is excited about the event.

“Last year Night of the Stars reached its highest point,” McEntee said. “Every year it gets better and better. I am really looking forward to seeing all the movies on March 6.”

Schultz added that long the way there are inevitably setbacks and trials but those obstacles are often overcome.

“In the end something amazing was and will be created,” Schultz said. For both Schultz and Falk this is what epitomizes NOTS and makes it special.

“I have taken the most satisfaction over the years in observing how the students deal with adversity and watching students who don’t associate much during school, working together than I do in the final production,” said Schultz. “For me the movies end up just being the icing on the cake.”

Some of the classes are almost done with this years’ movie.

“We have gotten a lot done already,” Clinton Jeffries, senior movie director, said. “One of the biggest struggles is having 14 main characters, and it’s very difficult to get everyone to show up.”

Jeffries said the senior movie is called The Super Squad. It is about a group of superheroes trying to rescue three girls, all victims of being kidnapped by an evil villain who employs his henchman to stop them.

The junior’s film is called Video Empire. The plot is a mystery; all that has been revealed is that it will involve a video and an empire.

“Our movie is pretty much done except for editing,” Kyle Gentz, ’05, said. “The most difficult part was having people show up and be there on time.”

The sophomore’s movie is about time travel.

“We still have not figured out what our movie is going to be called,” Chris Burns, ’06, said. “But overall we’re very pleased with how it’s coming together.”

The freshman’s movie is about an advertising group that makes commercials for Pepsi.

“One of the biggest complication we are having right now is trying to figure out what to call our movie,” Ashely Davis, ’07, said. “We still need to finish as well.”

This years’ Night of the Stars event will be held in Ground Zero on March 6 starting at 6 P.M. The cost of the event is $30 or $60 per couple. For dress code specifications go to www.thefeather.com and click on the additional announcements.

For further information about Night of the Stars, contact the main office at 299-1695, ext. 5.”

“Brianna Stobbe, Photographer”
“In one of the final shots of the sophomore movie, Jordan Hogue, left, threatens gangsters from the future during final days of filming. Gangsters Rebecca Wilson, left to right, Kira Armbruster and Jennifer Schmidt wait for him to time warp again on Feb. 20.”

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