Oscars Night America Interview w/ Randy Haberkamp

The countdown to the 83rd Oscars continues in Hollywood.  The red carpet area is coming together, statues are in place, and most of the media outlets are ready to go for the broadcast.  Back in the Greater Cleveland area, our folks are busy readying for the first Oscar Night America Cleveland watch party in several years, which will take place Sunday night at the Geneva Lodge.

Today we were able to track down Randy Haberkamp, Director of Education and Special Projects for the Academy, Ohio native, and the man in charge of overseeing the Oscar ® Night America program for various charities across America.  We talked to Randy for about an hour, which was quite generous of him given his schedule and how close we were to the Oscars broadcast.

Randy is your typical unassuming Midwesterner, humble and understated.  However, all one needs to do is see the impeccable work that comes out of his department, or sit and talk about movies with him for a few minutes to appreciate the love he has for the art of movie making and his love for the Academy.

I asked Randy to explain the Oscar Night America program, which designates a single charity to host the one, “Officially Sanctioned” Oscars watch party for a metropolitan television market.  In our area, the ACMC Foundation was recognized by the Academy to host Oscar Night America Cleveland.

Randy explained the many ways the Academy supports the local charities, from official programs and banners, to multimedia for marketing, to a DVD with a specific welcome for each party from the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Randy went on to explain the other ways that the Academy provides support, including administrating the program, screening all marketing and support materials, and suggestions for best practices.

So while you sit on the couch and watch the Academy Awards this Sunday, you may be tempted to judge the Academy as self serving, guilty of excess, or simply narcissistic, but, before you do that, sit back and think about the Academy spending a great deal of energy for nearly a year, helping over fifty non-profits earn over three million dollars on Oscar night, without the Academy getting back even a dime for their time and efforts.

Yes, Hollywood may occasionally offend some of us Midwesterners with their gritty dramas, coarse language, and depictions of baser living habits, but that is not the Academy.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is about hard work, achievement, glamour, and class.  As a Trustee of the ACMC Foundation who has worked with the Academy to organize Oscar Night America Cleveland, it is my opinion that the Academy represents the very best of Hollywood, and the best in us all.

*** 2/27 UPDATE ***

Yesterday, we wrote about our sit down with Randy Haberkamp, Director of Education and Special Projects at the Academy.  In addition to his role at the Academy, Randy is also a student of film and a movie fan like the rest of us.

Today’s video update is part 2 of our interview.  In it, I asked Randy to talk about the many wings of the Academy.  Most of us, when we think about the Oscars or the Academy, we think: Movie Stars.  However, that’s not how the members of the Academy see it.

At the Academy and at their Oscar season Symposiums, the focus is spread from Directing to Hair and Makeup, from Animation to Set Design, from Costume Design to Sound Engineering.  As I visited with Randy, he relays the gory day to day of the average movie actor, director and staffer for a film.

Finally, I asked Randy about his educational programs from this past year. His face lights up as he relays his focus on Film Noir and a special evening honoring Blake Edwards.  He talks of respecting the greats of film, setting them up to be honored and feel honored.

After spending an hour with Randy at such a busy time, I feel the same honor to sit at the feet of a consummate professional and take a quick peek inside his world.

Well, we’re headed home for Oscar Night America Cleveland.  See you there tomorrow night!

CableSuite 541’s coverage of the 83rd Academy Awards is made possible by the generous sponsorships of The Star Beacon, Kent State University at Ashtabula, ACMC, Carmike Cinemas, E.B. & Co., True North Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, www.whysoblu.com, Star 97, Magic Oldies 102.5 and 98.3 The Bull.


2 Responses to “Oscars Night America Interview w/ Randy Haberkamp”

  1. Brian White

    I’m looking forward to attending this party tomorrow night!

  2. Gregg Senko

    Well, I’d have to say that the Academy got it right last night. I haven’t seen The Fighter, and I was very partial to Geoffrey Rush in the category of Best Supporting actor. I’ll reserve further judgement until I see the much acclaimed boxing film but Bale is a great actor so I’m sure his performance was deserving.

    Inception was easily worthy of all its audio and visual accolades. While I didn’t care for the film, it excelled in these categories, and as far as visual effects are concerned, it had no equal.

    Toy Story 3. Was anyone really going to beat it? It’d be like having a sweetest person award and the nominees are three guys in their 20’s and your grandma.

    Last but certainly not least, The King’s Speech. There was no one close to the quality of performance delivered by Colin Firth. It was emotionally stirring and covered an extremely significant point in history as a man unwilling to be king, took the mantle in the interest of his nation, overcoming a publicly crippling ailment to unite and rally his countrymen.