Ultimate MTV Oscars Correspondent Winner Zach Cusson On His Red Carpet Experience

by Zach Cusson

“Why would I be the ultimate mtvU Oscar Correspondent?” That question and the images of our first video have been resonating in my head since mid-December. (Editor's note: Zach and Terry Stackhouse together won an mtvU-sponsored contest to cover the red carpet at last Sunday's 82nd Annual Academy Awards.) The night before our flight, I sat at my desk staring into boarding pass; this was really happening.

On Thursday we exited the van and walked through the revolving doors that led into the Renaissance. “Man this place is fancy,” I recall thinking. Nothing had really hit me yet. I’m handed an envelope. Inside I find it: my golden ticket to Hollywood, the best experience of a lifetime, the reason I was standing there... my press pass. That’s when it really hit me. It wasn’t anxiety that I felt, it was urgency and excitement, a persistent desire to just bust out my camera and start shooting.

Over the four day period at the Oscars I met some of the most passionate people I’ve ever encountered in my life. Our media experts showed us nothing but kindness. The support that the three groups demonstrated towards each other was truly and deeply appreciated.

When we finally hit the red carpet for arrivals I was surprised. It wasn’t that something unexpected was happening, I was surprised by my own emotions. I wasn’t starstruck, I wasn’t anxious; I was ready to work. I want to personally thank everyone that helped me get to that point: my family and friends, the Emerson Community, mtvU, and the Academy. Everyone’s passion was immensely heartwarming.

What I have taken from the experience is indescribable. It was such an immense honor to be the only college news team in the world covering the red carpet arrivals. Five years ago I never could have even imagined this. I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people, and I hope our paths will cross in the future.