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Oscar Aspirations for UGA Student

With the red carpet season in full force, we all seem to be dreaming of celebrities, lavish parties and winning Oscars. For one UGA student, this illusive dream is nearly within reach. Blake Mitchell, a senior majoring in mass media and finance, is a top ten finalist in the MTVu Oscars Correspondent Contest. If selected as one of the top three finalists, Blake and his videographer David Torcivia will win a trip to the red carpet in Los Angeles for the Oscars. Now people all over the country are voting on MTVu’s website for their favorite finalists, and UGA has been avidly promoting Mitchell’s campaign to fulfill his dreams of interviewing the stars. Here’s an inside look at this campus celebrity:

1. What first sparked your passion for films?
I was very interested in musicals and theater in middle and high school, and I participated in Community Theater and one act competition consistently. It was my high school drama coach, however, who really sparked my interest in film. I took a film class with her my junior year, and the same semester we threw an Oscar party together. The tradition continued, even after I moved to college, and we still talk frequently about films and the Academy Awards. 
2. What experience have you had in the film industry? (Internships, opportunities, etc.)
I interned with Robert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival here in Athens, working with the festival director to promote the festival among students and to host Mr. Osborne himself during the festival weekend. I also interned on a producer’s desk at Double Feature Films in Beverly Hills, CA this past summer, reading scripts, fetching coffee, and driving actors and directors all over LA during preproduction for an upcoming film. I have also attended the Cannes Film Festival through a Grady College study abroad program. 
3. How did you first hear about the MTV-U Oscars contest and what was your plan of action for creating your video with David Torcivia?
I heard about the contest when I stumbled across a link while researching professors for spring semester. From there, I linked up with David through my mentor in Grady College and we sat down and brainstormed ideas on how to best represent ourselves to the Academy and MTVu. 
4. After making it to the top 10, how have you been encouraging people to vote and how receptive have people been to voting for you?
I have been amazed with how receptive people have been and how willing my family, friends and peers have been to help get the word out. I sent email after email to friends when the voting began asking them to pass along information to their respective organizations and friend groups. I created a trending topic on Twitter, launched a big Facebook campaign, and amped up my blog in order to draw attention. I contacted traditional media outlets (newspapers and whatnot) and asked them to write stories, as well as worked with Grady to get information out to college faculty and students. My biggest asset through all this, however, has certainly been through my friends. They have been the best promoters I could ask for!
5. If you make it to the Oscars (which we hope you will!), who is the one celebrity/director/producer you are dying to meet? What will you ask them?
Meryl Streep. I even have my leading question worked out: “What would you say to people who call you the Katharine Hepburn of our generation? And by ‘people,’ I’m speaking of myself…”
6. What’s next for you after this and graduation? Any summer plans or dream jobs on the horizon?
I am hoping to return to LA this summer for another internship, although I am not certain where I will land. That is to be decided in the coming weeks and months. I graduate in December, and I plan to move back to LA to work in film production, slowly working my way up the industry latter until I can one day make movies of my own.

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