Because I am currently job searching, I was on NYU’s alumni job board the other day, and I happened to notice an upcoming event because it had bright red under it saying “RSVP REQUIRED”. I looked closer and saw that Entertainment Weekly’s Sirius XM radio channel was hosting a Q&A with Michael Mann and Chris Hemsworth about their upcoming film Blackhat.
That taping was yesterday (it’s airing tomorrow, the 15th at 6pm EST according to their Sirius XM webpage), and it was a lot of fun. I’d gotten an email the day before asking for those of us affiliated with NYU to send in questions that we would get a chance to ask during the event. I came up with a couple and sent them in right before the deadline, and had no idea if they’d get used or if I even wanted to be one of the people asking anything.
Then came yesterday. We had to check in with security downstairs, get our bags scanned, use weird elevators, and then check-in with the show in the lobby of the Sirius XM offices. There they checked if we were NYU students (or alumni, I guess) and had us pick out a question from the ones they’d chosen to ask. They had a pre-determined order and we were sitting in those seats as well. I ended up picking one of my own questions and was seated on the end, in spot number 1. They didn’t end up having us ask in order, though I was the first. It was kinda funny though because I think the EW people thought the students were all current NYU film students, so I kinda went with that even though I studied the music industry and no longer am in school. Oops.
Once we’d checked in and maybe grabbed a soda or some water, we lounged around in the lobby for a while until they were ready for the show to record. I made friends with a girl who just graduated in December, and we chatted about career goals, geeky things we are both into, and tv/film in general.
The Q&A was fun – probably about an hour long? I wasn’t timing it… and was mostly led by EW’s editor-in-chief. I think most of the people in the room had won some sort of contest, but nobody told us the details of that. I only saw a couple other people copied on the questions-seeking email so I don’t think there were very many of us from NYU. There was also a group that watched from the other side of the glass to the cube studio/room/fishbowl we were in. I think they were also piping the sound into the lobby so they could hear.
Being on the end, I was in the somewhat-distracting position of being in Chris Hemsworth’s eyeline (almost) every time he turned to look at Michael Mann when he spoke. Not that I ended up tuning out Michael Mann – he’s a legendary director and I love behind-the-scenes peeks into the film & tv world so I was definitely trying to soak up every word. It was a really really fun time.
After the Q&A they rushed everyone through the next bit because they had us all take a couple of photos with Mann & Hemsworth in front of the step-and-repeat on the wall of the lobby. Then we grabbed our coats in the elevator bay, the subscribers got swag bags, and I exchanged contact info with my new friend!
Definitely a fun day. And now, the photo proof: