A production crew made up entirely of LAFS students and graduates get their first big Hollywood moment

In January, during the height of awards season, a team of 7 students and graduates were at the helm of production for the Advanced Imaging Society’s (AIS) 2019 Lumiere Awards Ceremony. Every year, AIS honors immersive storytellers in visual effects, virtual reality and augmented reality. Director Christopher McQuarrie from Mission: Impossible—Fallout was this year’s top honoree.

In true Hollywood fashion, producers from AIS recruited The Los Angeles Film School (LAFS) to help get footage of the event for its main sizzle reel. The partnership morphed into the LAFS team becoming the exclusive camera and production crew for the night. The crew, at the direction of Career Development advisor Steve Longo, spearheaded the evening with red carpet highlights, celebrity interviews and backstage event coverage. Within a span of three days, the team pulled together a full production/camera crew and were ready to run the show.

“Working on the Warner Bros. backlot with our team of LAFS students and graduates while watching them work directly with Tom Cruise and other movie industry titans have been the highlight of my first-year at LAFS,” said Steve Longo.

We got the inside scoop on what it took to prepare for the Lumiere Awards show at Warner Bros. Studios.

2019 Lumiere Awards

Lumiere Awards

Lumiere Awards

Lumiere Awards

Tom Cruise at the Lumiere Awards

Monday, January 28 (2 DAYS PRIOR)

The Location Scout
Three LAFS Alumni: Justin Lawrence (Producer/Director), Gideon Watson (Director of Photography/Lead Camera), and Stephanie Renaud (Red Carpet Interviewer) met with several people on the Warner Bros. lot to do a location/tech scout for the show. At the location scout, they did a walkthrough of the event, mapped it out, planned it out and solidified their equipment list. The team left Warner Bros. after two hours, and within the next two hours, they had secured the production equipment and the remaining team members.

Tuesday, January 29 (1 DAY PRIOR)

Equipment Test
Gideon built/tested all the equipment so the team would be prepared to pick up the gear and arrive early to the event. Justin sent out the run of show, site maps, crew list, dress code, contacts and details to the crew.

“This happened the day before a huge event, so it was important that everything was communicated openly with lots of detail,” said Justin Lawrence.

Wednesday, January 30 (The Day Of)

The Awards Show
The crew arrived four hours early to set up and do another walkthrough due to last minute changes on the live event side. Within a matter of two hours, everything was assembled including the cameras, lights and sound equipment. The LAFS crew covered everything that night, from red carpet moments, interviews, general footage of the event, its attendees and most of the award show. This included the special access to get close-up shots of Tom Cruise for his grand entrance to the stage. Tom Cruise was the surprise guest for the evening and presented the Lumiere Award to director Christopher McQuarrie.

“There is so much to be said about making sure you constantly cultivate friendships and stay in touch with supportive people around you. The learning experience I gained from helping produce this important event has prepared me to be ready to go at a moments notice and to do it professionally,” said Justin Lawrence.